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Lion Links: 9/8/18

USMNT hosts Brazil, Orlando City looks toward 2019, Yoshi likely to miss Seattle match, and more.

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Brazil at USA Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Happy double match day, everyone! The Pride will conclude their season following their noon visit to Sky Blue FC and the Lions will be without Yoshimar Yotún (international duty) and two others when they visit Sporting Kansas City at 8:30. We’ll have full coverage of both matches for you and it’s sure to be a busy day for me.

Let’s get to the links while they’re hot.

USMNT Drops Friendly to Brazil, 2-0

A young USMNT took the pitch in New Jersey last night against world power Brazil and didn’t do too poorly, all things considered. Roberto Firmino scored early and Neymar added a second from the penalty spot after a flop was bought by the referee in a 2-0 Brazil win. There were only a few moments of danger from Brazil against a U.S. side that did well to keep its shape and defend as a team. Matt Miazga lost Firmino on the first goal but otherwise played a solid game, as did central defense partner John Brooks. The U.S. had chances, particularly on set pieces, but lacked sharpness in front of net. The Yanks will be back in action Tuesday night against Mexico.

Lions Looking Toward 2019

Although he said the team hasn’t written off 2018 just yet, James O’Connor said Orlando City is laying the ground work for next season. It’s been an awful season for the club after a promising couple of months to start the year, and a coaching change has not been able to shock the team out of its losing ways and back toward the playoffs. But to O’Connor’s credit, the team continues to work hard to try to turn things around.

“For us, we’ve been very intentional about I would say building the foundation for next year,” said O’Connor. “There’s a lot that’s actually going on that we’re probably not going to see the reward for till next year. There’s so much behind the scenes that we’re doing that I think that’s very important for next year. But equally, we still want to make sure that we try and win every game that we possibly can.”

Maybe the club hasn’t written off 2018 just yet but with one win in the last 17 games, it sure seems like 2018 has written the Lions off.

Dwyer, Rosell Ready for KC Return

Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer and Uri Rosell will return to the home of their initial MLS team tonight when the Lions take on the Sporks at Children’s Mercy Park.

“It’s important for us to get some points right now,” Dwyer said. “Of course, I’m excited to go back to Kansas, it will be a very fun atmosphere and, obviously, it’s a place I’m very familiar with. Yeah, I’m just very excited. I’m looking for to it.

“I think, for us, it’s more of an exciting time. You see a few familiar faces, kind of enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the moment. Then, obviously, we have to play a game, so it’ll fun.”

USMNT Announces Peru Friendly, Steals Yoshi for Seattle Game

The U.S. Men’s National Team added an Oct. 16 friendly against Peru in East Hartford, CT, The announcement yesterday almost certainly means Yotún will miss Orlando City’s Oct. 17 home game against the Seattle Sounders to play with his national team. The U.S. is 3-2-1 all-time against Peru. The big question is whether the United States will have a new coach by the time the Yanks face La Blanquirroja. It would be really cool if Peru doesn’t call Yoshi up for this one, but you know it’ll happen.

Former Lion Joins Rowdies’ Coaching Staff

Ex-Orlando City striker Martin Paterson is returning to his last North American club as an assistant coach. Paterson, 31, played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2017 and now will help guide the USL side from the coach’s box. Before the 2015 season, then-OCSC gaffer Adrian Heath was excited about getting the former Stoke City, Burnley, and Huddersfield Town forward on the pitch and in a preseason friendly against FC Dallas he looked to have tremendous chemistry with Kaká. But a hamstring injury derailed Paterson’s debut as a Lion and his incredibly disappointing stint came to an end shortly after he and defender Sean St. Ledger missed a team flight home from New York City. The Rowdies wisely kept Orlando City’s name out of the story on their team website.

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me today. Be sure to check back at The Mane Land throughout the day for full coverage of Pride-Sky Blue and OCSC-SKC. And good luck to Amro Tarek and Mohamed El-Munir in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches today with Egypt (against Niger) and Libya (against South Africa), respectively.