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Lion Links: 5/2/19

Carlos Ascues injury update, Lions prepare for the Reds, Krieger may be headed to World Cup, and more.

MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’re almost there, Mane Landers. Just a couple more days until Star Wars Day which also just so happens to be game day! Let’s get you caught up for the match this weekend with today’s Lion Links. But first, let’s wish a happy 27th birthday to Orlando SeaWolves star Gordy Gurson.

Carlos Ascues Injury Update

After suffering an injury against Colorado Rapids on April 6, the Lions have been waiting for the return of defender Carlos Ascues. Unfortunately, it looks like his awaited return has been set back. At Orlando City training yesterday, Head Coach James O’Connor shared that he believes the Peruvian picked up a quad injury and his recovery has been set back “a few weeks.”

Orlando City Goalkeepers Share A Close Bond

Signed during the club’s preseason, goalkeeper Brian Rowe has been in between the sticks for the Lions since the start of the season, but this doesn’t affect backup keepers Adam Grinwis and Greg Ranjitsingh, who are patiently waiting for their chance.

“I think what I learned last year was that if I take everything head-on and do absolutely everything I can to better myself and do everything I can do improve on my weaknesses, that once that chance comes, I’m going to be prepared,” Grinwis told Pro Soccer USA. “I think it’s just taking it day by day and really narrowing my focus to be the best goalkeeper I can be, be the best teammate I can be, work as hard as I possibly can and just trust in this process that it will work itself out when it’s meant to.

“And, in the meantime, supporting whatever keeper’s playing.”

The Reds Are Coming

Saturday will be a tough test for Orlando City. With kickoff set for 4 p.m., Orlando City (3-3-3, 12 points) will host Toronto FC (4-2-1, 13 points). After 10 matches against the Reds, the Lions have only managed two victories and a draw, meaning the Canadian side has had seven victories over Orlando. Although their former star Sebastian Giovinco left during the off-season, Alejandro Pozuelo has been able to fill the gap left by the Italian and the Reds haven’t lost much in their attack force. With 19 goals in their last seven games, Toronto will be looking to cause some damage here in Orlando. The club has prepared you to know your opponent in case you wanted to get more informed on what to expect from the Canadian side.

USWNT Roster Problems; Krieger Reportedly Will Make World Cup Squad

With the World Cup coming fast, United States Women’s National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis should have a basic idea of who will be on the final roster for the tournament. But does she? A lack of depth in the roster has led to a very unstable defense compared to the last World Cup, in which the USWNT went 540 minutes without conceding a goal. There are lots of problems in various positions on the roster, but one of the most “popular” problems is in the right back spot. Surprisingly enough, the Orlando Pride’s very own Ali Krieger will most likely be part of the 23 players going to France this summer.

“Ali has never been off the radar,” Ellis told reporters when asked about Krieger last month. “Sometimes the experience piece is something you have to take into consideration going into a massive event like [the World Cup].”

The official World Cup roster will be announced at 1 p.m. today.

Free Kicks

That is all for me this week, folks. I hope you all have a good rest of the week and a very happy Star Wars Day. May the force be with us on Saturday. Vamos Orlando!