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Lion Links: 5/5/21

Alexandre Pato is out 3-6 weeks, Orlando City’s MLS Cup odds, Concacaf Champions League results, and more.

SOCCER: MAY 01 MLS - FC Cincinnati at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello and happy Cinco de Mayo, Mane Landers. I hope you all are having a great week so far. I’ve been busy getting my stuff packed to move out of my apartment in a couple of weeks. We have plenty to get to today, so let’s get to the links.

Alexandre Pato Undergoes Knee Procedure

Orlando City forward Alexandre Pato will miss three to six weeks following a successful arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. Pato was injured in the Lions’ season opener on April 17 against Atlanta United and likely won’t feature in the team’s remaining four games in May. Orlando’s match at home against Toronto FC on June 19 could be the earliest for his return given that timetable, with early July as a possibility if his recovery takes some time.

While Pato is out, Tesho Akindele will continue to fill in up top for the Lions. Matheus Aias can also help at the position when needed and Daryl Dike will give the Lions a boost once his loan with Barnsley FC ends.

The Lions Are On the Rise

After beating FC Cincinnati 3-0 for their first win of the year, the Lions moved up four spots to fifth in this week’s MLS power rankings. Although Cincy is last in the rankings, Orlando’s victory was still important as the team secured its second clean sheet of the season and scored multiple goals. Orlando’s next match is this Saturday against the sixth-placed team in the rankings, New York City FC.

Orlando also has better odds to win the MLS Cup now than it did before the season began, according to BetMGM. Orlando is tied for fourth in the league at +1000 odds, a jump from the +1800 odds it started the season with. The Lions share those odds with Toronto FC and trail LAFC, the Columbus Crew, and the Seattle Sounders.

Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals Continue

Atlanta United and the Philadelphia Union played to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal match-up. Santiago Sosa and Kacper Przybylko both scored as the Union now advance to the semifinals with an aggregate score of 4-1. Toronto was also eliminated from the tournament after a 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul. Brayan Angulo scored an unbelievable goal and Toronto struggled to get its offense going in Mexico City.

In tonight’s action, the Crew will take on Monterrey to determine which team will face Cruz Azul in the semifinal. The Portland Timbers will have Jeremy Ebobisse available when they take on Club America tonight as well.

Soccer News From Across Europe

Manchester City won 2-0 over Paris Saint-Germain to advance to the UEFA Champions League final. Riyad Mahrez scored twice for a brace in the match and PSG’s Angel Di Maria was shown a red card in the 69th minute. In the final on May 29, City will take on the winner of today’s match between Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho was appointed as AS Roma’s new manager, signing a three-year contract with the Italian club. Although Roma reached the Europa League semifinals, the club has struggled in Serie A this season. It will be interesting to see how Mourinho builds the team moving forward.

According to CBS Sports, Arsenal center back David Luiz could make a move to MLS. Luiz’ representatives have reached out to an unnamed MLS club in hopes of finding a new home for the Brazilian after his contract expires this season. The report suggests a deal for Luiz might be difficult for an MLS club to get done though considering his salary.

Free Kicks
  • You can relive all of the action from Orlando’s first win of 2021 with these highlights and reactions from players.
  • The Orlando Pride’s Erin McLeod and Toni Pressley were announced as player representatives for the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, with Crystal Thomas listed as an alternate.
  • Former Lion Santiago Patino was named USL Championship Player of the Week for his performance with San Antonio FC.
  • FOX Sports has reached an agreement with CONMEBOL to broadcast various events in English, including the men’s and women’s Copa America.

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