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Lion Links: 9/20/22

Facundo Torres in Team of the Week, international window questions for United States Men’s National Team, La Liga will report racist abuse of Vinicius, and more.

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

After a long period of sweet, sweet, domestic league action, the September international window is upon us, and it might be coming at a rather fortunate time for a tired Orlando City team despite the Lions winning big in their most recent match. Regardless, we and the Lions must all press forward. For us, that means tucking into a healthy portion of things to talk about on this Tuesday morning. Let’s have at it.

Facundo Torres Makes Team of the Week

Facundo Torres’ exploits in Orlando City’s 4-0 stomping of Toronto FC earned him a spot in the most recent edition of the MLS Team of the Week. Facu opened the scoring on the night with an excellent drive from outside the box, and also contributed a key pass while generally carrying a lot of danger, as has been the case more often than not lately. Torres has been absolutely red hot for a number of weeks now, and it’s good to see him getting some recognition for his blistering form. There was, however, good cause to complain about a fellow Lion getting snubbed from the TotW, as Ivan Angulo was nowhere to be found despite an excellent performance. The Colombian led the Lions with five shots, was the most accurate passer on the team, picked up both a primary and secondary assist, was heavily involved in the play that led to Toronto’s own goal, and was generally all over the field. You’re on the Team of the Week in our hearts, Ivan.

International Window Questions for United States Men’s National Team

The United States Men’s National Team enters this international window with several pressing questions that likely won’t get answered just yet. For one thing, injuries to Yunus Musah, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Chris Richards mean that Johnny Cardoso, Erik Palmer-Brown, and Mark McKenzie now have the chance to come in and make a case to be on the plane in November. There’s also the omission of Jordan Pefok from the roster, who has three goals in six games for Union Berlin. Last but not least, Zack Steffen made his return from injury to start for Middlesborough on Saturday, but was not included on the USMNT roster, which raises all sorts of questions about his spot in the pecking order and how Gregg Berhalter views him. The window will absolutely be an interesting one.

La Liga Will Report Racist Abuse of Vinicius

La Liga will report the racist abuse directed towards Vinicius ahead of Sunday’s game between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid by Atletico supporters. Atletico fans were filmed performing racist chants outside the stadium, and La Liga announced that it will lodge formal complaints with both the Spanish Football Federation and the Anti-Violence Commission. This won’t be the first time the Spanish league has reported racist chanting directed at the Brazilian, as it has done so twice in the last year—against Barcelona last October and against Mallorca back in March.

Brenden Aaronson Becoming Fan Favorite at Leeds

While he’s only played six games for his new team, it hasn’t taken Brenden Aaronson long to carve out a soft spot in the hearts of Leeds United supporters. Scoring the opening goal against Chelsea in a 3-0 win didn’t hurt, but it’s more than that. The USMNT international has drawn high praise for his work rate, energy levels, and his skill during his first few performances for Leeds. His good club form combined with earning a place as a regular starter during World Cup qualifying means that he’s chasing a starting spot in Qatar. Just two years ago, he was still playing for the Philadelphia Union, and with how far he’s risen in a short period of time, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see him in the starting XI against Wales on Nov. 21.

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