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Lion Links: 2/17/23

The Wall is sold out for Orlando City’s season opener, USWNT beats Canada, Marta assists for Brazil, and more.

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2023 SheBelieves Cup - Japan v Brazil Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all have been enjoying the soccer this week as we get ready for even more this weekend. Orlando City and the Orlando Pride both have preseason matches tomorrow as they get ready for their seasons. I don’t have many plans this weekend other than trying out a Peruvian restaurant tonight with some friends. Let’s get this Friday started off right with today’s links!

The Wall is Sold Out for Orlando City Season Opener

All general public tickets for Exploria Stadium’s supporters section, The Wall, have been sold out for Orlando City’s season opener against the New York Red Bulls on Feb. 25. A limited number of tickets in The Wall are still available for those who decide to become season ticket members. I won’t be in attendance due to a wedding next weekend, but it’s nice knowing that the Lions will start their season with plenty of support at home.

“Our supporters have answered the call and continue to show why they are the best in Major League Soccer,” Orlando City SC President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon said. “The home opener always has a special energy about it and our supporters and Season Ticket Members play a massive role in creating the atmosphere. Exploria Stadium is going to be rocking this season and will continue to live up to its reputation as one of the toughest places to play in MLS because of our fans.”

USWNT Beats Canada in SheBelieves Cup

Mallory Swanson (née Pugh) scored a brace in the United States Women’s National Team’s 2-0 win over Canada. Both of her goals came in the first half and she now has five goals for the USWNT in 2023. Former Pride forward Alex Morgan was the team’s captain and provided the assist on Swanson’s first goal. Alyssa Naeher started in goal for the U.S. and came up with three saves in the shutout.

Before the match, the players from both sides stood together in solidarity and wore wrist tape for gender equality and transgender rights. This comes after the Canadian players tried striking last week and announced they are playing the SheBelieves Cup in protest.

Marta Assists in Brazil’s Win Over Japan

In her first match since tearing her ACL last March, Orlando Pride star Marta provided the assist in Brazil’s 1-0 win over Japan to kick off the SheBelieves Cup. Marta came off the bench in the 68th minute, earning cheers from the crowd at Exploria Stadium. Shortly after, she linked up with Debinha for the game’s only goal.

Brazilian forward Adriana, who the Pride signed last month, played every minute of the match and did well at different positions. It will be fun to watch Marta and Adriana fuel the Pride’s offense this upcoming NWSL season. After the win, Marta spoke on her return to the field and how she’ll be back in Exploria Stadium soon.

Europa League Action Returns

Manchester United and FC Barcelona battled to an exciting 2-2 draw at Camp Nou. After a scoreless first half, Barcelona’s Marcos Alonso got the scoring started in the 50th minute. Manchester United responded well with a pair of goals within the next 10 minutes thanks to some good plays from Marcus Rashford. Raphinha equalized for Barcelona in the 76th minute and the game finished level. Elsewhere in the Europa League, RB Salzburg’s Nicolas Capaldo scored a late winner to beat AS Roma 1-0, Ajax and Union Berlin played to a scoreless draw, and Sevilla beat PSV Eindhoven 3-0.

In the Europa Conference League, Fiorentina went to Portugal and beat SC Braga 4-0 while Lazio won 1-0 over CFR Cluj. Turkish club Trabzonspor hosted Basel and won 1-0 after a goal from Jens Stryger Larsen.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City teased part of its new primary jersey, which will be fully revealed tomorrow before its preseason match against the New England Revolution at Exploria Stadium.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend!