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Lion Links: 8/24/19

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Lions fall to Atlanta, Morgan sidelined again, Orlando City B’s season outlook, and more.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? Let’s shake off that loss and keep the excitement rolling by supporting the Orlando Pride and Orlando City B tonight. But before we can get to the soccer, here are some links from the soccer world.

Orlando City Can’t Convert Chances

It has been a theme all season that Orlando City is unable to make the most of its chances, but that never felt more prevalent than last night. The Lions looked absolutely lethal for most of the match but couldn’t deliver a killing blow while Josef Martinez made the most of one of the few chances he had, scoring the only goal of the match.

Be sure to check back later today for Jenn Glasheen’s player grades and Man of the Match as well as my five takeaways.

Carlos Ascues Called Up

After a decent season with Orlando this year, midfielder Carlos Ascues earned an unexpected call-up to play for the Peruvian National Team. Ascues hasn’t played for Peru since March of 2016 when the nation was trying to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Head Coach Ricardo Gareca must have seen something he liked in the 27-year-old this year with the Lions. He and former Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotun will take on Sebas Mendez and Ecuador on Sept. 5, and Brazil on Sept. 10, in a pair of friendlies, which means Ascues will miss out on a home match with Los Angeles FC.

Morgan Unavailable as Pride Continue Road Trip

Alex Morgan’s return to the Orlando Pride Wednesday night lasted less than 10 minutes before she was knocked into Sarah Gorden by Julie Ertz and was forced to leave the game. The forward remains in concussion protocol as the Pride visit the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Spirit without their star striker (and Chioma Ubogagu, who has an excused absence). It’s been a rough club season for Morgan, who only has five starts and less than 400 minutes under her belt with the Pride in 2019.

Regardless, the show goes on for the Pride as they try to make it back-to-back road wins after dispatching the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 earlier this week. While the playoffs are surely out of reach for the Pride, they can play the role of spoiler for the rest of the season while building momentum for next year. The Pride have already beaten the Spirit once this year and have another meeting with them at Exploria Stadium at the end of August so there is even a chance the Pride can jump them in the standings with eight points separating the two sides in the standings.

Orlando City B Heads West

Speaking of Orlando team’s playing spoiler, that’s about all Orlando City B has left to do during the USL League One season with playoff chances officially gone. The only team mathematically eliminated with a quarter of the season still left to be played, OCB heads to Tucson, AZ to play against FC Tucson. While the Young Lions are far from favorites, FC Tucson has only won one of its past five games, so there is potential for an upset.

Free Kicks

That’s all from me, folks. I hope you all have a relaxing Saturday and make sure to check back for everything you need to know to enjoy tonight’s soccer action.