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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/7/23

Orlando City loses appeal for Wilder Cartagena’s red card, Carly Nelson nominated for NWSL Save of the Week, OCB faces New England tonight, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

How’s it going, Mane Landers? Fall may not officially be here, but I’ve been enjoying the less oppressive heat and pumpkin spice. I recently finished the second season of The Afterparty on Apple TV+ and recommend it if you like mysteries with some humor. Every episode is told in a different genre or style, which makes for a fun watch. Now, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world!

Orlando City Loses Appeal for Wilder Cartagena’s Red Card

Orlando City was reportedly unsuccessful in its appeal of Wilder Cartagena’s red card late in the Lions’ 1-0 road win over FC Cincinnati. It was Orlando’s first failed appeal, and each club is allowed two unsuccessful appeals during the season. As a result, the Peruvian midfielder will miss Orlando’s pivotal match with the Columbus Crew on Sept. 16. Cartagena was also fined an undisclosed amount for failing to leave the field in a timely fashion in the eyes of the MLS Disciplinary Committee.

Carly Nelson Nominated for NWSL Save of the Week

Orlando Pride goalkeeper Carly Nelson was up for NWSL Save of the Week for her stop against OL Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock. Nelson did well to jump and get enough on the dipping shot from distance to tip it safely over the crossbar. The 25-year-old was called into action early on in the Pride’s 1-0 loss to the Reign after Anna Moorhouse was shown a red card in the third minute. She finished third in the NWSL Save of the Week voting, with Angel City FC’s Angelina Anderson narrowly beating out Kansas City Current goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. Although Nelson didn’t win, it’s nice to see her earn some recognition for her performance off the bench in a tough environment.

Orlando City B Takes On New England Revolution II Tonight

OCB is on the road tonight for a match against New England Revolution II at 7 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. It’s a big match for the Young Lions, as a win would clinch them a spot in the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs for the first time. It will also be a tough challenge, as New England has already qualified for the playoffs and has not lost a game since June 18. OCB will likely need forward Jack Lynn to be on the top of his game. Lynn’s 17 goals this season are the most in the league alongside New York City FC II’s Matt Myers.

Houston Dash Part Ways With Sam Laity

Sam Laity is no longer the head coach of the Houston Dash, with the club parting ways with him amid an eight-game winless run in league play. The Dash are 10th in the standings and have only won four games this season, the fewest in the league. Laity joined the team in December of 2022 after years as an assistant coach with OL Reign, but struggled to find a consistent run of form in Houston. The Dash remain in playoff contention, with six points separating them from a playoff spot. An interim head coach has not yet been named for the remaining four games of the season.

Marko Mitrovic Named U.S. Men’s U-23 Head Coach

U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker has chosen Marko Mitrovic to coach the United States U-23 Men’s National Team. Mitrovic has been the head coach of the U-19 team since April of last year, and also served as an assistant for the first team’s interim head coaches this year. The U-23 team’s first training camp with Mitrovic at the helm will be next month, as it begins preparations for next year’s Olympics. Michael Nsien, who has coached the U-16 team since November, was named as the new coach for the U-19 team.

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

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  1. Zontar

    September 7, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    The decision to appeal Cartagena’s red card was poor. But he clearly refused to leave the pitch and he is very very lucky that he was only fined for this. Had he been given an extra game suspension and a fine, I would not have been surprised.

    • Michael Citro

      September 7, 2023 at 10:13 pm

      He’s not really lucky at all. The penalty for not leaving the field in a timely manner is always a fine. Never been anything more. Orlando City (and many other teams) have had players hang around for much longer after being sent off, especially since video review was instituted. With seven games left, the decision to make the appeal was sound. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot there to even give the red for in the first place. You get two, and with only a couple of games left, might as well roll the dice because he’d certainly be a big help against Columbus.

      • Zontar

        September 8, 2023 at 10:04 am

        After reading Michael’s comments I looked into it and he is absolutely right. Every case I found where the league complained about a player not leaving in time actually only resulted in a fine and all the “extra suspensions” were actually related to original red card offense and not the failure to leave on time. I stand corrected.

        • Hoganisme

          September 8, 2023 at 11:02 am

          Zontar, are the decisions re “not leaving on time” by league rule or judgment of the league? Could a player receive an “extra suspension” for delay in leaving the pitch after a red card if he just raised hell?

          • Zontar

            September 8, 2023 at 3:30 pm

            I could not find even one instance of a player actually getting suspended for conduct related to leaving after a red card. Can’t speak to who decides whether you leave on time or not. Probably some kind of CBA rule on that. Every red card is examined by the league though.

          • Michael Citro

            September 8, 2023 at 8:52 pm

            Virtually every player who gets red carded (or even gets a second yellow) ends up on the weekly disciplinary summary for getting fined for not leaving in a timely manner. I’m not sure what constitutes a timely manner (or if there is one, maybe this is a money maker for the league, lol), but almost no one does it. Robin Jansson once left pretty much immediately but still got fined because he walked the length of the field (a direct straight line from where he was shown the card to the locker room) rather than going off by the closest sideline and then heading for the locker room.

