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Lion Links: 9/28/20

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Orlando City draws FC Dallas, the Orlando Pride’s youth movement, Sergino Dest on the move, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I love it when I’m right, but I’m also happy to be wrong if I’ve called a loss for Orlando City like I did on The Mane Land Pawedcast this past week. With the Lions completing a successful road trip, let’s take a look at the Links!

Orlando City Draws FC Dallas

The Lions extended their unbeaten streak to eight games despite going down a man in the 69th minute when Sebas Méndez received his second yellow and was sent off. The Lions played FC Dallas to a 0-0 draw, continuing to rotate the starting lineup. Even when playing with only 10 men, Orlando still had some chances and was able to see out the match against Head Coach Óscar Pareja’s former club.

Check back later today when Sean Rollins brings you player grades and the Man of the Match, as well as five takeaways from the draw from Daniel Finton.

Orlando Pride Youngsters Look to Improve

With 12 Pride players on loan across the world, it was obvious that there would be plenty of new and younger players taking the field for Orlando during the NWSL Fall Series. Two matches in, players like Courtney Petersen and Carrie Lawrence have had to make a big leap into playing with the likes of Sydney Leroux and Marta. The pair also had to defend Debinha and Lynn Williams in the first match against the North Carolina Courage, and did well. The Pride earned a point against the reigning champs, but were unable to repeat that performance in the second match against the Houston Dash, losing 3-1. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and some of the other veterans have been hard on the rookies, but the youngsters are welcoming the constructive criticism, and hope to use it to improve.

Sergino Dest is Set for Spain

Ajax accepted a €20 million offer from FC Barcelona for United States Men’s National Team right back Sergino Dest. Bayern Munich had also been pursuing Dest but was unable to come to terms. It will be Ronald Koeman’s first signing since taking over at Camp Nou. It’s not surprising that Koeman is interested in Dest as he tried to get him to come play for the Netherlands before Dest decided to play for the U.S. Dest will travel to Barcelona for his medical evaluation. It is likely Dest is being brought in to start, but it might still take some time until he does so consistently.

CONMEBOL Answers MLS

You might have heard that MLS is allowing clubs to refuse to release players for international duty, citing worries surrounding Covid-19 and lengthy quarantines. CONMEBOL is taking issue with MLS for this stance, feeling that the league is not taking the qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup seriously enough. In fact, it sent a letter to FIFA asking the organization to step in to help convince MLS to amend its position.

Free Kicks
  • Do you miss listening to the VAR audio that we had during the MLS is Back Tournament? Me too. Here’s at least a little taste of recent decisions including when one of the times the Chicago Fire had a goal waved off against Orlando City.
  • Though she didn’t play or make the bench, Claire Emslie’s Everton squad defeated FA Women’s Super League champions Chelsea 2-1 at Goodison Park on Sunday to advance to the FA Women’s Cup semifinals.
  • Gonzalo Higuaín made his start for Inter Miami CF on Sunday, amid some questioning that he didn’t complete the MLS quarantine protocol upon entering the country. It’s all a little convoluted, so I recommend you read the entire twitter thread.
  • Oh, and Higuaín also sent a penalty kick into the wild blue yonder in his first MLS match.

That will do it for today’s links. Check back for all the latest Orlando City, Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B news.