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Lion Links: 3/17/23

Orlando City speciality license plates are available, Orlando Pride announce 2023 season kickoff events, Women’s World Cup prize money increases, and more.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers and happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I’ve been very busy at work lately but looking forward to catching up with friends up here in Chicago later tonight. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Speciality License Plates Available

Remember back when Orlando City played its inaugural season in Major League Soccer in 2015, and it seemed like everyone in town had those OCSC purple magnets on their cars? If you’re looking to show your love and passion for the Lions on your vehicle, well you’re in luck. Orlando City fans can now purchase a speciality license plate. You can grab these speciality license plates at your local tax collector’s office. If you’re a season ticket holder, and signed up for the pre-season voucher, you can redeem it at your local tax collector’s office. More than 3,000 fans have signed up in advance to purchase these Orlando City speciality plates, so go get yours now and beat the crowd.

Orlando Pride Announce 2023 Season Kickoff Events

The Orlando Pride announced the 2023 Kickoff to Soccer events leading up to their home opener on Sunday, April 2 against Angel City FC. The first event you can check out will be Queen of the Road on Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. This event will feature the Orlando Pride jersey reveal, live art displays, interactive photo opportunities, and more. Scarf the City is back for the fourth time in club history and will be on Wednesday, March 29. If you like scavenger hunts, this is the event you don’t want to miss, with more than 1,000 scarves being distributed across Central Florida. The club will pick iconic locations in the area, but if you can find these scarves, you’ll get an exclusive ticket deal for the home opener and win special prizes.

Women’s Word Cup Prize Money Increases

The winner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will receive $150 million in prize money. This increase is 300% over the 2019 World Cup, but is only a third of what the men’s team gets for winning the World Cup. Argentina, the winners of the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar, received $440 million in prize money. FIFA is working towards parity between the men’s and women’s World Cups by 2027. FIFA President Gianni Infantino also unveiled his plan to close the gap for prize money to include equal conditions and services for men and women at the World Cup and to create a dedicated marketing strategy for the women’s game.

Manchester United Advances in Europa League, Arsenal Goes Out on Penalties

Manchester United went on the road and defeated Real Betis 1-0 with a goal from Marcus Rashford and advance to the Europa League quarterfinals by cruising through with a 5-1 aggregate advantage. There was intense drama at the Emirates as Arsenal lost to Sporting Lisbon 5-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in the second leg. The first leg between these two sides ended in a 2-2 draw back in Portugal last week. Check out this amazing, second-half equalizer from Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Goncalves.

After an entertaining 3-3 draw in the first leg, Union Berlin was not able to find the back of the net on the road in the second leg as Union St. Gilloise won 3-0 and advances 6-3 on aggregate to the quarterfinals. Despite losing 1-0 on the road, Sevilla still advances 2-1 on aggregate over Fenerbahce to the next round. Feyenoord, Juventus, AS Roma, and Bayer Leverkusen also advanced to the quarterfinals.

Free Kicks
  • The Canadian Men’s National Team released its 23-man roster for its Concacaf Nations League matches this month. Former Lions Kamal Miller, Cyle Larin, and Richie Laryea made the squad.
  • Major League Soccer and MLS Next announced the 2023 Generation Adidas Cup will feature 49 clubs from 12 different countries alongside the MLS academies and compete in the both the U-17 and U-15 tournaments.
  • USMNT and Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic gave his perspective on the Gregg Berhalter and Gio Reyna post-World Cup drama.
  • Angel City FC has dropped its secondary jersey for the 2023 NWSL season.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Friday and I’ll see you next time.