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Lion Links: 9/7/20

Daryl Dike is the real deal, the Orlando Pride are returning, Orlando City B loses, and more.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Is it just me or is it weird being in September? I know that each month feels like a year, and that this year has already felt like a decade, but I’m still astounded each time we hit a new month. I’m also slightly annoyed we’re seeing pumpkin spice stuff and winter clothes in stores when it’s still topping 90 degrees each day. But I might be even more annoyed at the memes that point out that it’s too early for pumpkin spice stuff in Florida. I have complex feelings about it all, though I am happy that Oktoberfest beers (known as Märzen beers) are coming into season. I think that’s enough personal sharing for today, so let’s get to the links.

The Impact of Orlando’s Draw

Evidently, giving up the goal to Atlanta United FC was deflating for the Orlando City faithful, and a wonderful result for Atlanta supporters. I would agree it’s disappointing, but given how the Lions were the better team on the pitch most of the night, I wouldn’t describe myself as “deflated.” How about you? One of the reasons why I’m doing as well as I am after dropping points at home is how much it meant for Atlanta to get that point. It’s quite the change from the past, and the MLS is a league with plenty of parity. While it wasn’t the preferred result, a point is a point and isn’t it telling that it doesn’t seem good enough now?

Daryl Dike is Getting Noticed

With three goals and three assists in five matches, Dike is making noise in his rookie season with Orlando City. Dike is one of those rare finds from the MLS SuperDraft that the Lions seem to be able to find every few years. Just like Cyle Larin and Chris Mueller, Dike is well worth the draft pick. Dike’s holdup play, decision making, and ability to play with his back to goal have been much better than one would have expected. His play has been a bright spot among bright spots since the MLS restart. His attitude is also exactly what one would hope for from a promising, young talent.

Excitement Building for NWSL Fall Series

Despite the fact that numerous players from the Orlando Pride and many other NWSL teams have been loaned out, there is still plenty to get excited about for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Fall Series. With the Pride’s first match being against the North Carolina Courage, one might not think it’s a big match, but given that the Pride haven’t played yet in 2020, it does hold some appeal. Add in whether the Pride’s stan account will make a reappearance, and there’s at least some interesting stories to be told. Of course, that’s just the Orlando stuff, and each club will be dealing with its own issues as the NWSL tries to put some sort of soccer on display.

Orlando City B Loses on the Road

In the first of a three-game road trip, Orlando City B fell 1-0 to Union Omaha. Mason Stajduhar, Joey DeZart, and Jordan Bender all started in the away game, but Omaha scored in the 43rd minute to sink the Young Lions early on. It was only the second time OCB was shut out this season and hopefully the offense can make some noise in the next road game against Fort Lauderdale CF.

MLS Routs and Rivalry Games

There was a heavy slate of MLS action last night. In the Eastern Conference, D.C. United drew 0-0 with New York City FC despite not having a shot on goal. The Philadelphia Union leapfrogged back into second place with a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. The New England Revolution won their first match against the Chicago Fire in the Windy City since 2013 by a score of 2-1. The Columbus Crew maintained their stranglehold on first place with a 3-0 win over FC Cincinnati in the Hell is Real Derby, and Inter Miami CF played Nashville FC to a scoreless draw.

In the Western Conference, Minnesota United dominated in a 4-0 win over Real Salt Lake, the LA Galaxy took down LAFC in a 3-0 home victory in El Trafico, and the Seattle Sounders fell 2-1 against the rival Portland Timbers.

Free Kicks
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticized Sweden boss Janne Andersson for not starting midfielder Dejan Kulusevski in the 1-0 loss to France in the Nations League on Saturday. It’s odd since Zlatan is known for being so soft spoken.
  • Just because Lionel Messi is staying put, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other transfer rumors in Europe, including what might become of Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann.
  • Speaking of rumors, should Bayern Munich take a look at American right back Sergino Dest? He’s one of five players the German giant could target.
  • With the match reaching its end, every outfield player did their part in Miami FC’s equalizer against the Charleston Battery on Saturday.

That will do it for today. There’s actually the better part of a week until the Lions play Inter Miami, so enjoy the breather, and keep checking back for more news as it drops.