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Lion Links: 6/10/21

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Daryl Dike’s first USMNT goal, MLS All-Star game details, U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame inductees named, and more.

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Costa Rica at USA Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Thursday and this international break sure is starting to feel long. We have no Orlando City or Orlando Pride on the schedule this weekend, but there’s still lots going on and lots we have to discuss.

Daryl Dike Scores First USMNT Goal in 4-0 Win

The United States Men’s National team is on fire right now. After winning the Nation’s League final against Mexico in beyond thrilling fashion, the USMNT had one more game in this international window, a friendly against Costa Rica. While one might think it’d be hard to rebound after such an emotional win on Sunday, Gregg Berhalter’s men made light work of Los Ticos, coming away with a 4-0 victory in Salt Lake City.

While there was plenty of good for the Red, White & Blue, the star of the show, for our purposes at least, was the play of Orlando City’s own Daryl Dike. The 21-year-old striker made his third international appearance, his first start for the U.S., and scored his first international goal. He was played in behind by center back Mark McKenzie and had all the time in the world to easily slot it past the goalkeeper. Dike was also instrumental to the team’s first goal, with his blocked shot setting up Brenden Aaronson’s opener. Dike also won three aerial duels, four duels and had a key pass. It’s the type of performance that has many, myself included, believing Dike is the starting striker for the national team, and will certainly build lots of hype heading into his return to Orlando and the summer transfer window.

MLS Announces 2021 All-Star Game Against Liga MX All-Stars

After the 2020 MLS All-Star game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will finally see an MLS vs. Liga MX All-Star game in Los Angeles. The new format for the All-Star game was originally planned for last year, and is finally going to make its debut Wednesday, Aug. 25, at Banc of California Stadium. While we still don’t know exactly how either team will be assembled — I assume mostly, if not entirely, by fan voting — we do know LAFC’s Bob Bradley will coach the MLS side. MLSSoccer.com’s Greg Seltzer highlighted four potential match-ups to watch for in the inter-league exhibition.

U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Announces Inductees

The U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame announced its newest crop of inductees Wednesday: former men’s national team stalwart Steve Cherundolo, two-time Women’s World Cup winner Christie Pearce Rampone, D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno, and former D.C. United executive Kevin Payne.

Cherundolo spent his entire 15-year, professional career with Hannover in Germany, also making 87 appearances with the national team. Pearce Rampone is second all-time in appearances for the U.S. Women’s National Team with 354 and was a part of five World Cup teams. Moreno is the first non-American international to be elected in the modern era, rewarding his success with D.C. United’s early MLS dynasty. The most notable exclusion from this year’s class was former USWNT stalwart Hope Solo. Despite being the most accomplished goalkeeper in the national team’s history, she was just below the threshold for election this year (though would be elected with changes to voting set for next year).

MLSers On International Duty

While we touched on Pedro Gallese and Sebas Mendez’s duel yesterday in CONMEBOL qualifying, it’s been a busy international window for MLS players. Orlando City Homegrown Wilfredo Rivera went the full 90 for Puerto Rico again, helping contribute to a 2-0 win over Guyana. While they didn’t move on in World Cup qualifying, it was a strong showing for a young and rising Puerto Rico side.

Elsewhere, Orlando City villain Josef Martinez started for Venezuela and had a goal disallowed after video review in a 0-0 draw against Uruguay.

Free Kicks
  • Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas, who was fined as a result of signing two Designated Players over the limit, confirmed talks with FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. Mas says he’s optimistic the Argentine will join Miami eventually.
  • The Premier League fined the “Big Six” clubs who agreed to join the Super League 22 million pounds, and a future 30-point deduction if they join another breakaway competition.
  • USWNT legend Abby Wambach surprised Christie Pearce Rampone with her induction to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

That’s all I have for today. Thank you all for reading. Have a great one!