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Lion Links: 11/26/20

Soccer legend Diego Maradona dies, New England’s Matt Turner talks Pedro Gallese drama, Orlando City sells out semifinal match, and more.

Argentinians Shocked By Sudden Death of Diego Maradona Photo by Luciano Bisbal/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions. As ever, I sincerely hope you overcame your hump day with ease. But more importantly, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you soccer lovers enjoy it.

Orlando City is set to take on the New England Revolution this Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Along with the anticipation for the soon coming fixture comes a great deal of news that too. On that note, let’s get right into the links.

Revs Goalkeeper Matt Turner Gives Thoughts on Shootout Conundrum

New England goalkeeper Matt Turner has voiced his thoughts on the penalty shootout that shocked the world. The 26-year-old showed some sympathy to Pedro Gallese, but also acknowledged that the Peruvian being absent is a good thing for his side given the talent El Pulpo possesses.

“I was watching that game in my apartment and I just couldn’t believe what was going on. I really couldn’t believe it. Poor Gallese,” Turner said. ”I really feel for him. I feel like guys have come off their line a lot more than and not gotten repercussions. But the refs made the call, it’s a yellow card, you can’t reserve it. That’s that. We’ll take that as advantage going into Sunday because he’s been good for them all season. So, we’re really looking forward to that game.”

Gallese will be missed but I, for one, am confident that Brian Rowe will put a good shift in come Sunday.

Orlando City vs New England Revolution Already Sold Out

Orlando City has sold out its second consecutive postseason match. That makes it two for two in regards to playoff games that reach max capacity and well, you love to see it, even if “max” is a bit less than usual due to the pandemic.

“With a victory this Sunday, the Lions would continue moving on in the MLS Cup Playoff, set to face the winner of No. 3 Columbus Crew SC and No. 7 Nashville SC in the Eastern Conference Final.”

Sunday’s bout is set to be the second consecutive “biggest match in the side’s history” and a win would once again be absolutely everything. The supporters being there could be what tips the Lions to victory. Vamos Orlando!

Global Soccer Icon Diego Maradona Dead at 60

Legendary Argentina and World Cup soccer icon Diego Armando Maradona tragically died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60. With the news emerging yesterday, a melancholy mood was draped over the sport that we, and especially he, loved so dearly. Gone but never forgotten. Maradona’s death understandably resonated throughout the soccer world, with players, teams, managers, and other figures weighing in on the loss. Of course, Maradona’s loss is felt everywhere, but nowhere as acutely as in Argentina.

Argentina President Alberto Fernandez also confirmed three days of national mourning following the news. Fernandez posted a photograph of himself on Twitter hugging Maradona with the message: “You took us to the highest place in the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for existing, Diego. We are going to miss you the rest of our lives.”

The Argentine government also confirmed that Maradona’s body will lie in state at the Casa Rosada government headquarters for three days beginning Thursday and that the he will be given a state funeral.

Additionally, the Argentine Professional Soccer League announced that the current First Division tournament will change its name to honour Maradona.

Our own club shared its condolences across its social media channels.

Four Crew Players Test Positive for COVID-19

Columbus Crew SC has confirmed four positive cases of COVID-19 prior to the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal match against Nashville SC. The players who tested positive are in isolation and should they turn in a second consecutive positive test, they would be subject to missing this weekend’s match, which could have a profound effect on the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs. If the Crew can’t field a team safely, the game could be postponed or, if a make-up date cannot be found, Columbus might be subject to a forfeit.

Free Kicks

That’ll do, turkey. That is all the links I have for you to gobble up this Thursday. Until next time, I’ll catch you on the flip side.