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Lion Links: 8/4/21

Orlando City hosts Inter Miami tonight, Ashlyn Harris nominated for NWSL Save of the Week, USWNT focuses on bronze medal match, and more.

OL Reign v Orlando Pride Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. How are you all doing down in Florida? I’m doing well in Chicago after working a long weekend. There’s an Orlando City game tonight and even more soccer to look forward to this weekend. But for now, let’s get to today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City SC Hosts Inter Miami CF Tonight

The Lions will take on Inter Miami tonight at 8 p.m. in a midweek rivalry match-up at Exploria Stadium. Both teams are coming into this match after wins this past weekend. Orlando City defeated Atlanta United 3-2 while Inter Miami defeated CF Montreal 2-1. The Lions will aim for their second win against Miami this season after going to Fort Lauderdale on June 25 and winning 2-1. Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja shared his thoughts going into tonight’s match.

“It’s another opportunity for us, in a short period of time, to keep adding the points and at the same time, we’re just getting the players now from the national teams coming back.,” said Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “There are no doubts that we have in front of us a difficult game with a rival, we always respect them all and understanding that the priority for us is just to prepare for our next rival with all the energy. As we said last week after New York [City FC], we turn the page and move on to the next one. With that great victory against Atlanta [United] we move on as well and we are preparing the boys and we will be ready for the match.”

Ashlyn Harris Nominated for Save of the Week

Yet again, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was nominated for NWSL Save of the Week. On the road against the North Carolina Courage, Harris made a great diving save to deny former Pride player Carson Pickett. The save came at a critical time with the score level and the Pride were able to hold on for a 1-1 draw. Harris has had a great season so far, coming up with incredible saves to keep the Pride in games. She has stiff competition for the award this time around though, with the Portland Thorns’ Bella Bixby making a nice save as well.

Alex Morgan Weighs In On Olympic Loss

United States Women’s National Team and Pride forward Alex Morgan expressed her thoughts on the USWNT’s 1-0 loss to Canada.

Morgan and the USWNT will now focus on the bronze medal game against Australia tomorrow morning at 4 a.m. It should be a more competitive match between the two countries compared to the scoreless draw they settled for in the group stage. However, the USWNT will be without goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher for the match after she suffered a knee injury that will likely sideline her for several weeks.

Canada will take on Sweden in the gold medal game currently set for 10 p.m. tomorrow night. But due to the intense heat expected for the match at that time, both teams have asked that the game be played later.

MLS Power Rankings, Transfer News, and More

Orlando City moved up two spots to fifth in the MLS power rankings after its win over Atlanta. The New England Revolution are still on top, with New York City FC, Sporting Kansas City, and the Seattle Sounders rounding out the rest of the top five.

The MLS Secondary Transfer Window ends tomorrow and there’s plenty to watch for until it closes. LAFC officially acquired Colombian forward Cristian Arango from Millonarios and more offensive players could be on their way to MLS as well. While things have been fairly quiet regarding Orlando’s Daryl Dike, the transfer windows in Europe don’t close until the end of the month so more news regarding the forward could come over the next few weeks.

Revolution midfielder and MVP candidate Carles Gil will miss at least three weeks due to a sports hernia. Gil leads the league in assists with 15 and has started every game for the Revolution this season so it will be interesting to see how they do without him. In other injury news, LAFC center back Eddie Segura is out for the season after undergoing surgery.

Spain and Brazil Reach Men’s Olympic Gold Medal Game

In men’s Olympic soccer, Brazil and Spain will face off against each other in the gold medal game set for Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. Brazil defeated Mexico in a penalty shootout in the semifinals, with Mexico only converting one of its penalties. Spain needed a late goal in extra time from Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio to win 1-0 against Japan and advance for a chance at the gold medal.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando goalkeeper Adam Grinwis re-enacted the “Running of the Wall” from his memorable game in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup against NYCFC.
  • The Pride’s Ali Riley is back in Orlando after the Olympics and was firing on all cylinders when fielding questions.
  • United States Men’s National Team and Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa is reportedly preparing to file a one-time switch to play for Mexico. The 20-year-old is behind Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath, and Matt Turner on the depth chart, but it would still be a blow to the USMNT given his young age and potential.
  • Three Americans were named to the Concacaf Gold Cup Best XI.

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