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Lion Links: 5/17/22

Lions named in MLS Team of the Week, OCB falls in Philly, Jake Daniels comes out, USMNT mid-week viewing guide, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Before we go any further, let’s wish a Happy Birthday to Kaylie Collins of the Orlando Pride, who turns 25 today!

It was a good weekend in Orlando soccer with last-gasp results for both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride. The games will continue coming thick and fast, with the Pride and Orlando City B both set for a double-game week. As usual there’s a lot to talk about today, so let’s get straight into things.

Lions Make MLS Team of the Week

In recognition of their efforts in Orlando City’s stoppage-time winning effort on the road in Toronto, two Lions have been named to the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week. Pedro Gallese gets the nod in goal after keeping yet another clean-sheet in OCSC’s 1-0 win. El Pulpo now has six on the year, a number that leads Major League Soccer. Kyle Smith has been included on the TotW bench after a highly impactful 15-minute substitute appearance that saw him score the game’s only goal. Congratulations to both players, and keep up the good work!

OCB Falls in Philly

The Young Lions have been off for weeks due to a scheduling quirk and a stadium in Rochester that wasn’t yet ready to host games. OCB looked rusty in a 1-0 road loss Monday night at Philadelphia Union II. Paxten Aaronson scored the game’s only goal shortly after halftime, but the Young Lions were barely ever in the match, which was dominated by the hosts. The Young Lions attempted only two first-half shots and didn’t get a shot on target until the second half.

Jake Daniels Comes Out

Jake Daniels made his debut for Blackpool in the EFL Championship just last weekend, and yesterday he publicly announced that he is a gay man. In a piece for Sky Sports, Daniels said that he feels this is the right time for his announcement and that he is ready to be free. Daniels becomes the United Kingdom’s first male professional soccer player to publicly come out since Justin Fashanu did so in 1990. Daniels has received messages of support from Harry Kane and David de Gea, and hopefully his story proves to be an inspiring and positive one.

USMNT Mid-Week Viewing Essentials

There are plenty of players in the United States Men’s National Team pool that will be in action this week. Ethan Horvath’s Nottingham Forest takes on Sheffield United today in the Championship promotion playoffs. On Wednesday, Luca de la Torre and Heracles will be on the opposite end of things in the Eredvisie relegation playoffs against Excelsior. Then on Thursday, Christian Pulisic and Chelsea take on Leicester City and try to solidify a Champions League position. There’s plenty of other matches besides the ones highlighted, and there’s a number of midweek MLS games to enjoy as well.

Clint Dempsey Favors Loan Moves for American Goalies

A big topic of conversation surrounding Matt Turner and Zack Steffen is whether or not the two should seek out loan moves to get more playing time ahead of the World Cup in November. Steffen is currently backing up Ederson at Manchester City, and Turner will be moving to Arsenal in the summer, where Aaron Ramsdale is seemingly entrenched as the starter. Clint Dempsey, for one, thinks that the duo should go on loan in search of regular playing time. The USMNT legend believes that whoever is playing more consistently will have the edge when it comes to nailing down the starting job and with Steffen only playing nine times this season and Turner possible heading for a similar fate, Dempsey thinks that moves away will greatly benefit them.

Free Kicks

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.