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Lion Links: 8/1/20

Orlando City advances, Claire Emslie reportedly loaned, Orlando City B season begins, and more.

SOCCER: JUL 31 MLS is Back Quarterfinal - Orlando City SC v LAFC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is doing well this weekend as we enter August. We should all be excited and relieved that Orlando City was able to pull out a penalty shootout victory after last night’s draw in the MLS is Back Tournament. I’ll get to all of that and more in today’s links!

Orlando City Knocks Out LAFC

The Lions advanced to the semifinals in the MLS is Back Tournament after shocking LAFC, and knocking them out 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes of play. Nani missed a penalty minutes before Bradley Wright-Phillips gave LAFC the lead in the 60th minute. But Orlando’s captain redeemed himself, finding Joao Moutinho on a corner kick in the 90th minute to equalize and then converting the winning penalty in the shootout. Orlando City will play the winner of tonight’s match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Minnesota United on Thursday, Aug 6.

Keep an eye out for David Rohe’s player grades and Man of the Match later today and Scott Carnevale has your five takeaways from the match as well.

Claire Emslie Reportedly Loaned to Everton

According to ESPN’s sources, Orlando Pride forward Claire Emslie signed with Everton on a six-month loan for the upcoming FA Women’s Super League season. Emslie played with Melbourne City in the W-League last season, where she scored four goals to help Melbourne defend its league title. Pride players are still waiting for the National Women’s Soccer League to decide if it will hold more matches in 2020. The Orlando Pride didn’t compete in the NWSL Challenge Cup due to several players testing positive for the coronavirus. Defender Ali Riley was also loaned to her former club, FC Rosengard, in early June.

There have been plenty of rumors about NWSL players potentially moving to Europe for the remainder of 2020 now that the Challenge Cup is over. If the league decides not to play until 2021, it’s very likely we will see more players depart on loans to European clubs. The NWSL board is expected to meet again early next week, which should give some clarity moving forward.

Orlando City B Plays Tormenta FC in USL League One Opener

OCB will finally get to play its first match of the USL League One season on the road tonight against South Georgia Tormenta FC at 8 p.m. at Erk Russell Park. Tormenta FC played two games so far this season, getting two points from draws against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC and the Richmond Kickers. OCB hasn’t beaten Tormenta FC in three meetings, with two losses and a draw. Their last meeting was on July 24, 2019, when Tormenta FC crushed the Young Lions 4-1 at home. OCB will look to change the narrative and hopefully get its first win against Tormenta FC. You can watch the game tonight on ESPN+ and stay tuned later for Sean Rollins’ preview.

Americans Abroad

It won’t be a busy weekend for American players now that Europe seasons are finishing up. But Christian Pulisic looks to capture his first trophy for Chelsea today when he plays against Arsenal at 1 p.m. in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on ESPN+. Pulisic will be the third American to play in an FA Cup final, joining Tim Howard and John Harkes. Chelsea finished fourth in the English Premier League and clinched a spot in the UEFA Champions League, while Arsenal finished in eighth place and will have to win to clinch a spot in the Europa League next season.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., there are two games today for the MLS is Back Tournament quarterfinals. Jackson Yeuill, Nick Lima, and the San Jose Earthquakes face Minnesota United tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN 2. In the late game at 10:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1, James Sands and New York City FC will play Jeremy Ebobisse and the Portland Timbers.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando forward Benji Michel and the Lions were celebrating the big win last night.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Take care of yourselves, stay safe this weekend, and I’ll see you next time.