The air smells a little sweeter this morning. The birds are chirping happily. There’s a little extra spring in my step. For all the bad things 2020 brought us, it has finally brought an Orlando City win over Atlanta United. That doesn’t forgive all of the other stuff, but perhaps it makes it a bit more bearable for a little while.
Why don’t we take a deep breath and savor our Sunday serving of Lion Links?
Orlando City Drops Atlanta United, 3-1
The starting XI was a little bit eyebrow-raising — Benji Michel and Junior Urso stepped in for Nani and Mauricio Pereyra in the attacking midfield alongside Chris Mueller .Where would the goals come from? Could Daryl Dike and Mueller carry the team? They could, but they didn’t have to. Mueller set up Urso on a corner, then scored his sixth of the season to — at least temporarily — move into a tie for first in the golden boot race. Dike helped set up Cash’s goal, along with Michel. Nani came off the bench to add some insurance late. The big question now is how serious Joao Moutinho’s second-half injury will turn out to be.
- Here’s my match recap with highlights and quotes from Oscar Pareja, Mueller, and Urso.
- Here are my player grades and Man of the Match (yep, double duty for me this week).
- The view from the other side comes from Dirty South Soccer.
And check back later this morning for Ben Miller’s five takeaways from the match.
Doyle Breaks Down the Dike Factor
I am totally here for Matt Doyle of MLSSoccer.com becoming the world’s biggest Daryl Dike fanboy. Because who could blame him? The rookie has burst onto the scene since being inserted into the starting lineup, responding with three goals and two assists in three games. But, as Doyle points out with this video analysis, Dike has done more than that. Occupying defenders and making smart decisions with the ball is setting Dike apart. I felt on draft day like he could be a steal and even though it’s early, he’s showing signs of that tremendous upside.
Pride Star Alex Morgan is Returning
With all of the news of players going out on loan around the world, Orlando Pride fans will be happy to know that Alex Morgan is heading back to the City Beautiful. Morgs posted on social media yesterday that she was heading back to Orlando for team training ahead of the NWSL Fall Series, which starts in just days.
McKennie to Juventus is Official
Young USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie’s move to Juventus is a rumor no more. His signing was officially announced by Juventus on Saturday. It’s a one-year loan with an option to buy but this is an enormous opportunity for McKennie, who will be competing for Champions League minutes and a Serie A title. The USMNT may have missed a recent World Cup but the future looks bright with so many young stars getting snapped up by big clubs.
- Former Lion Dillon Powers popped into my mentions yesterday. Things did not go well for Dillon’s Dundee United side, which lost 4-0 to Kilmarnock.
In the Scottish Premier League, central midfielder Ian Harkes with the start for Dundee United away against Kilmarnock. Fellow American Dillon Powers on the bench for #DUFC— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 29, 2020
- Former Chicago Fire manager Veljko Paunovic has surfaced as the new man in charge of Reading FC in the English Championship.
- Chelsea beat Manchester City on the women’s side of the Community Shield yesterday, and one of the goals was this scorcher from Millie Bright:
If you don’t have ESPN+, take the minute to watch this Millie Bright goal for Chelsea because goddamn. pic.twitter.com/wH9gV7gaAn— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) August 29, 2020
- On the men’s side, Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties to claim the Community Shield.
- Here’s Josh Sargent doing Josh Sargent things:
An excellent turn and finish by Josh Sargent in Werder Bremen's friendly against Groningen pic.twitter.com/18N15N95VH— Future USMNT (@FutureUsmnt) August 29, 2020
- Those born on this date include novelist Mary Shelley (1797), My Three Sons star Fred MacMurray (1908), baseball’s Ted Williams (1918), business mogul Warren Buffett (1930), the Mamas & the Papas singer John Phillips (1935), baseball’s Tug McGraw (1944), comic Lewis Black (1948), Boston Celtics legend Robert Parish (1953), actor Michael Chiklis (1963), Cameron Diaz (1972), and tennis star Andy Roddick (1982).
That’s all my time for today. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend and soak up every ounce of last night’s win before Wednesday’s trip to Nashville SC. OCB is back in action Thursday.