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Lion Links: 11/5/21

Orlando City prepares for CF Montreal, Orlando Pride head into an important off-season, USMNT roster announced, and more.

MLS: New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I’ve been enjoying the cooler weather as temperatures drop a bit heading into the weekend. Decision Day is only a few days away so make sure to get your game plans in order. Let’s dive right into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City Prepares for CF Montreal

Decision Day will determine whether or not the Lions will claim a spot in the postseason as they face CF Montreal this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Canada. The Lions can book their ticket with a win or a draw while Montreal will need all three points to make the playoffs. Orlando is undefeated this season when keeping opponents from scoring multiple goals, which will be a tough task against a Montreal offense that is getting healthier as both Romell Quioto and Lassi Lappalainen returned from injury in a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo earlier this week. One of the biggest match-ups during the game will be between Orlando’s wide defenders and Montreal’s Djordje Mihailovic. The 22-year-old American is enjoying a career year with Montreal and is second in the league with 16 assists.

Orlando Pride Face an Important Off-Season

After missing out on the playoffs, the Pride now turn their attention to a busy off-season with the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft and 2022 NWSL Draft both set to take place next month. The Pride will be in the market for a new coach after Marc Skinner left during the summer and interim head coach Becky Burleigh withdrew from consideration. The midfield will also need a revamp to better connect the team’s stars on offense and defense. Phoebe McClernon and Taylor Kornieck had good years in Orlando and Viviana Villacorta will give the Pride another option in the midfield when she recovers from the ACL injury that kept her from playing this year.

USMNT Roster Revealed for November Qualifiers

United States Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter named his 25-man roster for World Cup qualifiers later this month against Mexico and Jamaica. Orlando City forward Daryl Dike was not selected for these qualifiers despite a good run of form with the Lions and Berhalter gave his reasoning for the choice.

“We want dynamic movement in the penalty box. These type of things are important. Daryl, I think is getting back to his form. I think he will have a role to play with the national team in the future, I think it’s just not exactly where we need it to be right now. Jordan, similar, he’s a strong, physical forward, more of a stationary type of forward, a hold-up player. And we’re looking for guys that are running a little bit more.”

Christian Pulisic returns to the team after his injury in September and joins other European-based players such as Weston McKennie, Brenden Aaronson, and Tyler Adams. Sergino Dest is excluded from the roster due to a back injury and 18-year-old right back Joe Scally earns his first call-up after doing well with Borussia Monchengladbach. Veteran center back John Brooks also won’t be with the squad and agreed with Berhalter’s decision.

USWNT Will Play Australia Later This Month

In its final games of 2021, the United States Women’s National Team will travel to take on Australia for a pair of friendlies. The USWNT will play the Matildas in Sydney for the first time on Nov. 27 before traveling to face them again in Newcastle on Nov. 30. The games will be good tests for the USWNT after friendlies against Paraguay and South Korea, following the Olympics. It is also the first time the USWNT will make the trip to Australia since a 1-0 win in Newcastle in 2000.

Free Kicks

That’s going to be all from me today. Decision Day is going to be tense for Orlando fans, but don’t forget to have some fun out there as we support the Lions from home.