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Lion Links: 10/4/20

Orlando City beats the Red Bulls, Lions going out on international duty, how Alex Morgan ended up at Tottenham, and more.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, everyone. It’s a trucker’s favorite day, because it’s 10/4, good buddy! Yep, I went there — a dad joke to open up your Sunday Lion Links. Hey, we’re all in a good mood after Orlando City’s big 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls yesterday, so why not have some fun?

Orlando has just eight matches left and sits in a great spot to make the MLS playoffs for the first time. Now if the lads will just heal a little quicker than they’re dropping, it would be nice.

Let’s get to the news of the day.

Orlando City Keeps Rolling

This train don’t stop. At least not yet. Orlando City got goals from Daryl Dike, Junior Urso, and Antonio Carlos to drop the New York Red Bulls, 3-1. Kamal Miller made one wayward pass that helped Florian Valot score for the visitors, but aside from that blip on the radar, the two replacement fullbacks — Miller and Kyle Smith — were excellent. Meanwhile, Andres Perea slotted almost seamlessly into the Sebas Mendez/Uri Rosell spot in the lineup. Orlando is 6-0-3 in the last nine games and it’s nice to have a bright spot in an otherwise horribawful 2020 calendar year.

And tune in later today as I bring you my five takeaways from the match and Jenn Glasheen provides our player grades and Man of the Match selection.

Gallese, Mendez to Miss Significant Time on International Duty

One bummer is that Mendez and goalkeeper Pedro Gallese will miss the next few games. It will be as few as three but could be up to five, depending on quarantining and arrival dates and such. Let’s assume four, since that’s the middle. The South Americans will join their respective national teams for World Cup qualifying matches.

  • Gallese and Peru will face Paraguay Oct. 8 and Brazil Oct. 13.
  • Mendez and Ecuador will face Argentina Oct. 8 and Uruguay Oct. 13.

MLS has a 10-day quarantine and players must go through testing to rejoin their teams. Orlando City cannot refuse the call-ups due to the state not having its own mandatory quarantine period of 10 days or more. So it would seem both players would miss the Atlanta, Columbus, New York City FC, and New York Red Bulls matches and potentially the Inter Miami game if there is any delay in getting them home.

Look for Brian Rowe in goal on Wednesday and who knows if anyone will be healthy enough to play central midfield after Urso and Mauricio Pereyra each left Saturday’s match with an injury.

Why Alex Morgan’s Spurs Move Happened So Quickly

Orlando Pride and USWNT striker Alex Morgan was headed to Orlando one minute and headed to London seemingly the next. Jonathan Tannenwald wrote about how Morgan’s move to Tottenham came together so quickly. In order to get ready for the Olympics — possibly her last with the national team — next year, Morgan felt she needed more than the four exhibition games offered up by the NWSL Fall Series and she was uncomfortable about how the pandemic was going.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with our playing situation and uncertainty with the NWSL,” she said. “I knew that after pregnancy I needed to get as many games as possible leading into 2021 [and] playing at the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll move forward next year.”...

“It wasn’t my intention to go to Orlando and then decide to play for another club in another country,” Morgan said. “But I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to get back to full fitness, get back to playing consistent matches, get back to feeling like myself and even surpassing that.”

U.S. Roundup: Gio Reyna Goes HAM on Frieiburg

In an era that may signal a rise in U.S. player development, Americans were in action across Europe yesterday with young USMNT rising star Gio Reyna leading the charge. Reyna notched a trio of assists in Dortmund’s 4-0 win over Freiburg on Saturday. His accomplishment was noteworthy in U.S. soccer history.

Christian Pulisic returned from injury, coming off the bench in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace. Tyler Adams did not play for RB Leipzig due to a back issue. Josh Sargent started up top for Werder Bremen but did not score in a 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Free Kicks
  • Phoenix Rising placed Junior Flemmings and coach Rick Schantz on administrative leave as the investigation continues regarding San Diego Loyal forfeiting a game which they led 3-1 due to use of a homophobic slur.
  • Sadio Mane joins Thiago Alcantara as Liverpool players to recently test positive for COVID-19.
  • There is a Ted Lasso Wiki.
  • Those born on this date include former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822), legendary actors Buster Keaton (1895) and Charlton Heston (1923), author Anne Rice (1941), baseball’s Tony La Russa (1944), Susan Sarandon (1946), Triumph drummer/vocalist Gil Moore (1951), and Alicia Silverstone (1976),

That’s all my time for today, folks. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend and get yourself ready for Atlanta on Wednesday.