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Lion Links: 7/23/20

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Orlando City to face Montreal Impact, Gregg Berhalter discusses Chris Mueller, and more.

Orlando City SC v Philadelphia Union

Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions, as usual. I hope you all overcame your hump days with ease. Orlando City supporters, myself included, are still riding high after finishing at the top of Group A. It’s nice to be able to just kick back and enjoy soccer without being on the edge of your seat for 90 minutes. Said tranquility will not last forever, so enjoy it while it lasts. On that note, let’s get into the links for today.

Orlando City Will Take on Thierry Henry’s Montreal Impact in Round of 16

The Lions have been eagerly awaiting who they will square up against in the round of 16. It turns out they will be taking on the Montreal Impact. While the formula is a bit muddy, the MLS website is already showing that Montreal will face Orlando on its bracket. The match will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday night and will air on ESPN2 and TSN.

Gregg Berhalter Discusses Chris Mueller’s Hot Start in MLS is Back

In a recent interview, Gregg Berhalter gave direct mention to the man on fire, Chris Mueller. He also praised the impressive play of Ayo Akinola, who has also been sensational upon soccer’s commencing. After praising Akinola, Berhalter also mentioned Cash and encouraged him to enjoy the here and now and not get too caught up thinking about his bright future.

“Chris [Mueller] is the same thing. Enjoy what your team is doing right now. … Enjoy this period. All the rest is going to come, because as these guys maintain their level and continue to perform at a high level, it’s going to give the coaching staff confidence.”

He also cautioned against fans and media getting too caught up about a player on a hot streak.

“We’re talking about three games each, and we’re saying this is a senior national team player? We have to be careful. We have to give them time to grow.”

Bubble Could Spike Tourism in Central Florida

Given the vast number of people who are suffering from the “travel bug” after being pent up in their respective houses for such a prolonged period, some predict Central Florida, and more specifically Orlando, could see a spike in tourism. Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao spoke out recently praising the impressive safety “the bubble” provides.

“The bubble, the way we call it, it’s proven to be very safe. All the cases that we saw and had came from the original markets to Orlando.”

Despite this, travelers should be wary. Venturing out to scratch the travel itch is still not a good idea as of yet. Being in such close proximity to large groups of people is not the wise thing to do at this time. Be smart.

Charlotte FC Has Unveiled Its Name, Colors and Crest

The newest MLS expansion side, Charlotte FC, has announced its extraordinarily distinctive name, colors and crest as of yesterday. The North Carolina franchise, which is set to join the league in 2022, bravely opted for the ever-distinctive color blue to differentiate itself from the other sides in MLS, seeing as no other teams wear it already. The club also chose the name “Charlotte FC” to portray its distinguished manner as well. In my opinion, the one thing they did right is the badge. It has an elegance to it that is pretty novel in MLS, all sarcasm aside.

Greater Orlando is Ready to Welcome the 2026 World Cup

For some time it has been common knowledge that Orlando will be one of 17 American cities in the running to host 2026 World Cup games. City officials met for a virtual one-on-one session with FIFA and U.S. Soccer about hosting the global event. Mayor Buddy Dyer spoke out saying how exciting the opportunity is and how Orlando is fully capable of being home to an event of such magnitude.

“As one of the United States’ premier sports destinations, Orlando has consistently proven it can successfully host high-profile events,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “No other region can compare to our diversity, entertainment experiences, boundless hospitality and our passion for this global sport. We are thrilled for the opportunity to welcome the world to Orlando again.”

Free Kicks

That’ll do, pig. That’s all for today’s links. As ever, enjoy your Thursday and bask in the calm before the storm that will swell in our hearts upon the Cardiac Cats’ return to action in the round of 16. Until then, catch you on the flip side.