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Lion Links: 9/14/22

Orlando City takes on Atlanta United tonight, USWNT will play Germany in November, UEFA Champions League continues, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Philadelphia Union Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

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

Orlando City Takes on Atlanta United Tonight

The Lions have a midweek match-up with Atlanta United tonight at Exploria Stadium, with kickoff set for 6 p.m. It’s been a week since Orlando City won its first U.S. Open Cup trophy against Sacramento Republic FC, but the Lions will look to bounce back after a 5-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Union this past weekend. Orlando City is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points in a very tight playoff race, sitting just four points back from hosting an MLS playoff game. Facundo Torres has been in good form, leading the Lions in goal contributions with 10 goals and 11 assists across all competitions. Atlanta defeated Toronto FC 4-2 this past weekend thanks to a hat trick from defender Juan Jose Purata. That win also snapped its two-match losing streak. After tonight’s match, the Lions will take on Toronto FC this Saturday at home.

Storylines Heading into Tonight’s Match

These two rival clubs last played each other back on July 17 in Atlanta, with Mauricio Pereyra scoring the Lions’ only goal in a 1-1 draw. The last time Atlanta came to Exploria Stadium was in late July of last year, when the Lions overcame two separate deficits to defeat the Five Stripes, 3-2. Orlando City will shoot for its fourth consecutive win at home across all competitions. Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez, who had been suspended by the team after an altercation with Head Coach Gonzalo Pineda, returned to the club on Monday and could play against the Lions tonight. If the Lions get their ninth clean sheet number tonight, it would be a single-season record for the club. Also, João Moutinho’s next start will be his 70th as a Lion, and Pereyra is two assists away from setting the new single-season club record.

USWNT to Play Germany in Friendlies in November

The United States Women’s National Team will finish the year with two friendlies against Germany in November. The first match-up will be just down the road at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 10. The two nations will then meet again on Nov. 13 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Germany is second in the world according to FIFA’s rankings, so we’ll see the top two teams face off this November. The last time the USWNT faced Germany was in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, in which the U.S. defeated Germany 1-0 in Columbus.

UEFA Champions League Group Stage Continues

It’s another week in the UEFA Champions League, with the second group stage matches kicking off. The marquee match-up was between Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona in Germany. Robert Lewandowski returned to face his former club, but goals from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane gave Bayern a 2-0 victory. Liverpool battled against Ajax, but Joel Matip's late game-winning goal gave the Reds a 2-1 win. Tottenham Hotspur could not finish its chances against Sporting CP and paid the price as the Portuguese club scored two late goals from substitutes and won 2-0. Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen shut out Atletico Madrid 2-0, Club Brugge beat FC Porto 4-0, and Eintracht Frankfurt won 1-0 over Marseille. Today’s notable match-ups include Rangers hosting Napoli, Manchester City taking on Borussia Dortmund, and Chelsea looking to rebound against RB Salzburg.

Free Kicks

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