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Lion Links: 3/13/23

Duncan McGuire’s good start, Central Florida Crusaders win, USMNT players abroad, Barcelona’s legal troubles, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. The busy week continues with two matches for Orlando City. We here at The Mane Land are also getting closer to our personal independence day. Thanks to the generous support of you, our readers and listeners, we will be able to continue bringing you coverage of the Lions, the Pride, and OCB to the best of our ability. Thank you, again. Let’s get to the links.

New Lions Stand Out

It was the best possible first match for Orlando City rookie Duncan McGuire. He had his first start, his first goal, and his first celebration in Orlando’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United. McGuire got the start as Head Coach Oscar Pareja rotated the roster in preparation for Orlando’s Concacaf Champions League game on Wednesday against Tigres at Exploria Stadium. The 22-year-old took full advantage of his chance, as did Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, who went the full 90 minutes and provided his first assist of the season. McGuire is in excellent company after scoring in his first MLS appearance.

Central Florida Crusaders Keep Winning

The Central Florida Crusaders men’s team stayed a perfect 7-0 on the season after a 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Strikers. Raphael Tobias scored a hat trick, and Eduardo Cruz scored a brace and added four assists for the Crusaders. Central Florida will get a small break before the Fayetteville Fury come to town for back-to-back matches on March 25 and 26.

The women’s team won as well, beating the Strikers, 10-9. Nicole DiPerna scored five of the team’s goals, including the winner in overtime after a nice move to beat Tampa’s goalkeeper. With the win, the Crusaders improved to 4-3 and sit second in the league.

Keeping Up With the Americans Abroad

It was a good weekend for a few Americans playing in leagues outside the U.S. In the Turkish Super Lig, Haji Wright made his first start for Antalyaspor since January. All he did with the opportunity was score a brace and provide an assist in his club’s 4-0 victory over Kayserispor.

Over in the Scottish League, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers helped Celtic’s run for the treble by scoring his club’s third goal to defeat Hearts 3-0 and advance to the semifinals.

While Carter-Vickers was scoring, Ethan Horvath was stopping goals in Luton Town’s 1-0 road win over Sheffield United. He made five saves to claim his 15th clean sheet of the season since being loaned to Luton by Nottingham Forest.

Real Madrid Will Take Legal Action Amid Barcelona Scandal

FC Barcelona has been accused of paying €7.3 million in bribes to the former vice president of Spain’s referees’ committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, between 2001 and 2018 for favorable actions for Barcelona in various competitions. Real Madrid released a statement that it will join the legal case against Barcelona over the alleged payments. Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, claims that the club is completely innocent.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando Pride hosted season ticket members for an open training session and “chalk talk” at Exploria Stadium. It looks like they all had a great time.

That will do it for today. Check back for our ongoing coverage as Orlando City takes on Tigres Wednesday.