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Lion Links: 11/9/20

Orlando City’s first home loss, Daryl Dike’s options, MLS Decision Day results, and more.

MLS: Nashville SC at Orlando City SC Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! While it might not have been the end of the regular season that we wanted, for the first time for Orlando City in Major League Soccer it isn’t over! We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! No, wait. That’s from Independence Day.

Regardless, Orlando City will play again this year. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Falls to Nashville

Orlando City hosted Nashville SC at Exploria Stadium on Decision Day. Of course, the only thing being decided for the Lions was which team they would host in the playoffs. That turned out to be a good thing since Orlando City conceded two goals in the last few minutes to lose the final match of the regular season, 3-2. Nani’s free kick goal is up for MLS Goal of the Week, so go vote for it. The Lions will now host New York City FC in the first round of the MLS playoffs. Michael Citro has your match recap.

Check back later today for the player grades and Man of the Match from Christopher Adams, as well as Sean Rollins’ five takeaways from the match.

Daryl Dike’s National Team Options

With as good a rookie year as Dike is having, the talks about him deserving a United States Men’s National Team call-up have gotten louder with each goal. Of course, Dike has the option to play for the U.S. or Nigeria, as that is the home country of both of his parents. Dike’s older brother, Bright Dike, previously played for Nigeria and that could make a difference. Of course, for the moment, Dike is just focusing on Orlando City.

“When you’re younger, you’re always sitting there, thinking about international, and I know I’ve had my siblings play for Nigeria,” Dike told Twellman in the an interview which begins above at around the 20-minute mark. ”And I know I have the opportunity for Nigeria or the USA if I get the chance. But right now I just kind of play my game. I focus on what I’m doing with Orlando City, and if either/or comes, that decision will come when it comes.”

Emily van Egmond Lifts West Ham to Victory

Over in England, Orlando Pride midfielder Emily van Egmond gave West Ham United a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City with her header in the 73rd minute. It is the Hammers’ first win of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League season. Van Egmond has now scored in three straight games with West Ham while on loan.

MLS Eastern Conference Results

The Philadelphia Union took care of business by dispatching the New England Revolution 2-1 to win the MLS Supporters’ Shield and secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Following a 4-3 win over the Chicago Fire, NYCFC will face Orlando City in the first round of the playoffs. It was quite a barn burner in the first half, with Valentin Castellanos scoring the winner for New York in the 77th minute. The Columbus Crew defeated Atlanta United, earning a home playoff game and bumping Atlanta from playoff contention at the same time. Well done, Columbus.

Elsewhere, the Montreal Impact defeated D.C. United 3-2 in a match that saw the Impact make the playoffs while D.C missed out. Inter Miami CF secured a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati. Former Lion Mikey Ambrose scored his first MLS goal for Miami. Things didn’t go Toronto FC’s way when it fell 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls thanks to two first-half goals.

MLS Western Conference Results

Decision Day in the Western Conference wasn’t quite as exciting as the other side of the league, as the matches just determined the seeding. The Colorado Rapids defeated the last place Houston Dynamo to continue their three-game winning streak. The third place Portland Timbers drew with LAFC on Jorge Villafana’s 90th-minute equalizer. Minnesota United and FC Dallas were secure in making the playoffs, even after Minnesota’s 3-0 win over Dallas.

At the top of the table, Sporting KC finished a great season with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake. Despite losing 4-1 to the Seattle Sounders, the San Jose Earthquakes are in the playoffs and will take on Sporting KC. Finally, in the match of no consequence, the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the LA Galaxy 3-0.

Free Kicks
  • It’s kind of weird that Orlando City’s Chris Mueller didn’t make the MLS MVP nomination list, especially when you look at his production.
  • LAFC’s Diego Rossi won the MLS Golden Boot for the 2020 season. Rossi finished with 14 goals through 19 matches.
  • I don’t particularly like being reminded about Wayne Rooney’s long distance goal against Orlando City. However, it seems that little brother John Rooney is carrying on the family tradition in Stockport County’s win over Rochdale A.F.C by scoring from his own half. The younger Rooney also played for Orlando City in 2012 during the USL days.
  • Tim Weah made his return for Lille OSC in the club’s loss to Stade Brestois 29 in Ligue 1, and Weston McKennie came on in the 77th minute for Juventus in its 1-1 draw with Lazio. Plenty of other USMNT players saw some action as well.
  • This goal from Valentino Lazaro is easily the wildest goal you’ve seen this week. Maybe this month, and possibly this year. I’m not even sure how to describe it. It didn’t win the match for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Bayer Leverkusen, but it could win the Puskas Award.

That will do it for today’s Links. Now we get to look forward to Orlando City’s first postseason. Vamos Orlando!