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Lion Links: 5/19/21

Orlando City prepares to face Toronto FC, MLS power rankings, Ashlyn Harris up for NWSL Save of the Week, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at D.C. United Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope you all are having a great week so far. I just finished up my last shift at Disney Springs and will be preparing to move to Chicago this weekend to begin my next adventure. We have plenty to cover today, so let’s get right to the links.

Orlando City Prepares to Face Toronto FC

The Lions are preparing for their match-up this Saturday at 7 p.m. against Toronto at Exploria Stadium. After a slow start to the season, Toronto’s form has picked up recently with a 2-0 win against the Columbus Crew and a 1-1 draw against New York City FC last week. Toronto midfielder and 2020 MLS MVP Alejandro Pozuelo hasn’t played a game yet this season, but is close to making a return according to Toronto Head Coach Chris Armas. Former Lion Dom Dwyer made his first appearance for Toronto against NYCFC, coming off the bench for 21 minutes of action.

Toronto has given the Lions trouble over the years, winning eight of the 12 meetings between the two clubs. But this Saturday will be the first time the two teams have met with Oscar Pareja coaching the Lions and he has a good track record against the Reds.

Lions Stay Near the Top of Power Rankings

The Lions remained fifth in the MLS power rankings after their 1-0 win on the road against D.C. United. The Seattle Sounders are still on top after their 2-0 win against LAFC. They aren’t the only Western Conference team in the top five as the LA Galaxy jumped five spots into fourth following their 2-0 win against Austin FC. The New England Revolution also rose four spots and are now in second, bouncing back by defeating the Columbus Crew 1-0. In third, the Philadelphia Union won 1-0 against the New York Red Bulls to move up one spot.

In ESPN’s power rankings, the Lions moved up five spots to fourth. The Sounders, Galaxy, and Revolution are also in ESPN’s top five, but the Union are in ninth while NYCFC takes the fifth spot.

Ashlyn Harris Nominated for Save of the Week

Yet again, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is up for NWSL Save of the Week. In the fourth minute of the Pride’s 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit, Harris made a great save to deny Trinity Rodman in a one-on-one situation. Harris is one of the best goalkeepers in the league and will likely be nominated many more times this season.

Toronto FC Will Remain in Orlando

The Reds will remain in their temporary home at Exploria Stadium until the team can return to BMO Field. Due to border restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian club has had to play its MLS home games in Florida. Rather than heading to Canada and traveling in and out of the country to play games near the border, team president Bill Manning is opting for the status quo for the time being. Toronto hosted its Concacaf Champions League matches at Osceola Heritage Park and Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.

Free Kicks
  • You can relive all the action from Orlando’s win against D.C. United.
  • Red Bulls defender Aaron Long ruptured his Achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of the 2021 MLS season after undergoing surgery.
  • After making a reversal on its rebrand, the Columbus Crew revealed their updated crest.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday, stay safe, and I’ll see you next time.