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Lion Links: 9/20/20

Orlando City wins, the Orlando Pride kick off their 2020 season, transfer roundup, and more.

Chicago Fire FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Happy Sunday, everyone. It was a wet and wild night at Exploria Stadium last night but the good guys came out on top after Orlando City’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire. The Orlando Pride also got a result yesterday. Unfortunately, OCB was off due to a positive COVID-19 test by someone in the organization.

As we rest up from last night and enjoy what’s left of our weekend, let’s get to the news of the day.

Lions Finally Get Home Win vs. Fire

Orlando City jumped out to a 2-0 lead early but it never felt that comfortable as the Fire got into dangerous spots all night on the wet field at Exploria Stadium. The Lions got the benefit of two goals overturned on video review and also faced two penalty kicks in the match — the first of which was saved by El Pulpo. It was a crazy game and could have gone any number of ways, but in the end it turned out to be a 4-1 home win that vaulted Orlando City into second place in the Eastern Conference.

And check back later today for Jenn Glasheen’s five takeaways and my player grades. We’ll also have a photo gallery from Dan MacDonald for you on Monday.

Pride Kick Off Fall Series with Draw at North Carolina

It didn’t matter that the Orlando Pride were playing their first game in almost a year, with a lineup that included two rookies on the back line and another in the midfield. It didn’t matter that the Pride were on the road. It didn’t matter that their opponents were the two-time defending champion North Carolina Courage — a team that had not only played in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, but also the previous week against the Houston Dash in a 4-3 win. All that mattered was that the Pride went to WakeMed Soccer Park and will bring home a point after a surprisingly entertaining 0-0 draw. Right back Carrie Lawrence kind of stole the show with a vital goal-line clearance late and a shot off the crossbar that could have won it. It was a promising return for the Pride, who still have work to do, but Saturday’s match was an encouraging start to the Fall Series.

Tales from the Transfer Market

While Orlando City waits for Matheus Aias’ arrival, the transfer market marches on everywhere else. There were multiple deals yesterday. Here are some of them:

Gio Reyna Scores First Bundesliga Goal

The young U.S. attacker opened his account on Saturday but broke my heart while doing it. As a Borussia Monchengladbach fan, I did not want to see Reyna open the scoring 10 minutes before halftime in a scoreless draw, but that’s what happened. Borussia Dortmund went on to win 3-0 and I went even more numb inside than I already was.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City is on a six-game unbeaten streak but Atlanta United is winless in six. What a time to be alive.
  • Former Lion Brek Shea scored the most recent game winner against Atlanta because he’s apparently invisible to defenders. Watch how the Five Stripes ignore him until it’s too late.
  • A prospective buyer toured Real Salt Lake’s facilities last week.
  • Those born on this date include basketball legend Red Auerbach (1917), actress Sophia Loren (1934), George R.R. (write the next book already!) Martin (1948), former Styx bassist and drummer (respectively) Chuck and John Panozzo (1948), hockey legend Guy Lafleur (1951), actor Gary Cole (1956), 3rd Rock from the Sun star Kristen Johnston (1967), Nelson band founders Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (1967), and actor Aldis Hodge (1986).

That’s all of my time for today. Enjoy what’s left of the weekend while I catch up on yardwork and laundry and get ready for Wednesday night’s match at Sporting Kansas City.