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Lion Links: 3/22/21

Daryl Dike is thriving outside his comfort zone, Lions help U-23 U.S. team win, Americans abroad, and more.

Barnsley v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everybody! We are now a little under a month away from Orlando City’s home opener and I just found out that I’ll be able to attend, so I’m starting my week off on the right note. There’s plenty to talk about today, so let’s get right to it.

Daryl Dike Blossoming Outside Comfort Zone

Orlando City’s Daryl Dike is a long way from Oklahoma as he helps Barnsley FC climb up the English Football League Championship table. While his side lost 2-1 against Sheffield Wednesday this weekend, Dike has done very well during his time abroad. Part of the reason for that is his support system, as his older brother Bright is never too far away with advice while the rest of his family helps guide and push him. Dike stated that his older brother is his idol and his family provides a platform of support that has helped while in England. Dike had found his footing in the physically intense league and now shifts gears to international duty with the United States Men’s National Team this week.

Lions Feature in U-23 U.S. Victory

Orlando midfielder Andres Perea started and played all 90 minutes in the U-23 USMNT’s 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic in the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament. The first half was a scoreless and largely frustrating affair for the U.S., but the game came to life in the later stages of the second half. The U.S. scored four goals after the 61st minute mark, with Orlando’s Benji Michel providing the assist on the last goal.

Americans Score and More Across Europe

It was a very busy weekend for Americans plying their trade overseas. Most notably, Sergino Dest started and bagged a pair of goals in Barcelona’s 6-1 demolition job of Real Sociedad.

Both John Brooks and Tyler Adams started and went the full 90 minutes in wins for VfL Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig, respectively. Chris Richards notched an assist in Hoffenheim’s losing effort against Mainz, Timothy Chandler scored a goal for Eintracht Frankfurt in a 5-2 victory over Union Berlin.

In FA Cup action, Christian Pulisic did well in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United while Zack Steffen started and made a pair of saves for Manchester City in a 2-0 win against Everton.

Toronto FC Resumes Camp

A little over two weeks after shutting down due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases, Toronto FC has resumed its preseason camp. The team had its last full training session on March 3, and daily testing sessions of personnel caught nine positive cases of the coronavirus, resulting in a break where players and staff were sent home to isolate. While some players were able to resume individual workouts last Monday, the team started having full practices again for the first time on Friday. The team is scheduled to leave for Orlando on Wednesday to continue its preparations for the Concacaf Champions League and MLS season next month.

Free Kicks
  • There was sad news this weekend as Orlando Pride goalkeeper Brittany Wilson’s mother passed away.
  • Check out some scenes from Orlando City’s training.

That’ll do it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.