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Lion Links: 10/25/20

Orlando City’s streak is over, OCB falls yet again, Sergino Dest makes history, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Inter Miami CF Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, everyone. Orlando City lost, OCB fell for the eighth straight time, and today I’m on a clear liquid diet in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow morning, so don’t bother asking me how my weekend is going. All of the above items are essentially the same thing, anyway. Happy Sunday, indeed.

However, today is a momentous day, as it’s the 10-year anniversary of the USL announcing that professional soccer was returning to the City Beautiful. Orlando City took the USL by storm for four glorious years before jumping to Major League Soccer and here we are, supporting a playoff-bound team again for the first time since those USL days.

Let’s shake off the bad stuff and get to the news of the day.

The Streak is Over

For the first time in 2020, Orlando City lost a match in which it scored first. Daryl Dike scored his fifth goal of the year and second against Inter Miami, but the Herons came back on an unlucky Robin Jansson own goal at the end of the first half and a defensive coverage lapse late in the game. The latter came just moments after the almost-triumphant return of Benji Michel, who came off the bench and fired a shot at a goalkeeper on the ground rather than putting the ball almost anywhere else. Oy. That one hurts. But here’s my recap of Orlando City’s 2-1 streak-breaking loss at Inter Miami.

Stick around later today for Guilherme Torres’ player grades and Man of the Match, and Dave Rohe’s five takeaways.

Orlando City B Flattened in Finale, 4-1

The Young Lions went out like lambs, dropping their eighth consecutive match to close out their time in USL League One. This time, it was a 4-1 home loss to Greenville Triumph SC. The future plans of OCB have yet to be announced, but this was a forgettable 2020 season as the club leaves the USL seemingly for good, 10 years after joining the league (with a couple of brief hiatuses).

Dest Makes History and More Americans Abroad

USMNT fullback Sergino Dest made history on Saturday by becoming the first U.S. player to take part in the 118-year history of El Clasico.

Dest played well but his Barcelona teammates were wasteful in front of goal and a baby soft penalty for a shirt tug gave Los Blancos a second-half lead in an eventual 3-1 win. Elsewhere, Gio Reyna started and played 71 minutes in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Schalke, Christian Pulisic started and played 81 minutes in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Manchester United, and Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream played the full 90 for Fulham in a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace. Click the link above in this section to see the rest of the Yanks abroad.

Union Destroy Toronto FC to Go Top of Table

The Philadelphia Union pummeled Toronto FC 5-0 at home on Saturday to draw level on points and into first place by virtue of both more goals scored and a much better goal differential. Sergio Santos’ hat trick led the way for the Union, who caught up with the Reds on 41 points. Mark McKenzie and Jamiro Martinez also scored for the Union. Philadelphia is in the Supporters’ Shield pole position with just three matches remaining.

Free Kicks
  • A player for NYCFC tested positive for COVID-19 but the match went on as planned and the Pigeons dunked on the Montreal Impact, 3-1.
  • Carlos Vela might be able to return in time for today’s edition of El Trafico.
  • Canadian fullback Alphonso Davies will be unavailable to Bayern Munich for a while after injuring his ankle.
  • U.S. Soccer posted this video from the USWNT camp.
  • Those born on this date include Pablo Picasso (1881), Happy Days star Marion Ross (1928), recently deceased singer Helen Reddy (1941), legendary Yes singer Jon Anderson (1944), Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton (1947), U.S. hockey legend Mike Eruzione (1954), The Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd (1955), Scorpions guitarist Matthias Jabs (1955), The Simpsons voice actor Nancy Cartwright (1957), late Divinyls singer Chrissie Amphlett (1959), Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot drummer Chad Smith (1961), baseball’s Pedro Martinez (1971), actor/comedian Craig Robinson (1971), former EPL and MLS striker Shaun Wright-Phillips (1981), Katy Perry (1984), and Sporting Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza (1986).

That’s it for me, today. If you need me, I’ll be sipping on some chicken broth or eating lemon Jello. Oh joy.