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Lion Links: 7/28/22

Orlando City beats the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United adds Designated Player, Germany reaches Euro final, and more.

MLS: US Open Cup-New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Today may be Thursday, but Orlando City’s match last night makes this morning feel much more like a Friday. I’m really not sure when this joy will wear off, but I’m hoping it will at least last through the work day. For now, let’s carry these good vibrations into today’s links from around the soccer world!

Orlando City Reaches U.S. Open Cup Final

Oscar Pareja managed to slay his demons as the Lions won 5-1 against the New York Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. It was the Red Bulls who struck first, but the Lions did a great job responding. Orlando was the protagonist throughout the match and didn’t take its foot off the gas, with four goals in the second half. Nicholas Gioacchini also made his debut in the match, picking up a yellow card on his first foul with Orlando.

All attention now turns to Sept. 7 as Orlando City will host Sacramento Republic FC in the U.S. Open Cup final at Exploria Stadium. But the next match is again just a few days away in D.C. on Sunday.

Pair of Young Lions Named MLS NEXT All-Stars

Orlando City academy players Favian Loyola and Alejandro Granados were selected for the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game on Aug. 10. Granados scored in the MLS NEXT Cup quarterfinals to help Orlando’s U-17 team make another deep run in the tournament this year. Loyola scored five goals across 18 appearances this past season and is currently at a training camp with the U-19 United States Men’s National Team. Both players have featured for Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro this year as well.

MLS Clubs Continue Making Moves

D.C. United signed Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson as the team’s second Designated Player. The 31-year-old served as Schalke’s captain last season, helping the team earn promotion back into the Bundesliga. While he may not light up the scoreboard, Palsson will give D.C. leadership both on and off the field as Head Coach Wayne Rooney rebuilds the squad.

Out in the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers signed Juan David Mosquera as a U22 Initiative player to help strengthen their back line. The Colombian right back was signed through the 2026 season and has played the past three seasons with Medellin in Colombia’s top flight. The Houston Dynamo also added a Colombian 19-year-old, with winger Nelson Quinones joining the team on a one-year loan.

Germany Books Ticket to Euro Final

France and Germany played a thrilling match in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro semifinals. German forward Alexandra Popp scored a goal in each half to lift her side to a 2-1 win over France. Popp’s brace showcased what she provides to Germany’s attack this tournament. After missing the past two Euros due to injury, Popp has scored six of Germany’s 13 goals in this year’s competition. Only England’s Beth Mead has scored that many and the two will clash on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in what is sure to be a thrilling final.

Free Kicks
  • Former Orlando Pride defender Amy Turner signed with Tottenham Hotspur in the Women’s Super League.

That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!