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Lion Links: 11/11/21

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Daryl Dike praised, U.S. U-20s get smoked, Benji Michel Q&A and more.

MLS: CF Montreal at Orlando City SC Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in an eternity, Wednesday was pretty quiet! We’re in the middle of a FIFA international window meaning no MLS, no Champions League and relatively little around the world. With that being said, we’ve still got plenty of links to share with you this morning.

Daryl Dike Among Top Young Players on Decision Day

Orlando City striker Daryl Dike, who scored a goal in the club’s 2-0 victory over CF Montreal on Sunday, was listed among the top young players in the league for Week 35. Aside from just praising Dike’s performance, Charles Boehm of MLSSoccer.com stirred the Dike rumor mill pot again.

While USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter has somewhat mysteriously decided that there’s nothing at all Dike can offer his squad in this month’s World Cup qualifiers vs. Mexico and Jamaica, a multitude of European clubs have reached the opposite conclusion and you can expect the transfer chatter to simmer feverishly in the coming months. What price will be sufficient for OCSC to let go of their crown jewel?

Aside from Dike, Atlanta’s Ezequiel Barco and Colorado’s Cole Bassett were recognized.

Benji Michel in Continental Q&A

Orlando City Homegrown winger Benji Michel is one of the better personalities on Orlando’s roster, and he flashed that in a Q&A video for Continental Tire. Ideally, we’d just embed the video, but we can’t seem to do that, but you can click on the link and then on the video with Benji.

Michel is probably the best product of the Orlando City Development Academy to date, playing over 70 games in three seasons with the first team and earning a call-up to the United States roster for Concacaf Olympic qualifying.

U.S. U-20s Thumped 4-0 by Brazil

While the senior United States Men’s National Team preps for a showdown with Mexico Friday, the U-20 national team played its first match in 18 months. The team met Brazil in the opener of the Revelations Cup, a U-20 tournament featuring the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, and it did not go well, ending in a 4-0 Brazil victory.

The U.S. side, highlighted by San Jose’s Cade Cowell, New York’s Caden Clark, and Seattle’s Danny Leyva, barely practiced before the match and hired head coach Mikey Vargas just five days ago. It’s an undeniably talented team, but the situation certainly wasn’t conducive to success.

Sporting Kansas City/USMNT Center Back Matt Besler Announces Retirement

It’s officially the end of an era in Major League Soccer. Days after the league’s all-time leading goal scorer Chris Wondolowski announced his retirement, one of the best center backs in league history and fellow 2014 World Cup veteran, Matt Besler, announced he’d be stepping away from the game as well.

Besler played 12 seasons in Kansas City, serving as club captain for his hometown team, and also spent this past year playing for Austin FC. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and was a five-time All-Star. The Notre Dame alum also made 47 appearances for the national team.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando Pride released a vlog with Goalkeeping Coach Lloyd Yaxley.

That’s it for this Thursday. Have a great rest of your day.