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Lion Links: 2/13/23

Orlando City draws the Colorado Rapids, Rafael Santos gets official welcome, Canada will participate in SheBelieves Cup, and more.

Orlando City B v New England Revolution II

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! How about that Super Bowl? I have to say that Rihanna killed the halftime show. Did you know she’s a billionaire at 34 years old? There was also a football (not futbol) game (not match) played, and it was entertaining.

As a Cowboys fan, I’m happy that the Eagles didn’t win, but if I’m being honest, it wasn’t as important to me as a regular season match for Orlando City, so I was just happy to see an exciting game. Congratulations, Kansas City. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Draws Colorado

The Lions remained unbeaten in preseason play thanks to a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids in Exploria Stadium on Saturday night. Neither club was able to get the upper hand in the first half, but the Rapids pulled out to a 2-0 lead in the second half on goals from Cole Bassett in the 58th minute and a penalty kick by Diego Rubio in the 68th minute.

It didn’t take long for Orlando City to get back into the match thanks to a 70th-minute goal by Gastón González, with Dagur Dan Thórhallsson providing the assist.

The Lions completed the comeback in the 79th minute when Jack Lynn evened the score for Orlando City.

The Lions are back in action this Wednesday in a closed match against my alma mater, Stetson University.

Rafael Santos Receives an Official Welcome

We now know that Orlando City defender Rafael Santos will wear No. 3 for the Lions this season. Along with Luca Petrasso, he will help fill the void left by Joao Moutinho at left back. The 25-year-old signed a two-year contract with option years for 2025 and 2026. He didn’t play in the team’s preseason match this past weekend, but could feature in Wednesday’s match or in the team’s final preseason match against the New England Revolution on Saturday.

Canada Will Play in the SheBelieves Cup

On Friday, the Canadian Women’s National Team announced it was going on strike over budget cuts and more equitable funding. After speaking with Canada Soccer, the Canadian Soccer Players Association released a statement regarding those talks. The strike has been called off and players resumed training for the SheBelieves Cup match against the U.S. on Thursday at Exploria Stadium.

Despite the team returning to work, forward Christine Sinclair made it clear that the fight is not over.

Canada Soccer put out a statement making it clear that the organization “respects the players’ right to organize,” but that the team is not in a legal strike position under Ontario labor law.

English Premier League Condemns Tragedy Chanting

Much of the controversy in the match between Leeds United and Manchester United came from the supporters for both sides, as they chanted “tragedy chants” about the other team. Leeds supporters made airplane gestures and sang songs about the 1958 Munich air crash that killed 23 people. In response, United fans chanted “Istanbul” — a reference to two Leeds supporters being stabbed to death in the Turkish city prior to a UEFA Cup semifinal against Galatasaray in 2000. The English Premier League made a statement that it is treating this growing problem with a matter of urgency. Both incidents were condemned by officials from both clubs as well.

As for the match, USMNT players Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie got their second start together for Leeds. Fellow American Brenden Aaronson subbed on in the 73rd minute, but the trio was not able to provide any goals in a 2-0 loss.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today, folks. Have a great week. Vamos Orlando and go USA!