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Lion Links: 10/27/21

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Orlando City takes on the Columbus Crew tonight, USWNT shuts out South Korea, Kansas City announces NWSL-specific stadium, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 24 MLS - New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well down in Florida. I’ve been busy this week at work but am looking forward to catching up with friends over the weekend. There’s plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Faces the Columbus Crew Tonight

The Lions are on the road tonight for their midweek match-up at 7:30 p.m. against the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field. The Lions have beaten the Crew five straight times, with the most recent meeting taking place on Sept 4. as Orlando won 3-2 in Exploria Stadium. Orlando enters tonight’s match following a 2-2 draw this past weekend against the New England Revolution while the Columbus Crew lost 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls. Orlando can clinch a playoff berth tonight with a win, a draw between D.C. United and the Red Bulls, and a win from Inter Miami over Atlanta United. Meanwhile, the Crew face elimination from playoff contention tonight if they don’t win and other results across the league don’t fall their way.

Carli Lloyd Bids Farewell in USWNT Win

The United States Women’s National Team defeated South Korea 6-0 at Allianz Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota in Carli Lloyd’s last international game before retirement. Lloyd played until the 66th minute when she was subbed off, finishing an international career that includes 315 appearances, 134 goals, two World Cup titles, and two Olympic gold medals. Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan replaced Lloyd on the pitch and scored a goal in the 69th minute, had an assist in the 89th, and helped create the USWNT’s final goal in stoppage time. Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, and Lynn Williams scored the other goals in the friendly as the USWNT bounced back following a scoreless draw against South Korea last week.

Grading Productivity From MLS Designated Players

Orlando City SC received an A grade for getting great value out of its Designated Players this season. Nani and Mauricio Pereyra have combined for 11 goals and 17 assists this year, spearheading Orlando’s offense as the Lions hunt for a playoff berth. Orlando ranked second in the Eastern Conference in terms of bringing the most value out of its DPs, with Nashville SC taking the top spot thanks to a strong year from Hany Mukhtar and the rest of the offense. The Revs, Seattle Sounders, and Red Bulls are a few of the other clubs that earned strong grades as well.

Kansas City to Make History with NWSL-Specific Stadium

Kansas City’s NWSL team and Port KC announced historic plans to build the first soccer-specific stadium for an NWSL team to be the primary tenant. The stadium will be privately funded and is estimated to be a $70-million project. The team announced earlier in the season that it will build a privately funded training facility and will play its home matches next season at Sporting Kansas City’s Children's Mercy Park. Another announcement from the team is set to take place this weekend as the club will reveal its name after playing its inaugural season without one.

Free Kicks
  • Pride midfielder Marta had an assist in Brazil’s 2-2 draw with Australia. The Pride’s Emily van Egmond also started for Australia in the friendly.
  • Orlando City moved up one spot to seventh in the MLS power rankings following its pair of draws at home to New England and CF Montreal.
  • MLSsoccer.com‘s Joseph Lowery analyzed every Eastern Conference team’s leader in touches. Sebas Mendez leads the Lions with 67.8 touches per 90 minutes and his passing ability has made him a crucial part of Orlando’s midfield.
  • With the next United States Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying matches right around the corner, there’s some discussion to be had on which players will be called up. Daryl Dike is in the mix to be one of the team’s forwards and can bolster his case by continuing to play well for the Lions.
  • LAFC played the Sounders in a critical match for Bob Bradley’s squad and won 3-0. Forward Carlos Vela made his return from injury and will certainly improve LAFC’s chances in its final two games.
  • Chelsea had to go to penalties to defeat Southampton and advance in the Carabao Cup. Arsenal shut out Leeds United 2-0 to also advance to the quarterfinals.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.