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Lion Links: 4/7/22

Know the Lions’ next opponent, news around MLS, Champions League results, and more.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. Hopefully your Thursday is going well so far as we go down the final stretch towards the weekend. Before we start preparing for the Lions’ next match on Saturday, let’s get right into the news.

Know Your Opponent: Chicago Fire

The last time we saw the Fire was back in Week 2 away in Chicago that ended in a 0-0 draw. This time around, the Lions will be home at Exploria Stadium for an early 1 p.m. kickoff. Now is a good time to get re-familiar with the upcoming opponent. The biggest news coming out of Chicago is the uncertain availability of Xherdan Shaqiri, who left the Fire’s last match with a calf injury early in the first half. If the Swiss international is deemed unfit to play, the Fire will be without their star acquisition of the off-season and something the Lions could look to exploit. The current form of the Fire has them at 2-0-3 and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Chicago has stressed defense this season with three of its games ending in 0-0 draws. It will be interesting to see how many goals are scored in this next meeting between the two sides in Orlando.

MLS News and Notes

Offers from international clubs are still being floated around to MLS clubs, but FC Cincinnati are having none of it. The Orange and Blue have rejected a transfer offer for forward Brenner from Internacional in Brazil. The reason for this offer coming so late is that the Brazilian transfer winder closes on April 12, but Cincinnati still has high hopes for Brenner and his ability after acquiring him for $13 million last winter...Orlando City’s previous opponent, LAFC, remains in contract talks with their star forward Carlos Vela. Although the two sides are still active in negotiations, nothing is imminent at the moment. Vela’s deal ends in June, which is right in the middle of the MLS season...As New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner is set to join Arsenal in June, the Revs made a move to acquire a goalkeeper to fill the upcoming vacancy. New England has acquired 22-year-old Serbian international shot stopper Djordje Petrović on a three-year MLS contract with an additional one-year option...If you were caught off guard by the Lions wearing their away Sunshine kit at home last weekend, MLS has all the kit match-ups for Week 6 over on the league’s site.

Champions League Results

With Champions League quarterfinal first leg matches continuing yesterday, two big matches were on display. Chelsea and Real Madrid squared off at Stamford Bridge. Real Madrid won 3-1 against the London Blues behind a brilliant hat trick performance from Karim Benzema. In the other match-up, Bayern Munich was shocked in its first away Champions League defeat in almost five years — at the hands of Villarreal. Arnaut Danjuma scored early on in the eighth minute for the game’s only goal.

Free Kicks

That will be all for me today. Have a great Thursday and I’ll see you all next time.