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Lion Links: 8/5/20

Top 10 semifinals players, getting ready for Minnesota, Alex Morgan gets a Barbie, and more.

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

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope the day finds you well. Let’s go ahead and jump into the links.

Shifting Focus for Tomorrow’s Match

Oscar Pareja took the time to talk about how proud he is of the team for celebrating the win over LAFC and then jumping right back into training mode. They know that playing Minnesota United won’t be an easy match. As they prepare for the Loons, the Lions know that there isn’t just one single player they need to worry about.

“There isn’t one specific player [we’re focused on]. We know that Minnesota United has excellent players, especially the wingers,” said Orlando City defender Antonio Carlos, who Akindele called an “MLS All-Star level” center back. “We’ve been talking about what we’re going to do to stop their wingers and also neutralize their midfield.”

Top 10 Players in the MLS is Back Semifinals

In a list of the top 10 players left in this tournament, Orlando City represents 30%. Coming in at number 10 is Mauricio Pereyra as the hub of possession for the Lions. This list isn’t alone in recognizing the efforts of Pareyra. His coaches and teammates have nothing but praise for the midfielder.

“He’s a player that can really dictate the pace of the game,” forward Tesho Akindele said. “You give him the ball, you’re confident he’s going to keep hold of it and make the right pass. His goal and assist numbers haven’t shown the kind of quality player he is, but that’s a good thing because he has room to improve,” Akindele said. ”He’s been unlucky not to get more goals or assist, so he’ll probably revert to the mean and have a couple of those soon.”

At lucky number seven is El Pulpo himself, Pedro Gallese. Finally, coming in at number three is Nani with his assists, goals, and numerous chances created.

What Can Be Learned From OCSC’s Shootout Win Over LAFC?

I’m still coasting through on the happiness that last Friday brought to me. So, what can be gathered from that magical match? The Lions trust the plan. Under Pareja the team’s confidence and skills are sharpening with each match they play. There is a full team effort on defense to help the back line keep things out. Trust the kids. They’re working hard and the minutes they have been getting are making an impact on the game.

Orlando Pride News

After withdrawing from the Challenge Cup, the social media team decided to become a stan account. They were quickly labeled a curse to the teams they chose to represent, sparking some funny back and forth with other teams’ socials. And while they may not have had a chance to win the cup, they came in second for social media engagement. That level of coverage and spread only adds to spreading the greatness that is women’s sports.

In other Pride news, Alex Morgan shared that she has an official Barbie.

Free Kicks
  • Talks with former USWNT head coach Jill Ellis over the move to the England national women’s team have stalled.
  • Fulham FC has earned a spot back in the English Premier League with its win over Brentford in the Championship promotion playoff final.
  • USL Championship named its Team of the Week for week 6, including former Lion Harrison Heath on its bench.
  • Construction on FC Cincinnati’s stadium has come to a stop following “racist incidents.” Building will resume when all employees have completed an anti-bias training.
  • Iker Casillas has announced his retirement at age 39.

That’ll do it for me today, everyone. Have a great day and stay safe!