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Lion Links: 10/24/20

Orlando City visits Inter Miami, OCB hosts Greenville Triumph SC, the Supporters’ Shield is back on, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 18 MLS - Orlando City SC at New York Red Bulls Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is well and safe as we enter the weekend. We have another Orlando City game today. Even though the Lions already clinched a playoff spot, this is not the time to let up as they go down the final stretch. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride defender Shelina Zadorsky!

Orlando City Takes on Inter Miami Today

The Lions will take their unbeaten streak to South Florida to take on Inter Miami. The game will be this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Inter Miami CF Stadium. The match will be nationally broadcast on Univision and TUDN, with English commentary available on Twitter. We’ll have full coverage for you later, including our match preview and how to watch. The rivalry is definitely heating up with both teams having plenty to play for as the playoffs near.

Oscar Pareja shared his thoughts on the team building momentum heading into today’s game.

“First, the boys understand very well the possibility that we have to keep ascending in this moment, five games where we can define if we belong to the top four or even if Toronto gives us the opportunity, we can climb higher. After we achieved the objective on being in the playoffs, right now we would like to focus on getting the most points we can,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “You have some information [about Miami] from those three games before, but this is a new game. It’s a new game with different protagonists, different moments or momentums for the teams.”

OCB Takes on Greenville Triumph SC

Orlando City B will close out its 2020 campaign — it’s last one in USL League One — at Osceola County Stadium today against Greenville Triumph SC. The match is at 1 p.m. and you can watch the game on ESPN+. For the Young Lions, their future is up in the air after the conclusion of this season, but the Triumph already clinched a spot in the USL League One final and will play either the Richmond Kickers, North Texas SC, or Union Omaha. That final will be on Friday, Oct. 30.

It’s been a rough year for the Young Lions but it’s included some bright spots here and there, such as goalkeeper Austin Aviza winning yet another Save of the Week.

Supporters’ Shield Race Back On

After originally announcing that the Supporters’ Shield would not be awarded to the top MLS team, the Supporters’ Shield Foundation reversed course on its decision. The MLS trophy will now be awarded after the conclusion of the 2020 MLS regular season. The past reason given for not awarding the trophy was due to the inability for fans to attend games for much of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, citing that the current climate went against “the spirit of the shield.”

Since MLS was only able to get 23 matches in instead of 34 games, there was also a possibility of MLS going by points per game instead of total points to determine where teams finished in the standings if the league season could not be completed. Now that the race is back on, will Toronto FC maintain its lead or will the Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, or Orlando make a late push to win the silverware?

Date Officially Set for USMNT Return

After being off the pitch for eight months due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the United States Men’s National Team will play another match in 2020 against Wales on Nov. 12. The USMNT was originally scheduled to play Wales in Cardiff on March 30, but that match was canceled. The last international match the U.S. played was on Feb. 1, when it beat Costa Rica 1-0 after its January camp. Due to coronavirus restrictions, there will be no fans in attendance for this match and the team roster is expected to be European-based players. The U.S. Soccer Federation is currently working on adding a second match during the international break window for November.

Free Kicks
  • 19-year-old Orlando midfielder Andres Perea was snubbed from the MLS 22 under 22 list according to MLSsoccer.com’s Andrew Wiebe. It’s nice seeing Perea get some recognition for holding things down in the midfield with so many absences lately.
  • Kaká and Marta were among those who took some time to wish one of the legends of the game, Pelé, a happy 80th birthday!

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your weekend, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time. And check back later today for full coverage of Orlando City and OCB.