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Lion Links: 10/28/20

Injured Lions back in training, OCSC falls in the MLS Power Rankings, OCB’s Austin Aviza up for Save of the Week, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 03 MLS - New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers. I hope the day finds you well. Before jumping into links, let’s take a moment to wish Orlando Pride rookie Courtney Petersen a happy birthday!

Injured Lions Returning

Seven Orlando City players have missed recent matches as injuries riddle the team. Mauricio Pereyra has returned to full-team training while Oscar Pareja expects João Moutinho to be back in full-team training soon.

“Mauricio is training with the team already,” Pareja said. “It’s great news that he is doing almost everything normal. It’s going to be about us judging if we want to involve him in this one game. The good news is that he is almost there.”

MLS updated its injury report on Tuesday, with Pereyra still listed for now, but Uri Rosell was no longer on it.

MLS Power Rankings

The 2-1 loss to Inter Miami sees Orlando City falling from the top five to number seven in this week’s MLS Power Rankings. The Lions’ 12-game unbeaten streak was ended, and they haven’t won in four games. Orlando will need to switch things up to make the same level of impact they’ve had early this season through the last four matches.

Story Lines for Orlando City vs. Atlanta United

Orlando City finally saw their first win against Atlanta back in August, which is like what, a year ago? As the Lions head into another match against Atlanta, there are some things to know. Daryl Dike’s fifth goal of the season last weekend in Fort Lauderdale gives him the second-most goals scored by an Orlando City rookie, behind Cyle Larin’s incredible 17 back in 2015. Pareja could move into ninth on the MLS all-time coaching wins list with a win tonight. After Saturday’s loss, I’m excited to see the Lions defend the fortress.

Aviza Up for USL League One Save of the Week Again

Orlando City B’s Austin Aviza is up again for the USL League One Save of the Week. Voting is open now for Aviza and his penalty-denying stop from Matt Bolduc in the 3-1 loss to Richmond.

Free Kicks
  • The USMNT’s Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest could face each other in the UCL, marking the sixth time in the history of the competition where U.S. players matched up, and the third straight year it has happened.
  • The FIFA Club World Cup could go ahead with the current format, with competition falling sometime between Jan. 11-23, despite the fact that we’re still in middle of a global pandemic.
  • Speaking of the pandemic, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Liga MX has made more expensive transfers to Europe than MLS over the last five years.
  • Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu and his team have officially resigned after more than 20,000 fans signed a petition.
  • A new English soccer recruitment code looks to increase gender and ethnic diversity in coaching and leadership roles.

That’ll be all for me today, everyone. Be sure to check back in for all things Orlando City vs. Atlanta United throughout the day. Have a great week and stay safe!