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Lion Links: 11/3/20

OCSC team of the week honors, recognition for Dike, how the playoffs would look today, and more.

Orlando City SC v Montreal Impact Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone! An Orlando City SC win over the Montreal Impact kept the Lions in good position for a home playoff game, and made for a great finish to the weekend. The boys will be back in action tomorrow, and then Decision Day will be right around the corner. There’s lots to talk about today, so let’s get into it.

Team of the Week Honors

Orlando City had two players rightfully honored in the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week. Mauricio Pereyra was included in the starting lineup while Pedro Gallese was named to the bench. Pereyera notched an assist on the game-winning goal in his first game back after being absent for a run of matches, and it was a doozy. The Uruguayan dished a perfectly weighted through ball to Daryl Dike after a move that included 14 passes, and it proved to be the difference maker on the score sheet. Gallese made five saves in the match, including an excellent flying stop during stoppage time to prevent Bojan from drawing the Impact level. Well done to both players.

Dike’s Recognition

It’s hardly a secret that Daryl Dike has had a barnstorming rookie year, especially over the latter half of the season. Charlie Davies took the time to break down what has made Dike so successful in his first year. Obviously, Davies highlighted Dike’s ability to be physical and use his body, but he also highlighted the improvement in the timing of the striker’s runs, as well as his finishing ability. He also made a point of acknowledging Dike’s knack for making the right decision, as well as his hold-up play. If Dike can continue to develop those qualities then expect the plaudits to keep coming his way.

How the Playoffs Would Look Today

Orlando City only has two games remaining until the regular season ends, and Decision Day is creeping closer and closer. But how would things look if the MLS Cup playoffs started today? For starters, the Lions would be fourth in the East and playing fifth-place NYCFC in the first round. The Philadelphia Union would be first in the East with Toronto FC a close second and the Columbus Crew rounding out the top three. The Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City, and Seattle Sounders would be first, second, and third in the Western Conference respectively, with Minnesota United taking the fourth spot.

CCL to Resume

Yesterday Concacaf announced that the Concacaf Champions League will be resuming with a new format and schedule. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and final will all take place in a central location from Dec. 15-22, with specific venue and match dates coming at a later time. It’s worth noting that the semifinals will only be single-leg matches, instead of the traditional two-legged ties. The semifinals will also go straight to penalty kicks if things are level at the end of regulation. The Montreal Impact, Atlanta United, NYCFC, and LAFC are the four MLS teams still standing in the competition.

Free Kicks

That’ll be all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.