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Lion Links: 3/20/21

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Orlando City will face Crew March 27, Pride match against Spirit canceled, changes to USMNT roster, and more.

Orlando City Soccer vs. Columbus Crew Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Happy Saturday, everyone. We’re rolling right through the preseason and before you know it we’ll be heading to the stadium for Orlando City matches and Orlando Pride Challenge Cup games.

Meanwhile, there’s Olympic qualifying going on, some upcoming USMNT matches, and plenty of European soccer to enjoy. With that said, let’s get to the the news of the day.

Orlando City’s Preseason “TBA” Opponent Revealed

When the Lions announced their preseason schedule for 2021, the March 27 date had no opponent listed, with ‘TBA’ slotted in as a placeholder. That team will be the Columbus Crew at 7 p.m. in a closed-door friendly at Exploria Stadium, according to the Crew. The teams met once in the regular season in 2020, with Orlando coming out on top, 2-1 despite being down a man. The Crew will also play New York City FC, Minnesota United, and Toronto FC while in Orlando.

Orlando Pride’s Preseason Match at Washington Canceled

The Pride lost a tune-up for the NWSL Challenge Cup on Friday when today’s scheduled preseason game against the Washington Spirit was officially canceled. The match was canceled due to caution regarding COVID-19 testing results in the Spirit’s camp this week. Orlando will wrap up the preseason with only four preseason games under their belt. There is one remaining — a home friendly against Florida State University on April 3.

Tyler Adams, Tim Weah Out of Upcoming USMNT Friendlies

Midfielder Tyler Adams and forwards Nicholas Gioacchini and Tim Weah have been withdrawn from the USMNT roster for the upcoming friendlies against Jamaica and Northern Ireland. Gregg Berhalter has added midfielder Christian Cappis and forward Jordan Siebatcheu to the roster as replacements. The three players were withdrawn from the roster due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements in their respective areas. It’s another reminder that — vaccines or no vaccines — we’re still in a global pandemic.

To address the unique situation worldwide related to the global pandemic, theFIFA Council has enacted temporary rules that exempt clubs from releasing players for international duty should they be required to observe a minimum of five days in quarantine upon their return.

Cappis previously took part in the USMNT’s 2020 January camp but this will be Siebatcheu’s first camp for the U.S. at any level.

The USMNT also announced Friday that it will face Switzerland in a friendly on May 30. The match will take place in St. Gallen, Switzerland, just before the team competes in the Concacaf Nations League Final Four.

Sargent vs. Brooks Headlines Yanks Abroad This Weekend

U.S. striker Josh Sargent will face his national team colleague John Brooks when Werder Bremen hosts Wolfsburg today at 10:30 a.m. ET (ESPN+). That match will be the highlight of the matches USMNT fans will want to watch this weekend, although Orlando City fans may be more interested in Daryl Dike and Barnsley face Sheffield Wednesday today at 11 a.m. (ESPN+). Check out the link for the full list to find your favorite U.S. Men’s National Team players.

Free Kicks
  • Those born on this date include Carl Reiner (1922), Fred “Mr.” Rogers (1928), Barney Miller star Hal Linden (1931), country star/actor Jerry Reed (1937), basketball coaching legend Pat Riley (1945), hockey’s Bobby Orr (1948), ELP drummer Carl Palmer (1950), Spike Lee (1957), Holly Hunter (1958), pro wrestling’s Sting (1959), Kathy Ireland (1963), Harry Potter films/Wonder Woman star David Thewlis (1963), Ruby Rose (1986), and Panama international Roman Torres (1986).

That’s it for me today. Enjoy your weekend.