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Lion Links: 11/23/20

Orlando City is appealing Gallese’s ejection, Allen Chapman’s crew is out, MLS playoff results, more reactions to the Lions’ match, and much more.

New York City FC v Orlando City SC: Round One - MLS Cup Playoffs Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Have you recovered from Saturday afternoon? How long does it take to process the weirdest, wildest soccer match many of us have ever seen? How many emotions have you gone through in the last 48 hours? How many did you go through during the kicks? I hope you’ve enjoyed it, because soon enough we’re going to have to go through plenty more emotions because the playoffs have only just begun. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando Plans to Appeal Pedro Gallese’s Ejection

As it stands now, Gallese will be unavailable for Orlando City’s conference semifinal match. Given how integral El Pulpo was in the match against New York City FC, he’s not someone the Lions want to lose, even if Brian Rowe is ready to step in. Orlando City will appeal his ejection based on the encroachment on the penalty kick not being “clear and obvious.” There were also mistakes made by the referees in regards to Rowe’s substitution that wasn’t allowed in the rules, but allowed by the refs only to be reversed by the video assistant referee despite being a situation that VAR isn’t approved to rule on. Who knows how long it will take MLS to respond, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the decision on the day of the Lions’ next match on Nov. 29.

PRO Not Gonna PRO?

I’m honestly a little surprised to find out that the officiating crew from Orlando City’s match will not be working another 2020 MLS Cup playoff match. Don’t get me wrong, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be working another match, but when has sense had anything to do with the Professional Referee Organization? Despite PRO backing the decisions made during the match, the controversy was evidently too much to warrant giving Allen Chapman’s crew another chance this postseason.

The Match Heard Around the World

It was no surprise that Orlando City and NYCFC supporters, media, and even the greater MLS community were aware of the playoff match on Saturday. The madness and drama that ensued made sure that nearly everyone in the world of sports got wind of what happened. The International Football Association Board’s rules for the 2020-2021 season would have wiped out all of the confusion Saturday afternoon. Of course, MLS is still playing under the 2019-2020 rules as the MLS season started before the rule changes were implemented. Even BBC Sports noticed the craziness and decided to explain the situation to its readers given every other league has adopted the new rules.

More Teams Advance in Playoffs

Despite feeling like Orlando City played the only important match this weekend, some other teams played as well. Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 3-3 draw that also went to a penalty shootout. Unlike the Lions, SKC dispatched San Jose 3-0 on kicks, with Tim Melia making three saves. Of course, it seems that if you’re Tim Melia you’re allowed to come off your line to make a save on a penalty kick. You be the judge.

The second match of the day on Sunday featured Minnesota United against the Colorado Rapids. Former Lion Kevin Molino scored the first goal of the match for the Loons, making it 1-0 in the 22nd minute. Robin Lod added another in the 54th minute, and Molino got a brace in the 79th minute as Minnesota beat the Rapids 3-0.

The late match saw the Portland Timbers take on FC Dallas. After a scoreless first half, Jorge Villafaña gave the Timbers a lead late in the 82nd minute, only for 17-year-old FC Dallas Homegrown Player Ricardo Pepi to equalize in stoppage time. After extra time, the game went to a penalty shootout. It took eight rounds until a save was made, with Villafaña unable to convert and FC Dallas knocking out the Timbers to advance.

Free Kicks
  • We’ve known that Alanna Kennedy will be moving on to expansion side Racing Louisville FC, but now we have Kennedy’s heartfelt goodbye to Pride supporters. We’ll miss you too.
  • You don’t need to speak Spanish to appreciate the passion shown in the press box.
  • Finally, did it really happen unless it’s set to the music from Titanic?

That will do it for me today. Obviously, it’s Thanksgiving week but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the same great coverage of all things Orlando City. So if you need a break from meal preparations, or from your crazy uncle, check in and let us know how you’re doing. Vamos Orlando!