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Lion Links: 6/21/20

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Three more MLS players test positive for COVID-19, Trapp ready for Orlando City match-up, a U.S. player debut at Bayern, and more.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Orlando City SC James Gilbert-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, everyone, and happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there in Lion Nation. Hopefully you fathers out there are taking seriously your responsibility to raise your children as rabid Orlando City and Orlando Pride fans.

It’s a game week! We’re now just six days away from the return of Orlando Pride soccer — hopefully. The last few days have been worrisome, as we’ve seen reports of positive COVID-19 tests from an unknown NWSL player, a PGA golfer, a couple of NHL players, five players from MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies, a couple of NASCAR team staffers, and 23 (!) players on the Clemson Tigers football team.

The virus hasn’t just magically disappeared, folks, so please be smart and do your part. Wear your mask in public. It’s not only mandated in Orange County, but knocking down these infection numbers is also the only way we’re ever going to get back into the stadium to see our team play live, barring a vaccine. Maybe you’re not in a high-risk category, but chances are you love someone who is. Keep them safe and let’s keep the return of U.S.-based team sports on track. If you won’t do it for them, do it for your love of seeing live soccer at the stadium.

Let’s get to the news of the day.

Inter Miami, Atlanta United Players Test Positive for COVID-19

In addition to those sports figures mentioned above, a player for Inter Miami and two more from Atlanta United have tested positive for COVID-19. As MLS prepares for its upcoming return to play in Orlando, the signs continue to trend in a troubling way. All three players are reportedly asymptomatic and teams continue non-contact training.

Wil Trapp Says Orlando Match-Up is “Almost Too Perfect”

Inter Miami midfielder Wil Trapp — who I keep forgetting isn’t on the Columbus Crew anymore because there have been no soccer games since March — indicated that he is excited about Miami’s first ever meeting with Orlando City when he spoke with Taylor Twellman on Banter this week.

“Look, it’s almost too perfect that this game was the first game of the tournament, that we were drawn in the same group as Orlando,” Trapp told Twellman. “And look, it’s still early, we have a rivalry because we’re in-state, but I would say nothing’s been foraged yet, nothing’s really been put together yet.

“It’s something, we obviously as players are very passionate about winning this first game — not only for the tournament, but also for the legacy moving forward of what that rivalry will become. 20, 30, 40 years down the line, we hope that we’ll be on the right side of history, for sure.”

Yeah, the “draw” sure was “almost too perfect.” Hopefully the Lions will get this series off on the right foot when the teams meet July 8.

U.S. Youth Defender Makes Bayern Munich Debut

Defender Chris Richards made his Bayern Munich debut on Saturday in a 3-1 win over SC Freiburg. Richards, a former F.C. Dallas prospect, is just 20 years old and could have a bright future ahead of himself with the U.S. Men’s National Team setup. Richards has 10 appearances with the U-20 USMNT. Richards entered Saturday’s match in the 84th minute for Javi Martinez.

“I was very excited when I heard my name to come over to the bench,” Richards told CBS Sports. “Once I got the instructions from the coach then the nerves started to kick it, but after my first action I felt right at home.”

NYRB Bid for League One’s Leading Scorer Rejected

The New York Red Bulls tried to add scoring punch to the team but saw their bid for League One leading scorer Ivan Toney rejected by Peterborough United. The Red Bulls put in a sizable bid of £4 million but the English side is waiting for bigger offers to come in after the 2019-2020 season. The 24-year-old has 26 goals and seven assists in 39 appearances in all competitions.

Free Kicks
  • As Jack Burton said in Big Trouble in Little China, it’s all in the reflexes.
  • Gio Reyna got his first assist in his first Bundesliga start with this sweet one-touch flick to Erling Haaland.
  • This is not a tribute I expected, but it is cool:
  • Best dummy ever?
  • Those born on this date include Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), The Love Boat actor Bernie Kopell (1933), Mariette Hartley (1940), Ray Davies of The Kinks (1944), Family Ties mom Meredith Baxter (1947), Family Ties dad Michael Gross (1947) — yes, seriously, they were born on the same day! — American football coach Wade Phillips (1947), Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer (1950), E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren (1951), Kip Winger (1961), basketball’s Derrick Coleman (1967), Juliette Lewis (1973), John Mitchell — one of my favorite prog rock guitarists — (1973), Chris Pratt (1979), Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers (1981), and also my mother (R.I.P. Mom, I miss you every day).

That’s my time for today. Enjoy your Father’s Day.