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Lion Links: 9/19/17

Dwyer in MLS TOTW, Walkes apologizes to fans, Yotun called up for Peru, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, amigos. I hope everybody’s hearts have recovered after Saturday’s wild game against Atlanta. Before we get started, I’d like to give a special shout out to OCB forward Ben Polk. It’s Ben’s 25th birthday today, so go wish the guy a happy birthday! Let’s get into some of the current news.

Dwyer Included in MLS Team of the Week

Dom Dwyer was rightfully included in the latest version of the MLS Team of the Week. Saturday’s game saw Dom terrorize the Atlanta United defense as he bagged two goals and provided an assist as the Lions became the first visiting team to come away with any points at the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game continued Dom’s good form as he also recorded an assist in Orlando’s 2-1 win against D.C. United last week.

Dwyer Heating Up at the Right Time

Speaking of Dom’s good form, he’s hitting his stride at just the right time. While the USMNT doesn’t play its last two World Cup qualifying games until the first week of October, Head Coach Bruce Arena is surely already getting a list together of who he’ll be calling in. With Jordan Morris unavailable through injury, Dom has a good chance to make the roster if he continues scoring and providing assists in the run up to the last two games of the Hex — one of which happens to be in Dwyer’s home stadium.

Goals Flowing But Spector Still Hobbled

Orlando City seems to have remembered where the back of the net is, having scored five goals in its last two games. While the team has also conceded four goals between those two games, the offensive explosion has been very welcome and was much needed in the 3-3 draw with Atlanta. Unfortunately, Jonathan Spector only lasted 59 minutes during that game before signaling that that he needed to come off. This was his first game back since spraining his Lateral Collateral Ligament in early August. He declined to talk about his knee after the game and the team has made no statements about his status.

Walkes Apologizes to Fans for Saturday’s Performance

Atlanta United fullback Anton Walkes took to twitter to apologize to fans for his performance during Saturday’s 3-3 draw against OCSC.

Walkes might have a point when you consider how he was victimized by Cyle Larin and Dom Dwyer for two of the Lions’ three goals. I’m sure the Atlanta fans will forgive him though, especially since the club looks set to make the playoffs, providing the floor doesn’t fall out from under them at least.

Yotun Called Up for Peru

Yoshimar Yotun has been called up for Peru’s final two World Cup qualifying games on Oct. 5 and 10. Peru is currently in the fourth and final automatic CONMEBOL qualifying spot and will play Colombia, which sits in third with 26 points to Peru’s 24; and Argentina, which also has 24 points but is in fifth by virtue of Peru scoring more goals so far during qualifying. The two matches are crucial for Peru, which could either qualify automatically, be forced into an inter-confederational playoff, or miss out on Russia 2018 altogether, depending on how results go.

OCSC’s Unified Special Olympics Team Defeats Atlanta

Orlando’s Unified Special Olympics team did what OCSC could not, defeating Atlanta’s Unified Special Olympics team over the weekend. Congratulations to all the players involved!

Free Kicks

That’s all for today’s Lion Links. I hope everybody’s having a good start to their week. If not, here’s a video of a police dog stealing a soccer ball during a game that’ll hopefully make it better.