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Lion Links: 2/8/20

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Orlando City braces for the Montreal Impact, USWNT and Canada qualify for the Olympics, Americans abroad, and more.

Canada v Costa Rica: Semifinals - 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Happy Saturday, Mane Landers. Now that the windy weather has passed Central Florida, we can enjoy some sunshine for the weekend. I will have a busy weekend with homework but we are less than three weeks away from Orlando City’s home opener against Real Salt Lake. I can’t wait, but for now let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Hosts Montreal Impact in Open Door Scrimmage

Orlando City will play its first open preseason match at Exploria Stadium today as the Lions host the Montreal Impact. Head Coach Oscar Pareja and the team aim to build momentum from training in Mexico and earning a 2-0 win against Inter Playa on Tuesday. Pareja said his team had a great week in Mexico and he had a chance to look at his young squad. On the other side of the ball, the Impact come into this match after a 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Thursday.

USWNT Qualifies for the Olympics

The United States Women’s National Team beat Mexico 4-0 to officially qualify for the 2020 Olympics this summer in Tokyo. Rose Lavelle got the scoring started in the fifth minute and Sam Mewis doubled the USWNT’s lead in the 14th. Mewis scored her second goal later in the second half and Christen Press finished off the night with a goal soon after. Megan Rapinoe had two assists on the night and the Pride trio of Emily Sonnett, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris didn’t feature.

Orlando Pride Players in Action

Orlando Pride defender Alanna Kennedy was on the bench for Australia, but Emily van Egmond had an incredible three assists to give the Matildas a four-goal lead in the first half of an eventual 7-0 victory over Chinese Taipei. Check out her excellent through ball to lead former Pride teammate Steph Catley in on goal to score. For Australia, it was a strong first step in Olympic qualification and the Matildas’ next game will come on Feb. 10 against Thailand.

In California, Shelina Zadorsky played a full 90 minutes as Canada narrowly defeated Costa Rica 1-0 to advance to the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying final and, along with the U.S., clinch a spot in the 2020 Olympics.

Americans Abroad

Defender Timothy Chandler remained in good form after scoring two goals in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 5-0 win over FC Augsburg to stay in the top half of the table in the Bundesliga. As for other Americans in Europe, John Brooks hopes to play for Wolfsburg in today’s game against Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Alfredo Morales and goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

Midfielder Weston McKennie is doubtful to play for Schalke 04 today and Josh Sargent hopes to suit up for Werder Bremen. We could also see Giovanni Reyna for Borussia Dortmund in today’s showdown against Bayer Leverkusen at 12:30 p.m. Tomorrow features a big match between Tyler Adams’ RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich.

Free Kicks

That’s all from me for today, Mane Landers. Have an awesome Saturday and I’ll see you next time.