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Lion Links: 8/17/22

Lions prepare for Charlotte FC, OCB takes on Rochester New York FC, USMNT to face Japan in Germany, and more.

Orlando City SC v New York Red Bulls Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope the week is going well for you all down in Florida. There’s plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Lions prepare for Charlotte FC

Orlando City SC will visit the Queen City for the first time this Sunday when it takes on expansion side Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium. The Lions snapped their losing streak this past Saturday as they shut out the New York Red Bulls 1-0. Charlotte has lost three out of its last four matches, including a 5-0 loss on the road to LAFC this past weekend. However, Charlotte has done well at home this season, securing eight wins. Charlotte’s roster has changed a bit since the last time these two clubs played back on April 30, when the Lions won 2-1 at Exploria Stadium. The last time the Lions played a match in the Tarheel state was on Sept. 3, 2014, when they had a 0-0 draw against the Wilmington Hammerheads. That match also marked the final clean sheet on the road for former Orlando City goalkeeper and current club broadcaster Miguel Gallardo.

OCB Takes on Rochester New York FC

Tonight’s lone MLS NEXT Pro midweek match-up will see Orlando City B host Rochester New York FC at Osceola Heritage Park at 6 p.m. OCB won on the road this past weekend as it was able to get a 2-0 win against New York City FC II. It was the club’s first clean sheet since May, as Javier Otero made seven saves, while Jack Lynn scored the two goals. OCB sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, while Rochester lost to Toronto FC II last Friday and is in fourth for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. These two sides faced each other last month on July 1 at John L. DiMarco Field, where Rochester defeated the Young Lions, 3-2. You can watch tonight’s match on MLSNEXTPro.com.

USMNT to Face Japan in Germany

The United States Men’s National Team will take on fellow 2022 World Cup qualifying nation Japan on Sept. 23 at the Düsseldorf Arena in Germany. The match will have an early kickoff time at 8:25 a.m. You can watch the match on ESPN2, ESPN+, UniMás, or TUDN. Four days later, the USMNT will play against Saudi Arabia on Sept. 27 in Murcia, Spain, at the Estadio Nueva Condomina. These September friendlies will be the final games for the Americans before the World Cup in Qatar this November.

Earthquakes Reportedly Interested in Luchi Gonzalez as Head Coach

The San Jose Earthquakes are reportedly finalizing a deal to name USMNT assistant coach and former FC Dallas manager Luchi Gonzalez as their next head coach. If the deal is completed, Gonzalez would remain with the USMNT for the World Cup and take over the Earthquakes after the conclusion of the tournament. The Earthquakes parted ways with their former head coach, Matias Almeyda, back in April, and Alex Covelo became their interim coach. The Earthquakes currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference with 24 points and are on track to miss the MLS playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Free Kicks

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