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Lion Links: 11/3/21

Antonio Carlos makes MLS Team of the Week, USMNT will play Bosnia and Herzegovina, UEFA Champions League continues, and more.

Orlando City SC v New York City FC Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is doing well down in Florida. It’s been another busy week for me, but I’m hanging in there regardless. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Players Earn Recognition

Orlando center back Antonio Carlos was named to the MLS Team of the Week for his strong performance in the team’s 1-1 draw against Nashville SC. Carlos was a force in the air throughout the match to help limit Nashville’s chances. He joins notable players such as the LA Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, the Columbus Crew’s Lucas Zelarayan, and New York City FC’s Valentin Castellanos on this edition of Team of the Week. Orlando forward Daryl Dike didn’t make Team of the Week, but was noted as one of the league’s best young players this past week.

Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was nominated for 2021 International Federation of Football History & Statistics Men’s World Best Goalkeeper. Gallese has done well in goal for both the Lions and Peru this year and was nominated alongside 19 of the other best goalkeepers in the world such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Manuel Neuer, and Matt Turner.

Decision Day Nears for the Lions

Orlando’s last game of the regular season is this Sunday against CF Montreal at 3:30 p.m. The game will take place in Canada and there will be watch parties throughout the community for supporters to enjoy drink specials and cheer on the Lions. Orlando is one of six teams fighting for the remaining three spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs and there will be plenty at stake on Decision Day.

But before Decision Day, there are important matches tonight. While the Lions aren’t in action, Orlando fans will want to keep an eye on tonight’s game between Montreal and the Houston Dynamo in Canada. Orlando will clinch a spot in the playoffs if Montreal doesn’t beat a Dynamo side that has yet to win on the road this season. The game between Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls tonight will also be impactful as the winner would move ahead of Orlando in the standings.

USMNT Will Play Bosnia and Herzegovina in December

The United States Men’s National Team announced an upcoming friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Dec. 18 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. With the game falling outside of an international window, it is expected for the roster to be composed of mostly MLS players. This will be the third meeting between these two sides, with the last match-up coming in 2018 when the two played to a scoreless draw. They also faced each other back in 2013 when Jozy Altidore scored a hat trick in a 4-3 win for the USMNT. This friendly will help the USMNT prepare for its Concacaf World Cup qualifiers in January against El Salvador, Canada, and Honduras.

UEFA Champions League Group Stage Continues

Paulo Dybala scored twice and had an assist as Juventus booked its ticket to the knockout stage in a 4-2 win over Zenit St. Petersburg. Bayern Munich also secured a spot in the next round by winning 5-2 against Benfica, with Robert Lewandowski netting a hat trick.

Manchester United went on the road to take on Atalanta and drew 2-2 thanks to a pair of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward scored late in the first half and then again in the final moments of the match to keep United on top in Group F. In Spain, FC Barcelona won 1-0 against Dynamo Kyiv and can advance with a win against Benfica on Nov. 23. Christian Pulisic played 15 minutes in his return from injury as Chelsea secured a 1-0 victory against Malmo. In Group G, Brenden Aaronson and RB Salzburg fell 2-1 to Wolfsburg while Timothy Weah and Lille made a comeback to win 2-1 against Sevilla.

Today’s notable match-ups will see Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig host Paris St. Germain, and Dortmund face off with Ajax.

Free Kicks

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