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Lion Links: 5/28/22

FC Dallas and Jesús Ferreira come to town, the Orlando Pride steal a point late, Best XIs of the East and West, and much more.

SOCCER: MAY 25 U.S. Open Cup - Miami CF at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Saturday, Mane Landers. The Orlando Pride had a whirlwind finish last night to draw 2-2, with both goals coming late in stoppage time. The Lions are at home tonight as FC Dallas come to town. Hopefully, you have added attending the game to your list of Memorial Day weekend festivities. Additionally, OCB will be taking on FC Cincinnati 2 tomorrow, so there is still plenty of Orlando soccer to watch this weekend. For now, let’s check out what is happening around the soccer world.

Orlando City Hosts FC Dallas

Tonight will see Head Coach Oscar Pareja square off against his former club for just the second time since taking over Orlando City and it will also be the first meeting under Papi to take place at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. FC Dallas and Orlando have split the series in their last three meetings, with each club winning 2-0 at home before a final 0-0 stalemate in September 2020. Tonight, all eyes will be on forward Jesús Ferreira. He is the leading goal scorer in MLS with nine already this season. Paul Arriola will also garner some attention having found the net five times with a pair of assists. Our own Josh Munsey breaks down the rest of the away team’s stats in his scouting report.

Orlando Pride Stoppage-time Stunners

In a match that was all but over 94 minutes in, Pride players Mikayla Cluff and Darian Jenkins brought the club level at the death against the Washington Spirit. With a goal at 97:53, Jenkins will go down in Orlando folklore for not only stealing a last-gasp point but also scoring the latest regular-season goal in NWSL history. Check out our full recap of the match.

MLS East and West Best XIs

Andrew Wiebe of MLSsoccer.com lists his MLS Best XI for each conference so far this season. However, you will not find any Orlando City players on that list. Wiebe has five Philadelphia Union players listed on the best of the Eastern Conference. Additionally, he chose two each from New York City FC and the New England Revolution. To wrap up the conference, FC Cincinnati and CF Montréal represent the attacking midfield with a player each.

For the Western Conference, Golden Boot leader Ferreira, Arriola, and Paxton Pomykal of FC Dallas lead the charge. LAFC and Nashville SC each boast a pair of players. Seattle, Minnesota, Real Salt Lake, and Minnesota United round out the final four slots with one player apiece.

Texas MLS Clubs Unite for Uvalde

In the wake of Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — Austin FC, FC Dallas, and the Houston Dynamo will honor the victims by wearing a remembrance patch on their jerseys during their MLS Week 14 matches this weekend. Additionally, each of the three MLS clubs are donating funds to the Robb Elementary School Memorial Fund, created at First State Bank of Uvalde, to assist the victims, their families, and the local community. All three clubs issued statements regarding their collaborative efforts to assist the community during this difficult time. In addition to their donations, each club is offering other ways to allow fan involvement.

Austin FC: For the month of June, the Robb Elementary School Fund will be the beneficiary of Austin FC’s Verde Store roundup program.

FC Dallas: The FC Dallas Foundation will auction the game-worn, autographed jerseys players will wear against Orlando with proceeds benefiting the Robb Elementary Memorial Fund.

Houston Dynamo FC: Dynamo Charities, the official non-profit of the Houston Dynamo Football Club, will auction the game-worn jerseys that the team’s players will wear against Real Salt Lake with proceeds benefiting the Robb Elementary Memorial Fund.

Free Kicks

I hope you are all enjoying a great holiday weekend with friends and family. Speaking of — If you have family in town that has never been to a match before, what are you waiting for?!? Grab an extra ticket and get them on over to Exploria Stadium tonight! Vamos Orlando!