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Lion Links: 3/9/23

Orlando Pride celebrate International Women’s Day, Women’s Gold Cup announced for 2024, Bayern Munich and AC Milan advance in Champions League, and more.

FC Bayern Munchen v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Hernandez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to the time changing this weekend. Losing that hour of sleep Saturday night will be rough, but it will be nice to have more sunshine to enjoy in the evenings. Before we dive into today’s links, I just want to wish a happy birthday to my mom, who has been an Orlando City soccer fan for as long as I have. I can’t wait to head to a match with her and the rest of my family later this year. Now, let’s enjoy these links from around the soccer world!

Orlando Pride Celebrate International Women’s Day

As part of International Women’s Day Wednesday, all of the women in the Orlando Pride’s front office came out to the team’s training to celebrate and support the players. Orlando Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter spoke on how the players and staff are working towards creating both a winning team and a winning culture in Orlando. Founder Kay Rawlins was also in attendance and talked about the continued investment into the Pride and how much the team has grown since its creation.

Spoiler alert: Carter is this week’s guest on The Mane Land PawedCast, which will drop later this morning.

Women’s Gold Cup Coming in 2024

Concacaf announced the dates and format of the inaugural W Gold Cup set to take place in 2024. The new tournament will take place in the U.S. next year, with the 12-team group stage starting on Feb. 20. The U.S. has already qualified after winning the 2022 Concacaf W Championship and will be joined by the winner of an Olympic playoff between Jamaica and Canada. As part of a partnership between Concacaf and CONMEBOL, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Paraguay will also take part in the tournament. The remaining six spots will be claimed by Concacaf nations, with qualification set for this fall. The tournament will feature three groups of four teams, with eight advancing to a single-elimination knockout stage.

CBS Golazo Network Launches Next Month

CBS announced that it is launching a 24-hour digital network dedicated to soccer on April 11. The CBS Golazo Network will feature live matches, analysis, and a two-hour morning show hosted by Susannah Collins. Former Orlando City and Pride reporter Jenny Chiu will also be providing updates of the day’s top stories. The network will launch for free on and other digital platforms, as well as on Paramount+. Personally, I’m looking forward to how this should put more of a spotlight on soccer in the U.S., particularly the National Women’s Soccer League, since those matches are streamed on Paramount+.

Bayern Munich and AC Milan Advance in Champions League

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe both started for Paris Saint-Germain, but the French club came up short in a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich. After a scoreless first half, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored for Bayern in the 61st minute and Serge Gnabry put the game out of reach with another goal in the 89th. While plenty of attention will be on PSG’s exit, Bayern deserves credit for excelling despite a tough draw. The German club has faced Inter Milan, FC Barcelona, and PSG twice, but has only conceded two goals this tournament.

In the other match, AC Milan kept Tottenham Hotspur’s attack quiet in a scoreless draw in London. Neither team managed to put a shot on target in the first half, and a second yellow card to Cristian Romero in the 78th minute put a dent in Tottenham’s hopes. Harry Kane had a chance to score in stoppage time, but Mike Maignan came up with the save and AC Milan advanced on aggregate.

Free Kicks
  • Former Orlando Pride assistant coach Khano Smith was named head coach and general manager of Rhode Island FC.
  • Select matches from the first three rounds of the U.S. Open Cup will be streamed on the Bleacher Report app and YouTube channel. Orlando City won’t join the tournament until the round of 32, but it should still be a nice way to watch the tournament for free.
  • FC Cincinnati signed defender Nick Hagglund to a contract extension through the 2024 season. The 30-year-old is Cincy’s all-time leader in minutes, appearances, and starts.
  • After less than three months in charge, Scott Parker was sacked by Club Brugge following the Belgian club’s 5-1 loss to Benfica. Brugge won just two of its 12 matches with Parker at the helm.
  • Marcia Tafarel was named as the first coach of the U.S. Women’s Futsal National Team.

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