  2. Hoganisme

    September 8, 2023 at 6:47 am

    Cartagena is a rugged player. He plays hardball because that is his job and his instinct. He also plays to protect his teammates from dirty tactics.
    The difference between a rookie and a seasoned veteran is that the veteran knows how to get away with it.
    I think Cartagena is the main reason City’s defense has significantly improved this year.
    A few minutes before he received the red card a Cincy player elbowed Cartagena in the head. IMO Cartagena responded with a rookie retaliation.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/18/23

Enrique’s great day, Pride upset the Courage, USMNT players abroad, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. I was feeling a bit under the weather starting Saturday afternoon, but that huge comeback win definitely helped. I was starting to feel better by Sunday afternoon, but by the end of the Pride match I was right as rain. Winning really does make everything better. Let’s get to the links.

Enrique’s Very Good, Not Bad Day

Ramiro Enrique was already a hero for scoring the equalizer in the 86th minute against the visiting Columbus Crew. It wasn’t enough for the young striker, as he earned a free kick close enough to goal to give Orlando City the opportunity to win the match. That still wasn’t enough for Enrique, so he decided to score the winner. If you somehow forgot what it looked like, please enjoy watching it over and over again.

Oscar Pareja said he was proud of his team and confident that the Lions could not only earn a draw but actually win in the last 15 minutes of the match. That belief was held by the players as well. Enrique experienced a moment of pure joy after scoring the winner — you can see it in his celebration — though he was most happy for the three points. Mauricio Pereyra said he is just proud to be the captain of this team. I think it is safe to say that after that result we’re all proud of this team.

Orlando Pride Stun Courage

Two first-half goals were enough to give the Orlando Pride a rare 2-1 win against the North Carolina Courage and in September. Neither of those things have historically come easy for the Pride, but given the fact that Ally Watt scoring the earliest goal in Pride history set the right tone for the evening. The win moved the the Pride into seventh place and — just as importantly — only one spot out of the playoffs. The Pride will be in action next on Oct. 2 at Angel City. If you missed our recap late last night, click the link above and enjoy Sean Rollins’ description of the match.

How USMNT Players Fared Abroad

Folarin Balogun went right from scoring a goal for the USMNT to scoring a goal for AS Monaco in a 2-2 draw with Lorient. Balogun came on as a sub and provided the equalizer for his new club. The USMNT striker is red hot, as is Ricardo Pepi, which makes Gregg Berhalter’s choice difficult going forward. Weston McKennie made his 100th appearance for Juventus and provided an assist in a 3-1 win over Lazio. Much like he did for the USMNT, McKennie played an excellent match.

English Premier League Highlights

Manchester City and Liverpool each scored three goals to win easily against West Ham United and Wolves, respectively. The two top four clubs earned easy, controversy-free victories. However, both Tottenham and Arsenal won, but they did not do so easily or without controversy.

Everton is not good. The Toffees are sitting in the relegation zone with zero wins and only one draw so far this season. Despite that, it took Arsenal until the 69th minute to score the only goal of the match to get the win. It was even harder for Tottenham, given it took two second-half, stoppage-time goals to defeat Sheffield United. United manager Paul Heckingbottom was furious with the officiating.

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  • Do you think you can play in most pick-up soccer matches? You almost certainly cannot make the cut for this one in Manchester, England. The players were once paid to play, though they now pay to play — they play a whopping £5.
  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino attended the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday. AT&T Stadium is a possible venue for the next World Cup. Does anyone else think — and I say this as a Cowboys fan — that this was a meeting of the sports equivalent of the Legion of Doom?
  • Never mind that, this is the actual Axis of Evil. I can’t believe I’m giving Atlanta United credit, but this was well done at Inter Miami’s expense.

Check back with The Mane Land as we get you ready for the midweek match Wednesday against New York City FC. That will do it for today other than one plea to the Orlando City front office and the Wilf family: please give Oscar Pareja, Luiz Muzzi, and Ricardo Moreira new contracts. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/16/23

Orlando City resumes MLS play at home, Lions chasing milestones, OCB clinches a playoff spot, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B

Welcome to another matchday, Mane Landers! It seems like months since Orlando City’s last match, despite it only being a couple of weeks. It really makes you wonder how we can go a full off-season without our purple fix. Before the match tonight though, I’ll be heading outside with my buddy to get some rock climbing in. It is sunny and mid-60s here in Kentucky, so I’ll be making the most of the early fall weather.

Don’t get me wrong though, I still miss waking up and walking across the street to the beach every morning when I lived in Florida. Whatever your own location is, I’m glad we all get to call Exploria Stadium our personal “home away from home.” Now enough of the lovey-dovey reminiscing stuff, let’s get into today’s links!

Lions Kick Off Slew of Matches at Home

Orlando City resumes league play tonight at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts the Columbus Crew at Exploria Stadium. The Lions and the Crew last squared off in May earlier this season, where City fought to a second-half comeback 2-2 draw. Former Orlando City forward Ercan Kara and rookie striker Duncan McGuire scored to solidify the club’s third-straight unbeaten match against the Columbus. Today’s match is the first of three in a nine-day span for Orlando as the Lions face a quick turnaround for Wednesday’s road match against New York City FC. The team then turns around to host Inter Miami in the Tropic Thunder derby on Sunday.

