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Lion Links: 4/20/22 – The Mane Land

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Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. The Lions will be in action tonight in their U.S. Open Cup third-round match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and I’m looking forward to it. There is plenty to cover today so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Takes On the Rowdies Tonight

The third round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup continues at Exploria Stadium tonight as the Lions host the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the I-4 Derby. This will be the first competitive game between the two rivals since 2014. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. and you can watch it on ESPN+. The Rowdies are coming into tonight’s match in good form after defeating FC Tulsa 3-1 this past weekend in the USL Championship. The Rowdies are in third place in the USL Eastern Conference with 12 points. One player to keep an eye on is Jake LaCava, who is on loan from the New York Red Bulls and is the Rowdies’ leading scorer with three goals.

Orlando City has not lost to the Rowdies in competitive matches going back to 2013. The last time the U.S. Open Cup was played back in 2019, the Lions made it all the way to the semifinals before falling to Atlanta United. If Mauricio Pereyra gets an assist tonight, it will give him the all-time club record across all competitions for Orlando City.

Orlando City to Host Arsenal This Summer in Friendly

Orlando City announced that the club will play a midseason friendly against English Premier League club Arsenal in July. The match will be on July 20 at Exploria Stadium and this will be the first meeting between these two clubs. The last time the Lions faced an English Premier League opponent in a friendly was back in 2016 when the Lions hosted Stoke City in Melbourne. This match will be part of the “FC Series,” which is a national expansion of the Florida Cup featuring clubs from around the globe. The other match fans in Orlando can check out will be the London Derby on July 23 when Arsenal takes on Chelsea at Camping World Stadium as part of the Florida Cup.

Gaston Gonzalez Injures Knee

You will need a translation for the full details as 20-year-old Argentine winger Gaston Gonzalez injured his knee in Union Santa Fe’s game against San Lorenzo and had to exit the match on a stretcher. This news comes after reports that Orlando City signed the winger as a U22 Initiative signing and that he would join the Lions in early May following discussions between Orlando and Union Santa Fe dating back to December. Medical tests will be conducted to determine the full extent of his injury and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Third Round U.S. Open Cup Action Begins

The third round of the U.S. Open Cup kicked off last night with 11 matches as MLS teams entered the tournament. Union Omaha became the first USL League One team to oust an MLS side in the Open Cup after winning a penalty shootout against the Chicago Fire. The Columbus Crew were also eliminated after Detroit City FC came back from a goal down to win 2-1.

All other MLS sides survived their matches though. Inter Miami advanced past Miami FC thanks to a late goal from Leonardo Campana, DC United won 3-0 over Flower City Union, and FC Cincinnati needed extra time to defeat the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-0. In Texas, FC Dallas beat FC Tulsa 2-1 while Houston Dynamo left back Sam Junqua scored in stoppage time to help his team win 2-1 against the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. In California, the San Jose Earthquakes cruised to a 5-0 win over Bay Cities FC and the LA Galaxy held on for a 1-0 victory against Landon Donovan’s San Diego Loyal SC.

USWNT Learns Its Group for Concacaf Women’s Championship

The United States Women’s National Team now knows its opponents for the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship in Monterrey this summer. The USWNT was drawn into Group A and will face Mexico, Jamaica, and Haiti in the group stage that will begin on either July 4 or July 5. Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago were drawn into Group B. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the semifinals and also qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The third-place teams in each group will go to a World Cup playoff that will take place next February. The winner of this tournament will qualify directly to the 2024 Olympics as well.

Free Kicks
  • Former Lion Will Johnson will return to Central Florida Panthers SC for the upcoming 2022 National Premier Soccer League season.

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



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Philadelphia Union take draw streak into matchup with the Portland Timbers

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Philadelphia Union (5-1-6, first in the Eastern Conference) vs. Portland Timbers (3-4-6, seventh in the Western Conference)

Portland, Oregon; Sunday, 10 p.m. EDT

LINE: Portland +139, Philadelphia +189, Draw +241; over/under is 2.5 goals

BOTTOM LINE: The Philadelphia Union play the Portland Timbers after playing to a draw in five straight games.

The Timbers are 2-1-3 at home. Bill Tuiloma leads the sixth-ranked scoring team in the MLS with four goals. The Timbers have scored 20.

