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Lion Links: 9/1/20

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Lions dominate Team of the Week, Pride’s Kornieck goes on loan, Dike putting MLS on notice, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 26 MLS Nashville SC at Orlando City SC

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Orlando City SC just won a couple back-to-back games and notched the team’s first-ever victory over Atlanta United, so things are going pretty great right now. As always on Tuesdays, we have lots to talk about so let’s get to it. But first, let’s wish former USL Lion and former OCSC coach James O’Connor a happy birthday.

Weekly Honors for Lions

Multiple Orlando City players were on the receiving end of weekly honors, with three winning inclusion in the starting lineup of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week. Chris Mueller, Junior Urso, and Joao Moutinho all made the starting XI, with Oscar Pareja being named as the coach. In addition, Pedro Gallese and Daryl Dike were also on the bench, giving the roster as a whole a decidedly purple tint. Dike also finished third in Player of the Week voting, while Mueller finished fifth. The Philadelphia Union’s Kacper Przybylko took the top spot with an assist and three goals in weeks seven and eight of the regular season.

Pride Rookie Taylor Kornieck Goes on Loan

The Orlando Pride announced yesterday that Taylor Kornieck has been loaned to a club in the Frauen-Bundesliga, which is the top flight of women’s soccer in Germany. While the Pride didn’t initially disclose which team Kornieck was joining, Jeff Kassouf later announced that the club in question was MSV Duisburg. Kornieck was the third overall pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft, but has yet to play for the team due to the COVI-19 pandemic. The midfielder is joining the team immediately and her loan will run through the rest of 2020. This continues what is by now a well-established trend of the Pride loaning out players to overseas clubs to ensure that they play meaningful competitive minutes as soon as possible. Here’s a handy link breaking down how you can watch the various loaned out Pride players in action this week.

Dike’s Form Catching Eyes

The rise of Daryl Dike has indeed been televised, and as such its garnering plenty of attention around Major League Soccer. The rookie has three goals and two assists in his first three starts for Orlando City, and might be what the Lions have been looking for at the striker position. It also could scarcely come at a better time. With Tesho Akindele sustaining some tightness that’s kept him out of the last few games, Dike has stepped up in a big way. Given the congestion on Orlando’s schedule, which is seeing games flying thick and fast, it’s made his success even more important for the Lions. It’s a lot easier to make sure everyone is rested and healthy when you know you can trust whoever you start to be effective and score goals, which is exactly what Dike has done.

Sargent Impressing at Bremen

Across the pond, USMNT youngster Josh Sargent is also impressing at Werder Bremen ahead of the start of the new Bundesliga season. Bremen required a play-off against second division Heidenheim to preserve the team’s place in the top flight, and was only able to do so via away goals. Sargent played an important part in helping Bremen stay up though, and Bremen manager Florian Kohfeldt has been impressed by the 20-year-old in the buildup to a new season. He specifically touched on Sargent’s physical gifts, understanding of the game, and — perhaps most importantly — his tactical flexibility. If that flexibility can result in him being a consistent player in the Bundesliga then it could mean very good things for the USMNT.

Free Kicks
  • Apparently, the hills are alive with the sound of Mueller (h/t mikesicle on reddit).

That’ll do it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.