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Lion Links: 11/5/20

Orlando City clinches Top 4 finish against Columbus, Berhalter has a long-term plan for MLS call-ups, Gallese gets some 2020 goalkeeper of the year props and more.

Orlando City SC v Inter Miami CF Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions. As always, I sincerely hope you overcame your hump day with ease. With uncertainty still being an ever-present feature in the United States election, I have found myself incredibly on edge, and Orlando City having its match yesterday was perfectly timed and helped get my mind off it. Even if it was just for a little bit, the break from the soap opera that is America was welcomed and much needed.

Along with the narrow and hard-fought win against the Columbus Crew for Orlando CIty came a good deal of news as well, so with that, let's get right into the links.

Orlando City Clinched Top Four Four Finish with Win over Columbus Crew

After a tight game with officiating that — put kindly — could be described as “subpar,” Orlando City still managed a 2-1 win and clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference top four. Chris Mueller and Benji Michel were the goal scorers after Mauricio Pereyra set up the 52nd- and 84th-minute finishes. Even though Nani was controversially sent off and a number of other contentious calls were made against the Lions, Orlando City prevailed and showed its impressive mettle a man down.

Check back later today for Marcus Mitchell’s player grades and Man of the Match and Christopher Adams’ five takeaways from the game.

Gregg Berhalter has Long-Term Plan for MLS Call-Ups

The USMNT roster was announced recently and the squad lacked any players from MLS. The manager, Gregg Berhalter, stated that the decision was on purpose because he did not want to jeopardize the players’ playoff eligibility. Charles Boehm reported that the 47-year-old hinted at future inclusion of MLS players going into the long-term future.

There’s a long-term perspective at work here. With the USMNT and U.S. Under-23 Olympic sides facing a hectic 2021 marked by four different competitions including the Tokyo Olympics, Berhalter hinted that he’s doing MLS clubs a solid now with an eye towards collaborating with them on a release schedule for next year.

Pedro Gallese Continues to be in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Conversation

Once again, Orlando City shot stopper Pedro Gallese has been mentioned in the conversation about the 2020 goalkeeper of the season award. While El Pulpo may not be the favorite for the accolade, the fact that the Peruvian is being talked about in such a positive manner is a good thing for him and the Lions. All the praise is well deserved, so hats off to him.

Philadelphia’s Andre Blake, New England’s Matt Turner and Orlando City SC’s Pedro Gallese have all had standout campaigns, and you’d be able to make a solid case for any of them.

There are still more opportunities for Gallese to show he is a worthy winner this season, so nothing is final and anything can happen.

Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller Could Attract USMNT Interest

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller could attract interest from the United States National Team. The pair of impressive youngsters have showcased their talents on a number of occasions this season and, because of that, the United States National Team may come sniffing around. It is worth noting that Dike is also eligible for Nigeria, which is the nation his brother and sister represented. So if Gregg Berhalter is interested in the prospect of calling the 20-year-old up, he should act fast.

Obviously, neither of the two were called up in the most recent roster, however, no other MLS players were either. It would be terrific to see Mueller and Dike get a crack at the national team whip.

Free Kicks

That’ll do, pig. That is all for this Thursday’s links. As ever, thanks for tagging along and I’ll catch you on the flip side.