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Lion Links: 3/8/23

Orlando City draws with Tigres in Concacaf Champions League debut, Orlando Pride sign Summer Yates, MLS power rankings, and more.

Tigres UANL v Orlando City - Concacaf Champions League 2023 Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope you all enjoyed the game last night as Orlando City made its debut in the Concacaf Champions League against Tigres UANL. I was working late last night but did have time to watch some of the match. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Draws With Tigres in Mexico

In its first ever Concacaf Champions League match, Orlando City played Tigres to a scoreless draw in Mexico. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was a major reason why the Lions are heading back to Orlando with a result. It was just the sixth time in tournament history that an MLS side had a clean sheet on the road against a Mexican club. The Peruvian came up with eight saves to deny Tigres and was named Player of the Match.

Although Orlando’s offense still hasn’t found its footing, this was a great result against one of the top teams in Liga MX. The second leg will take place next Wednesday at Exploria Stadium. It should be an exciting match, but Orlando is going to have to find a way to put the ball in the net if it wants to advance.

Orlando Pride Sign Summer Yates

The Orlando Pride announced the signing of 2023 NWSL fourth-round draft pick Summer Yates to a multi-year contract. Yates has agreed to a two-year contract, with a club option for the 2025 NWSL season as well. She made 93 appearances in five seasons at the University of Washington, starting in 86 matches. The midfielder should not only help Orlando maintain the ball better, but she can create chances as well. Defender Tori Hansen and forward Kristen Scott are the only players drafted by the club that remain unsigned at this time.

Latest MLS Power Rankings

After Orlando’s scoreless draw against FC Cincinnati, the Lions moved down three spots to 10th in the latest power rankings. The New York Red Bulls, which Orlando beat in the opener, remained in ninth despite a scoreless draw with Nashville SC. However, in’s power rankings, the Lions stayed in the fourth spot. Orlando rotated its roster for that match against Cincy and that may have helped the team secure a draw against Tigres as well. The Lions now head into their first roach match of the season this Saturday against D.C. United.

Orlando Pride Preseason Roster Update

The Orlando Pride shared updates on their roster in preparation for the 2023 NWSL season. Former Pride defender Konya Plummer is a non-roster invitee, alongside forward Maliah Morris, defender Brianna Martinez, midfielder Thais Reiss, and goalkeeper McKinley Crone. The Pride will kick off their season on the road against the Portland Thorns on March 26. Their home opener will be on April 2 at Exploria Stadium against Angel City FC.

Austin FC Upset in More Concacaf Champions League Action

Austin FC lost 3-0 on the road against Haitian side Violette AC in its Concacaf Champions league debut. Forward Miche-Naider Chéry was dominant in the air and scored twice in the first half to put Violette ahead. Former Lion Amro Tarek gave up an own goal shortly after halftime and Austin failed to get a goal of its own in the first leg. The Philadelphia Union were also on the road as they battled Alianza to a scoreless draw in El Salvador. Neither side was able to get much going offensively, due in part to the state of the pitch. However, the match did feature a dog running onto the field in the 70th minute.

As for the other MLS clubs in the tournament, the Vancouver Whitecaps will host Honduran club Real Espana at 10 p.m. tonight and LAFC will take on Alajuelense tomorrow in Costa Rica.

Chelsea and Benfica Advance to Champions League Quarterfinals

Chelsea edged out Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate to advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. The English club came into the second leg down 1-0, but was able to win 2-0 in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Raheem Sterling scored the first goal to get the Blues level on aggregate. Kai Havertz scored from the penalty spot in the second half and Chelsea held on for the win to advance. In Portugal, Benfica cruised past Club Brugge to win 5-1 and advance. In today’s matches, Paris Saint-Germain will look to overcome a 1-0 deficit as it takes on Bayern Munich in Germany, while Tottenham Hotspur will look to do the same when it hosts AC Milan.

Free Kicks
  • Tottenham has breached its stadium license agreement by selling a fifth date to host a Beyonce concert.
  • UEFA will give Liverpool fans who had tickets to last year’s UEFA Champions League final a full refund. This is due to the chaotic scenes outside Le Parc des Princes that caused hundreds of fans to miss the match.
  • FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation will face an antitrust lawsuit after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Relevent Sports to proceed to a trial after the federation refused to sanction a league match between Ecuadorian clubs Barcelona SC and Guayaquil in Miami.
  • Botafogo forward Tiquinho Soares was given an eight-match ban for headbutting a referee during a match in Brazil.

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