The Union are 2-1-2 in road games. The Union are first in the Eastern Conference conceding only nine goals.

The matchup Sunday is the first meeting this season between the two teams.

TOP PERFORMERS: Tuiloma has four goals for the Timbers. Jaroslaw Niezgoda has three goals over the last 10 games.

Daniel Gazdag has six goals and one assist for the Union. Julian Carranza has scored four goals over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Timbers: 2-4-4, averaging 1.6 goals, 4.0 shots on goal and 4.3 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.8 goals per game.

Union: 4-1-5, averaging 1.3 goals, 4.7 shots on goal and 4.7 corner kicks per game while allowing 0.7 goals per game.

NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY: Timbers: Diego Gutierrez (injured), George Fochive (injured), Felipe Mora (injured), David Ayala (injured), Blake Bodily (injured), Claudio Bravo (injured), Jaroslaw Niezgoda (injured), Larrys Mabiala (injured).

Union: Mikael Uhre (injured).

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Salloi and Sporting Kansas City visit the San Jose Earthquakes

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Sporting Kansas City (3-7-3, 13th in the Western Conference) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-4, 11th in the Western Conference)

San Jose, California; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

LINE: San Jose -156, Sporting Kansas City +402, Draw +300; over/under is 2.5 goals

BOTTOM LINE: Daniel Salloi leads Sporting Kansas City into a matchup with the San Jose Earthquakes after a two-goal showing against the Colorado Rapids.

The Earthquakes are 3-2-3 against Western Conference opponents. The Earthquakes have a 3-2 record in one-goal games.

Sporting KC is 3-5-1 in conference play. Sporting KC has a 3-2 record in games decided by one goal.

The matchup Sunday is the first meeting this season between the two teams.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jeremy Ebobisse has seven goals and one assist for the Earthquakes. Jamiro Monteiro has scored three goals over the past 10 games.

Salloi has four goals for Sporting KC. Johnny Russell has scored three goals over the past 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Earthquakes: 3-4-3, averaging 1.8 goals, 4.3 shots on goal and 6.0 corner kicks per game while allowing 2.2 goals per game.

Sporting KC: 2-5-3, averaging 1.0 goal, 3.6 shots on goal and 2.2 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.9 goals per game.

NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY: Earthquakes: George Asomani (injured).

Sporting KC: Gadi Kinda (injured), Alan Pulido (injured), Daniel Salloi (injured), Nikola Vujnovic (injured), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (injured), Andreu Fontas (injured), Ozzie Cisneros (injured), Khiry Shelton (injured), Graham Zusi (injured), Johnny Russell (injured).

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CF Montreal hosts Real Salt Lake in non-conference action

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Real Salt Lake (5-3-4, fifth in the Western Conference) vs. CF Montreal (6-4-2, second in the Eastern Conference)

Montreal, Quebec; Sunday, 4 p.m. EDT

LINE: Montreal -142, Real Salt Lake +393, Draw +273; over/under is 2.5 goals

BOTTOM LINE: CF Montreal and Real Salt Lake take the pitch in non-conference play.

Montreal is 3-1-0 at home. Montreal is 4-0-0 when it records a pair of goals.

RSL is 1-3-3 in road games. RSL is fifth in the league drawing 68 corner kicks, averaging 5.7 per game.

The teams meet Sunday for the first time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Djordje Mihailovic has scored six goals and added three assists for Montreal. Kei Kamara has three goals and three assists over the past 10 games.

Bobby Wood has two goals and one assist for RSL. Tate Schmitt has two goals over the past 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Montreal: 6-2-2, averaging 2.2 goals, 4.5 shots on goal and 4.5 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.7 goals per game.

RSL: 4-3-3, averaging 1.1 goals, 3.8 shots on goal and 5.4 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.6 goals per game.

NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY: Montreal: Mason Toye (injured), Bjorn Johnsen (injured), Tomas Giraldo (injured).

RSL: Zack Farnsworth (injured), Bret Halsey (injured), Erik Lee Holt (injured), Jonathan Menendez (injured), Anderson Julio (injured), Scott Caldwell (injured), Damir Kreilach (injured).

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