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Lion Links: 8/27/22

Pride lose at home to OL Reign, Orlando City hosts New York City FC, U.S. Soccer CBA update, and more.

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MLS: Orlando City SC at Charlotte FC Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! It was a rough night if you were at Exploria Stadium to see the Pride. While we have the day off from Orlando soccer, we do have the start of Week 0 in NCAA football for those of you who celebrate. And if you aren’t one of those, then no worries. There are still some top of the table matches around the world today like Serie A’s Juventus vs. Roma or Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach. But now, it is on to the links!

Orlando Pride Lose 2-1 at home to OL Reign

Despite taking the lead in the 37th-minute, the Orlando Pride have lost their first match since June 19. Meggie Dougherty Howard found the net for the Pride with a shot from outside the box. But, it was Megan Rapinoe who stole the show for OL Reign with a second-half assist and stoppage-time winner as the visitors prevailed, 2-1. The Pride’s next match will be at home on Sept. 9 against the last team to beat them — the Portland Thorns.

Orlando City Braces for the Pigeons

Tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. will mark the 21st meeting between Orlando City and NYCFC throughout the club’s history across all competitions. The Pigeons serve as the Lions’ most frequent opposition since both entered MLS as expansion clubs in 2015. Orlando City has not lost to NYCFC in Orlando since the 2018 campaign, drawing five times across all competitions — MLS regular season, MLS playoffs, and U.S. Open Cup — with two penalty shootout wins. The Lions also beat New York City FC in the MLS is Back Tournament at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in 2020. Tesho Akindele leads all current Orlando City players with three goals against NYCFC in seven appearances. Having finally opened his scoring account for the year in Orlando’s last match, he will hope to find favor in Head Coach Oscar Parjea’s eyes to get another shot at scoring a goal vs. a team he typically performs well against. If he were to score, it would be his 20th goal for the club

U.S. Soccer CBA Signing Scheduled

The U.S. Soccer Federation, USWNT Players Association, and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) will officially sign the historic new collective bargaining agreements on Sept. 6. The signing will take place on the pitch immediately following the USWNT’s match against Nigeria at Audi Field.

Under these agreements, U.S. Soccer is the first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money awarded to the men’s and women’s players of its senior national teams for participation in their respective World Cups. Signatures that will be on the documents include: USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone, USWNTPA officers Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Samantha Mewis, and Becca Roux, and representatives of the USNSTPA.

Projecting the USMNT’s World Cup Roster

In just a little over two months, all questions will be answered on Nov. 9 about which men will be on the plane to Qatar. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter will reveal the official U.S. 26-man roster. While there are some players who could make a late charge and name for themselves, here are a few locks that we can count on.

At goalkeeper, Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Matt Turner (Arsenal), and Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough) will likely all make the cut. The only question would be which is Berhalter’s first choice in goal. We can expect Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), and Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) to be among those holding down the back line. As for the midfield, Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), and Weston McKennie (Juventus) are all but certain to already have tickets in hand. And rounding out the attack, we expect to see Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), and Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund).

Some players who might be on the bubble include FC Cincinnati striker Brandon Vázquez, who has been having quite the year and is in form for his club, alongside European players Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Tim Weah (Lille), and Haji Wright (Antalyaspor).

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City has released the 2022 version of “The Moniker Kits.” Let us know in the comments below which is your favorite.

Well, that’s a wrap on today’s edition of Lion Links. I hope you enjoy your Saturday despite not having an Orlando team playing. But rest up and get your lungs ready because we’ll be back in Exploria Stadium tomorrow before you know it. Vamos Orlando!