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Lion Links: 6/29/20

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MLS players test positive, NWSL Challenge Cup results, Americans abroad, and more.

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SOCCER: FEB 29 MLS - Orlando City SC v Real Salt Lake

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I’ve had a pretty good week despite the state of the world. My 30-year wait is over, as Liverpool won the English Premier League earlier this week. Let’s just say it was a good thing I was off work that day. It has also helped put other things into perspective. With everything going on in the world, appreciating such joys is all the more important. We need to be careful and look out for each other, regardless of club or country. Once we do that, we can enjoy the victories. Now, let’s get to the links.

Orlando City May Be Missing Lions

Major League Soccer confirmed that 18 players and six staff members tested positive for the coronavirus since the restart of full team training. There were also tests done on-site for teams arriving in Orlando for the MLS is Back tournament and two players tested positive from that group. The league did not reveal which players tested positive or what team they were on, but at least one Orlando City player is said to have tested positive for the coronavirus and several did not enter the bubble, as reported by The Athletic.

OSCS’s front office said that the full tournament roster is there and training, but hasn’t released that full roster yet or confirmed if there were any signed players who did not enter the bubble. The club stated that releasing that information is not required at this time. Although it is a little unclear on if all Lions are present, the video below does feature plenty after training.

Krieger Negative for Coronavirus

Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger now has two negative COVID-19 tests since the positive result that contributed to the Pride withdrawing from the NWSL Challenge Cup.

There hasn’t been word so far on the other Pride players who initially tested positive, but if they also ended up getting initial false positives like Krieger, then the Pride’s 2020 season may have been lost by faulty testing. There are bigger ramifications to unreliable testing than a soccer tournament, obviously, but it would suck to think that Orlando missed out on the Challenge Cup because of that.

NWSL Challenge Cup

The NWSL Challenge Cup began this weekend without the Orlando Pride. The Washington Spirit defeated the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 on Saturday. Rose Lavelle started the scoring early, and Ashley Hatch scored the winning goal. Red Stars midfielder Morgan Brian scored in the second half against former Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.

In the other match, the tournament favorite North Carolina Courage defeated the Portland Thorns, 2-1. The Courage went up on a late goal from Debinha in the 75th minute. Simone Charley pulled the Thorns even in the 80th minute, but Lynn Williams gave the Courage the win in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Americans Abroad

United States Men’s National Team forward Christian Pulisic had a good week. He scored a goal in Chelsea’s win over Manchester City and nearly had another. While he didn’t score in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Leicester City yesterday, he still played well. However, Frank Lampard subbed him off with 18 minutes remaining due to a potential calf issue. Lampard did have high praise for the 21-year-old, saying he had the potential to be like Mo Salah.

Over in the Austrian Bundesliga, American boss Jesse Marsch led RB Salzburg to the domestic double. The win over TSV Hartberg secured the title for Salzburg with two matches left in the season. It’s no surprise that Marsch’s name is being floated for first division positions in various leagues.

Free Kicks
  • Alex De John gave us a little insight into how the team is doing.
  • Finally, let’s wish a very happy first birthday to Roux Dwyer! I think she liked the cake.

That will do it for today. Stay safe. I mean it, as the cases continue to rise in our state. Masks are cool. Social distancing is also cool. Be cool.