Lions Hunting for Milestones

We have officially reached the latter part of the season when players and coaches can start to look down their personal goals lists to see just how well they have done this year. Head Coach Oscar Pareja is hunting two more wins to reach the milestone of 60 as the Lions’ manager. Another milestone hunter is Designated Player Facundo Torres, who currently sits level with former forward Dom Dwyer for fourth on Orlando City’s all-time scoring charts. The Uruguayn’s next goal would mark his 25th and tie him with club legend and inaugural MLS captain Kaká for third in club history. For the team as a whole, Orlando City has made it 10 straight home matches without a loss, which is the club’s longest-ever run within a single season in the MLS era.

Orlando Pride Need Wins for Playoff Run

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines is calling all supporters for the Pride’s must-win match at Exploria Stadium on Sunday. While the Pride have shown sparks of brilliance at times this year, they’ve lost 10 of their 18 games, leaving crucial points behind along the way. The club has massive six-pointers ahead against Angel City, Racing Louisville, and the Houston Dash. Gathering these pivotal wins would be necessary for the Pride to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2017.

Orlando Pride Releases 2023 Moniker Kits

In recent years, the Orlando front office has taken its merch game up a notch with Moniker jerseys of its different start players. This season, August NWSL Rookie of the Month Messiah Bright and captain Marta each earn the special edition honors. The kit includes a special design backing and a limited edition patch only attainable through buying the Moniker kits. Bright’s design is symbolic of a stained glass window, while Marta’s depicts her being the GOAT (greatest of all-time) of professional women’s soccer.

Orlando City B Clinches Playoff Spot with 1-1 Draw at Fire II

Orlando City B drew Chicago Fire II 1-1 last night at SeatGeek Stadium to clinch its spot in MLS NEXT Pro postseason play. The Young Lions were without the services of star striker Jack Lynn, who is likely suiting up for the senior team tonight following the departure of Ercan Kara. It only took 17 minutes for the Baby Sparks to find the net as Sergio Oregel finished off Billy Hency’s cross. In the 71st minute, Wilfredo Rivera stepped up in Lynn’s absence to level the match. Following full time, OCB’s 20-year-old Venezuelan keeper, Javier Otero, made two saves to secure the extra shootout point, 4-3.

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That’s all I have for you today. Let’s all enjoy the return of some first-time action tonight. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/15/23

Pedro Gallese stands out during the international break, Orlando Pride prepare for the North Carolina Courage, OCB takes on Chicago tonight, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

It’s finally Friday! I don’t know about you, but this week has felt like forever for me. I don’t have many plans this weekend beyond touring some apartments, packing, and working. Regardless, I’m looking forward to checking out some soccer when I can and enjoying being outside without melting into a puddle. Let’s get into today’s links!

Pedro Gallese Impressed During International Break

Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese stood out among the many MLS players who represented their countries during the recent international break. Gallese came up with six saves in Peru’s scoreless draw on the road against Paraguay, and then did well against Brazil in a 1-0 loss. It was further proof towards how important it was that the Lions signed him to a new contract last December, as Gallese’s form is consistent at the club and international level. Wilder Cartagena and Facundo Torres were also noted for receiving some valuable minutes with Peru and Uruguay, respectively.

Orlando Pride Focused Ahead of Sunday’s Match

The Orlando Pride are back in action Sunday night for a pivotal match with the North Carolina Courage at Exploria Stadium. After losing their past two games, the Pride are ninth in the league standings and need a win to insert themselves back in the playoff race. They take on a Courage team that is third in the league and just won the NWSL Challenge Cup. However, the Courage enter this game on short rest and have not won a league game since July 1 (0-2-2). Pride defender Emily Madril spoke on how the team is focused on winning its remaining four matches, starting with Sunday’s.

Orlando City and Orlando Pride Partner With Inter&Co

Inter&Co, which offers finance solutions and digital commerce services, was named the official financial institution of both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride as part of a new partnership. It’s the Brazilian company’s first partnership with an NWSL club, and it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of collaborations come from this partnership in the future. Fans can learn more about the company at tomorrow’s game between Orlando City and the Columbus Crew. It does feel a little wrong to partner with a company named Inter though.

Orlando City B Plays Chicago Fire II Tonight

Orlando City B has a chance to clinch a spot in the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs when it takes on Chicago Fire II tonight at 7 p.m. The same can be said for Chicago, making tonight’s match a critical one for both sides. The Young Lions have excelled offensively this year, recording 236 key passes and 56 goals. Of those goals, 11 have come from outside the box, the second most in the league. Forward Jack Lynn remains tied in the Golden Boot race with New York City FC II’s Matt Myers, with both sitting on 18 goals. Lynn is expected on the bench in Orlando on Saturday night, however, so he may not make the trip to Chicago. Hopefully the Young Lions can get the job done tonight on the road and qualify for the playoffs for the first time.

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  • American defender Sam Vines won’t be taking part in Antwerp’s Champions League games in the group stage due to an error.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!

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