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Lion Links: 8/23/20

Lions flop in Fort Lauderdale, Claire Emslie’s Everton loan becomes official, third part of Bleed Purple drops, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Inter Miami CF Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, everyone. I mean, it’s not as happy as we’d like it to be after last night’s match, but it’s better for me to wish you a happy Sunday than to spit at you, so that’s what I went with. The good news is that the matches will be coming fast and furious so there won’t be much time to be bummed about last night for long.

Here’s a reminder that the Young Lions of OCB are in action at 5 p.m. this afternoon at Forward Madison. Now let’s get to the news of the day.

Orlando City Flops in Fort Lauderdale

With Inter Miami amped up to play its first ever home match, it was important for Orlando City to weather an early storm on the road as regular season play resumed last night. However, the Lions conceded 12 minutes into the match instead, gifting a transition goal after Sebas Mendez got a bit too fancy with a midfield pass attempt. Orlando fought back but the Herons not only regained the lead, but took advantage of an inattentive start to the second half by Orlando’s defense to go up by two. Nani’s goal with 10 minutes remaining provided hope, but the equalizer never came. Inter Miami’s first three points come at the expense of the Lions in a 3-2 affair. At least Daryl Dike opened his account.

Check back later today for Jenn Glasheen’s player grades and Ben Miller’s five takeaways.

Bleed Purple Continues

Orlando City’s excellent “Bleed Purple” documentary series dropped its third installment on Friday and it chronicles the Lions’ season from the last-minute sucker punch at Colorado, to the COVID-19 pandemic work stoppage, and all the way through the MLS is Back Tournament run. If you’re an Orlando City fan and you don’t get some goosebumps, please check to see if you have a pulse.

Everton Loan Now Official for Orlando Pride’s Emslie

Orlando Pride and Scotland winger Claire Emslie has long been rumored to be on the move but the club made things official yesterday, announcing that the 26-year-old has gone on loan with Everton in the FA Women’s Super League through the end of the calendar year. The Pride hold the right to recall Emslie at any time should the NWSL season start back up. [I’ll pause for your laughter and/or sounds of exasperation here.] Emslie is fresh off winning a double in Australia with Melbourne City and it sure would be nice to see her and her Pride teammates playing together soon.

Chicago Fire Remind Us that COVID-19 is Still a Thing

The bubble is behind us and MLS teams are out in the “real world” with the rest of us poor saps. This was illustrated when an unnamed first-team Chicago Fire player tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Thankfully all the rest of the players tested negative and the one who tested positive is isolating. Continue being vigilant, folks. There is no cure for this thing yet and even though the players themselves may be in a low-risk group, they come into contact with plenty of people who are not (as do we all). A 46-year-old high school athletic director is not a person you’d normally expect to succumb to COVID-19. Isolate. Wash your hands often. Wear a mask. Stay safe.

Free Kicks
  • If you want to see why I think Matheus Aias will fit well into Oscar Pareja’s plans, watch him on the high press here as he keeps tabs on what’s going on behind him and anticipates the pass coming to his side. I don’t want to make too much of this signing, because who knows how it will work out, but these are the kinds of things the technical staff are looking for.
  • Move over, Christian Pulisic, because the Gio Reyna hype train is building momentum. USMNT fans rejoice.
  • It wasn’t a great return to play for Carlos Vela. Not only did LAFC lose El Trafico, 2-0, but he also left the match with a knee injury. And his manager called the team “terrible.”
  • Those born on this date include Gene Kelly (1912, d. 1996), I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden (1931), former Who drummer Keith Moon (1946, d. 1978), Cheers star Shelley Long (1949), Rick Springfield (1949), former Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison (1951, d. 2014), basketball’s Rik “The Dunking Dutchman” Smits (1966), journalist/broadcaster Jeremy Schaap (1969), actor Jay Mohr (1970), River Phoenix (1970, d. 1993), Kobe Bryant (1978, d. 2020), and basketball’s Jeremy Lin (1988) and Seth Curry (1990).

That’s all my time for today, folks. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend and check back with The Mane Land often for coverage of tonight’s OCB game at Forward Madison and throughout this week for coverage of Orlando City’s first match against Nashville SC, coming up at Exploria Stadium this Wednesday.