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Lion Links: 9/5/22

Oscar Pareja discusses upcoming USOC final, Benji Michel ready for big game, Americans abroad, and more.

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

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We are getting ever closer to the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday. For what it’s worth, my wife and I will be there with all of you. There’s no way we were going to miss out on potentially the greatest match in Orlando City’s MLS era. Can you tell I’m excited? Since I haven’t figured out how to speed up time, let’s get to the links. But first, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride forward Leah Pruitt!

Oscar Pareja, Mark Briggs Discuss U.S. Open Cup Final

Orlando City supporters are familiar with Head Coach Óscar Pareja and what he has done to get the Lions to the U.S. Open Cup final this Wednesday. They might not be as familiar with Sacramento Republic FC’s skipper, Mark Briggs. Both men sat down to answer questions about the upcoming match. With the underdog story surrounding Sacramento, and Orlando City looking for the first trophy in its MLS era, the responses from the two coaches do have a different flavor. We don’t have long to wait to see how it plays out.

Opportunity Arises for Benji Michel at Home

There is nothing like playing for your hometown club, and Benji Michel has been able to do that for four years with Orlando City. Now, he will get to play for a trophy for his club. This opportunity is something that all the players and coaches will appreciate, but none more than Michel. He scored a goal in Orlando City’s 5-1 semifinal win over the New York Red Bulls and is looking to contribute again this Wednesday night. I can’t wait to see his celebration if he does.

American Players Continue to Impress

We’re a few months from the World Cup starting, and American players all over the world are fighting for their spot on Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s roster. Jesus Ferreira is doing well with 16 goals so far this season for FC Dallas. He’s also keeping an eye on his fellow USMNT strikers, like Josh Sargent with Norwich City. Sargent isn’t the only player impressing in England this year, as Brenden Aaronson and others are as well. Aaronson even has his own song.

Yunus Musah had two assists in Valencia’s 5-1 win over Getafe and put together a strong performance with Gregg Berhalter in attendance to witness it personally.

Turkish FA Attacked

The Turkish FA building was attacked, with at least seven gunshots reportedly fired outside the building. Fortunately, no one was injured in the attack as there was a meeting happening and the targeted rooms were empty. Both FIFA and UEFA condemned the attack and authorities later arrested two suspects.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City’s next opponent had to play a match on Saturday. Sacramento lost 3-1 to Louisville City SC, however, most of the players are likely not the ones that will take the pitch in Orlando this week.
  • We wish former Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris a speedy recovery.

That will do it for today. I’ll see you Wednesday!