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Lion Links: 9/21/19

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Orlando will host the USMNT, Lions fight for their dreams, OCB on the road, and more.

SOCCER: JUN 01 NWSL - NC Courage at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? Orlando City’s playoff hopes hang on by a thread as the team plays tonight on the road. A win and some help around the league could see the Lions just a point away from a playoff spot while a loss would surely sink them. With only three games left in the season, let’s all try to enjoy the Lions while we still can. But for now, let’s start the day off with some Lion Links from the soccer world.

Orlando Set to Host USMNT

For the fourth time, the city of Orlando will welcome the United States Men’s National Team for a game. The USMNT will play a critical Nations League match against Canada at Exploria Stadium on Nov. 15. at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 27 and I’m sure Exploria Stadium will be rocking in support of the Yanks.

But the Canadian opposition will earn some crowd reactions too with Orlando City’s Will Johnson, Kamal Miller, and Tesho Akindele possibly playing for Canada. The match may also feature forward Cyle Larin as he returns to Orlando. All in all, it will be a very fun outing with plenty on the line for both sides.

Orlando Takes On Dynamo in Houston

The Lions are on the road in Houston, TX for a showdown against the Houston Dynamo with their playoff hopes on the line. A loss and a win by the New England Revolution would officially eliminate Orlando, but Head Coach James O’Connor has the team focused on a strong performance tonight rather than obsessing over things out of its hands at this point.

“I think we need to focus on performance. We aren’t in a position now to be able to fully control our own destiny, so I think what we need to do is make sure that we get a strong performance in Houston, try to get three points in Houston and then see what happens after that,” Head Coach James O’Connor said.

If you made the trip out to Houston despite the travel obstacles, make sure to look over this guide to best enjoy your trip.

Callahan Shining in Dismal Season

With the playoffs out of reach for the Orlando Pride in 2019, there has been little to get excited about regarding the team as it shifts focus to next year. But one bright spot for the team has been Bridget Callahan, who joined the Pride in 2018 as a National Team Replacement Player. The UCF graduate may only have one appearance with the Pride, but her off-the-field contributions have been important for the team’s morale. A standout on social media, Callahan has brought a fun energy to help keep things light during a season of frustrations and forward Danica Evans had high praise for her.

“She just goes through life as a happy person,” Evans said. “It gives us a sense of hope. She brings this bright light to us in situations where it’s down and it’s not always the best. She is the one person we can count on day in and day out to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Orlando City B Continues Road Trip

The tough road trip to close out the season continues for Orlando City B as the team travels to face Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. While the Young Lions are out of the playoff hunt, they can spoil Chattanooga’s chances if they manage to get a result on the road. There is a small amount of hope as the past two meetings between the two teams this season resulted in draws. With Lucas Ontivero and the OCB offense finding its footing, anything could happen in this late season match.

Free Kicks

That will do it from me. Tonight could end with the Lions officially eliminated from the playoffs so make sure to have a vice or two nearby. Hopefully we will have plenty to celebrate tonight though. Make sure to stay hydrated and have a great weekend!