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Lion Links: 3/19/14

Designated Players raised the level of play in MLS in Week 2, Orlando City will face a new test in Vancouver, and updates from Champions' Leagues all around the globe.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

ood morning Orlando City fans! Yesterday may have been a slow news day in terms of our MLS franchise, but some great soccer was still played around the world. Go ahead and catch up this morning with Lion Links!

DPs Scoring in Week 2

MLS'sDesignated Players get paid the big bucks to score important goals, right? It doesn’t work out that way every week in soccer, though. Week 2 of the 2015 season saw 11 different DPs score around the league. Five of the DPs were on the score sheet during their first year in MLS. The only games in which a DP didn’t hit the back of the net were Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC and Orlando City vs. Houston Dynamo.

What does that mean for the league? Hopefully it shows that America’s top flight can attract great talent in all different types of markets. Smaller markets are known for taking risks on Designated Players that don’t end up providing return on investment. Last week can only mean good things.

Highlights from Chicago vs. Vancouver

Last Saturday night, I worked game day operations with the Chicago Fire. The men in red played Orlando City’s upcoming opponents, the Vancouver Whitecaps. The best word I can use to describe that game is…meh. The Fire were lucky to have a capable backup keeper ready in Jon Busch, or else this match could’ve been worse.

Vancouver’s known asset Pedro Morales and new DP forward Octavio Rivero were both primed for battle. In the end, the better team won. Orlando is in for a tough match against a talented attacking team this Saturday.  I am confident in the ability of the Lions’ back line, though. Brek Shea, Rafael Ramos, and Sean St. Ledger have more confidence and flare than the back four that lined up for Chicago last weekend. I expect Orlando City to perform much better overall.

Montreal Makes Impact in CCL Semis

Last night, an MLS team made a strong case for themselves in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. The Montreal Impact beat a Costa Rican side 2-0 at home as they set themselves up in a great position for the second leg in Central America. Any fan of MLS soccer can only hope that Montreal continues a strong showing in the intra-continental competition.

Wednesday’s Champions League Results

Barcelona and Juventus both advanced in the UEFA Champions League yesterday. Did those ties go as expected? In short, yes they did. Barcelona’s star attackers put on a show in the 1-0 win (3-1 aggregate) with nutmegs galore in the second leg of this Round of 16 tie. Former boss Pep Guardiola was present at the Camp Nou to watch the destruction.

In yesterday’s other UEFA tie, Juventus beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 and won 5-1 on aggregate. The Italian champions put the German strugglers on their hind legs in the third minute when Carlos Tevez scored from outside the 18. The Argentinian striker came up big with the final goal of the tie 11 minutes from time.

That's all for now! Continue to check out The Mane Land for Orlando City SC news leading up to the game against the Whitecaps on Saturday!