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Lion Links: 7/14/20

Lions look for positive step, Moralez out for NYCFC, Riley goes on loan, and more.

MLS: Inter Miami CF at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s a much happier than Tuesday than normal because it’s game day baby! There’s plenty to discuss today so let’s hop right in.

Orlando Looks for Positive Step

Orlando City has its eyes on qualifying for the knockout rounds of the MLS is Back Tournament, and the easiest way to do that is by beating NYCFC tonight. Advancing to the knockout rounds might represent a step forward for the culture of a team that has yet to make the MLS playoffs, and it’s something that hasn’t been lost on members of the team. Oscar Pareja acknowledged that the comeback win over Inter Miami in the Lions’ first game of the tournament was a step in the right direction when it comes to Orlando turning things around, and hopefully tonight’s game is another one.

Moralez Out for NYCFC

Potentially making the job a bit easier for the Lions tonight is the absence of Maxi Moralez for NYCFC. The Argentine suffered a quad injury in the team’s opening game defeat to the Philadelphia Union, and head coach Ronny Deila says the Pigeons could be without his services for weeks. Considering the midfielder has 36 assists for NYCFC over the past two years, and his scoring record against the Lions, his absence is sure to be a big one, and while no one wants to see a player get injured, Orlando now has an even better opportunity to get through to the knockout stages.

Pride Loan Ali Riley to FC Rosengard

Orlando Pride defender Ali Riley has been loaned out to FC Rosengard in Sweden. She will join Rosengard immediately, and her loan spell is set to run through November 2020, although the Pride may recall her at any point during the loan. Riley joined the Pride from Bayern Munich in February on a one-year deal, but previously played with Rosengard from 2012-2018. After the Pride’s withdrawal from the NWSL Challenge Cup Riley is still yet to make an appearance with the team, and hopefully that’s something that can be fixed before too much longer.

Charlotte Narrows Down Names

Charlotte’s MLS expansion team is one step closer to revealing exactly what the name of the team will be. The name “Charlotte FC” has been crossed out from a list of eight names that the team posted to its Twitter, with the final choice set to be announced July 22. There are some...interesting choices that have yet to be eliminated (looking at you, Carolina Gliders FC) and while some of them aren’t likely to get a lot of love on the interwebs, I don’t find any of them as bad as Inter Miami CF. Personally, I quite like “Charlotte Town FC.” It’s not too out there, uses a moniker that no team in the league has used yet, and just sounds kind of nice in general. All in favor?

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City took out an ad in Inter Miami’s own paper.

Don’t forget that Orlando City takes on NYCFC at 8 pm tonight! Y’all stay safe out there.