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Lion Links: 8/11/22

MLS All-Stars win, Favian Loyola named MLS NEXT All-Star Game MVP, Erin McLeod up for NWSL Save of the Week, and more.

MLS: 2022 MLS NEXT All-Star Game Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s been a fairly busy week for me, but I’m looking forward to checking out a few movies this weekend. I’ve only heard great things about Bullet Train. There’s also plenty of soccer over the next few days, even if Orlando’s three teams are playing on the road. For now, enjoy these links from around the soccer world.

MLS Beats Liga MX to Win All-Star Game

The MLS All-Stars won 2-1 against the Liga MX All-Stars at Allianz Arena. MLS struck early in the match, with Diego Palacios beating his defender and serving a great cross in for his LAFC teammate Carlos Vela to head home. Raul Ruidiaz then doubled the lead in the second half by converting a penalty. Liga MX’s Kevin Alvarez scored late in the match from long range to make things interesting, but MLS held on for the win. It was the second straight year that the MLS team won against Liga MX in the All-Star Game.

OCB’s Favian Loyola Named MLS NEXT All-Star Game MVP

In the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game, Orlando City academy players Favian Loyola and Alejandro Granados — both of whom have featured for Orlando City B this season — helped the East win 2-1 over the West. The East trailed for most of the match but rallied back in dramatic fashion with a pair of goals in the final minutes. Loyola was named MVP of the match, standing out thanks to his skilled footwork and shooting. The 17-year-old may not have scored, but came close during the game and hit the crossbar from distance.

The All-Star Game showcased not only the talented young players, but also how MLS NEXT is developing them to play at the professional level.

Erin McLeod Nominated for Save of the Week

Yet again, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod was nominated for NWSL Save of the Week. McLeod’s save this time around was for denying Simone Charley’s header in the 72nd minute of Orlando’s 2-2 draw against Angel City FC. Although the Pride conceded on the following corner, McLeod showed nice reactions to drop low and make the save. Katie Lund, Bella Bixby, and Kailen Sheridan were also nominated for this week’s honor.

Orlando Player Scores in Special Olympics Unified All-Star Game

The Eastern Conference won 3-0 against the Western Conference in the Special Olympics Unified All-Star Game. Orlando City’s Cesar Barreto scored the team’s second goal, putting away a rebound to double the team’s lead in the second half. The match featured both Special Olympic athletes and Unified partners and was part of a season-long program that provides opportunities for Unified partners.

Matthew Hoppe Signs With Middlesbrough

American forward Matthew Hoppe has transferred from Mallorca in La Liga to Middlesbrough, signing a four-year contract with the English Football League Championship side. The 21-year-old joined Mallorca last year but didn’t score in just seven appearances. Hoppe becomes the latest American with World Cup aspirations to keep an eye on in the EFL Championship alongside teammate Zack Steffen, West Brom’s Daryl Dike, Norwich City’s Josh Sargent, and Luton Town’s Ethan Horvath. Middlesbrough could use the boost on offense after being shut out in a 1-0 loss at home to Barnsley in the Carabao Cup.

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That’s all I have for you today. Have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week!