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Lion Links: 5/31/21

The Orlando Pride win, Daryl Dike gains more interest, the USMNT falls to Switzerland, and much more.

SOCCER: MAY 30 NWSL - Kansas City at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We’ve reached the end of May. If you’re lucky enough to be off work today for Memorial Day then remember those who served. There was some good and some bad this weekend. Orlando City gets to rest up during the international break after a road loss while the Orlando Pride spend another week atop the NWSL table. Let’s start the holiday off with some links!

Orlando Pride Remain Undefeated

The Pride secured their third win in seven days with a 1-0 victory over Kansas City in Exploria Stadium. There was some confusion as to whether Marta or Alex Morgan scored the game’s only goal in the 16th minute off of a corner, but it was indeed Marta who scored with Morgan getting the assist. The Pride missed some chances to extend their lead, and needed another stout defensive performance to get the result. The win keeps the Orlando Pride at the top of the NWSL standings with an impressive 10 points in four matches. The Pride will travel to Audi Field to take on the Washington Spirit next Sunday at 2 p.m.

More European Clubs Interested in Daryl Dike

We’ve known that Daryl Dike is destined for great things ever since he scored his first goal with Orlando. His very successful loan to Barnsley FC shortened the timetable on his permanent move to a European club. Dike is reportedly being linked to at least eight clubs including Everton, Wolves, Southampton, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Norwich, West Bromwich Albion, and Fulham. While Everton and Wolves lead that chase in England, he’s also gaining interest from clubs in Germany as well. Given his ability and strong performances over the past year, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dike is no longer in Orlando by the end of the summer transfer window. The biggest questions remaining are where he will be headed and what kind of payday his transfer will reap for Orlando.

Switzerland Defeats the Yanks

The United States Men’s National Team fell 2-1 in a friendly with Switzerland. The U.S. got on the scoreboard early, with Sebastian Lletget finding the back of the net in the fifth minute. But that was all the Yanks would manage as the Swiss took control of the match, getting goals from Ricardo Rodriguez in the 10th minute, and Steven Zuber in the 63rd minute. The U.S. was lucky the score was as close as it was with Switzerland just missing on a few other chances, though the U.S. also missed some opportunities.

USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter decided not to use Dike in the match, but the striker will likely feature in the friendly against Costa Rica on June 9. Additionally, Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen were unavailable after playing the day before in the Champions League final for Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively. There were still plenty of other big names of the new generation that played though such as Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest, and Giovanni Reyna.

Pulisic Lifts Champions League Trophy

One way or another, history was going to be made in Saturday’s Champions League final. Either Christian Pulisic or Zack Steffen would become the first American man to lift the Champions League trophy. Thanks to Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City, Pulisic was the one to earn the honor. Of course, the young American knew what it meant not only to himself and Chelsea teammates, but also his USMNT teammates, and all of the USMNT supporters. When the time came to lift the silverware, he donned a USA hoodie over his Chelsea jersey to quietly, yet proudly send a message to us all. I had no investment in that match, but I was still happy to see history being made.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today. I hope you all enjoy your holiday. Vamos Orlando!