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Orlando City vs. Inter Miami CF: Player Grades and Man of the Match



Orlando City couldn’t capitalize on its chances in a 1-1 draw against Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium. Center back Antonio Carlos scored Orlando’s only goal, but Miami equalized in the second half and Orlando couldn’t find a winner.

Let’s dive right into how each of your favorite Lions rated in this draw at home against a rival.


GK, Mason Stajduhar, 6 — It was a fairly quiet night for Stajduhar in his second MLS start as he only faced four shots and had no saves. Two of those shots were on target, with the first coming in the 52nd minute as Robbie Robinson stormed into the box after beating Rodrigo Schlegel and Robin Jansson. Stajduhar rushed to close down the angle, but Robinson’s shot went over him, although Kyle Smith was there to save the day. On the goal, a good cross in the box found Kiernan Gibbs’ header at an odd angle that made it difficult for Stajduhar to get to. It’s hard to blame Stajduhar for the goal given the speed and placement of the header and it’s frustrating to see another Orlando clean sheet slip away. The important thing is that Stajduhar didn’t let the goal affect him all too much as a minute later he confidently snuffed out a dangerous opportunity from Lewis Morgan in the box. In terms of distribution, Stajduhar completed 10 of his 11 passes and his one long ball was inaccurate.

D, Kyle Smith, 7 — Playing at left back for the majority of the game, Smith did well on both sides of the ball. His best moment came in the 52nd minute when he got in position to make a goal-saving block after Robinson chipped his shot over Stajduhar. He did a good job making life difficult for Miami winger Morgan, although he did concede a few corners in the process and made an almost deadly error on an errant back pass that sent Morgan in on goal. On offense, his only shot was from a similar position to his goal against Atlanta United, but his header from Nani’s corner went just wide. Smith completed 90% of his 51 passes, but was only accurate on one of his four crosses. When Emmanuel Mas came on for Ruan in the 81st minutes, Smith switched to his preferred right back position and nearly provided the game-winning moment late in the match, but the video assistant referee had match referee Armando Villarreal take another look and, after reviewing the play, he ruled Tesho Akindele offside. Smith had a clearance and 69 touches, third most on the team.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — The masked Swede was able to keep Gonzalo Higuain and Rodolfo Pizarro quiet in terms of scoring. Jansson was a brick wall that Miami had to work its way around and he had two interceptions and two clearances. Miami often went wide with its attack and Jansson wasn’t able to do much about the goal. The trio of Jansson, Smith, and Andres Perea did well to stop Miami on the left side of defense for the most part. All in all, it was a solid performance from Jansson and he finished with 66 touches and 58 passes at a 79% success rate.

One interesting thing from the match was Jansson’s involvement on corner kicks as he often lurked at the top of the box. It set up his only shot of the match, which he mishit on the volley and sent wide. On the other attempts, he tried passes over the defense but it never seemed to work. It’s unclear if this has anything to do with his face injury, but his size wasn’t used as a target in the box.

D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — Throughout the season, Carlos has been a threat on corner kicks and his headers have been getting closer and closer to goal with every attempt. His breakthrough finally came in this game as Carlos made perfect contact with his head to give Orlando the lead before halftime. It was his first goal of the season and first with his head as a Lion.

Unfortunately, his head collided with Kelvin Leerdam’s seconds after his shot and he was sent to the ground in a scary moment that needed immediate medical attention. It certainly makes highlights of his goal harder to watch, but Carlos was able to walk off the field with no assistance. He didn’t return for the second half out of an abundance of caution and finished with a tackle, a clearance, 42 touches, and also won all three of his aerial duels. Carlos was also successful on 92% of his 38 passes as he helped the Lions build out of the back.

D, Ruan, 6 — The right back was engaged in an entertaining duel with former Arsenal left back Kieran Gibbs. Ruan had to put in more defensive work than usual as a result, leading the team with five clearances and tying Junior Urso for a team-high three interceptions as well. Gibbs got the better of Ruan on his goal, easily getting across the front of the smaller defender to get a header on goal. On offense, Ruan had a key pass and one of his two crosses found their target. He had a great opportunity in the 51st minute but the ball he whipped in front of goal was deflected. Ruan had 63 touches and was successful on 82% of his 39 passes. While dangerous when sent forward, he didn’t spend as much time in the attacking third as he did against Atlanta United.

MF, Junior Urso, 5 — The Bear had a rough time in his first start since July 17. Urso battled against Gregore and Blaise Matuidi in central midfield and was a fouled a whopping five times. Miami committed a total of 19 fouls in the match and most were tactical decisions to interrupt Orlando’s flow of play in the midfield. Urso was a frequent victim of this and frustrated for most of the game as he couldn’t get much going. In 76 minutes of action, he completed 34 of his 38 passes for an 89% success rate and had 58 touches. Urso wasn’t much of a factor on offense, with no shots and one key pass. He did well defensively though, coming up with three tackles, three interceptions, and two clearances. He picked up a yellow card and was dispossessed twice in a performance he’ll shrug off despite some bumps and bruises.

MF, Andres Perea, 6.5 — Perea did much better in this match compared to his last performance against Atlanta United. Partnered with Urso in central midfield, he had stats similar to what we’ve seen from Ecuadorian midfielder Sebas Mendez. Perea led the Lions in touches (80), tackles (four), and passes (67). Only one of those 67 passes was inaccurate, resulting in an excellent 99% success rate. That being said, none of his passes were particularly threatening as he spent more time connecting Orlando’s defense and offense rather than creating chances. That’s not to say he wasn’t present on offense though. He had three shots, sending two off target while the other was blocked. Perea’s proven himself to be versatile in the midfield and seemed to do better in a more defensive minded role in this match.

MF, Benji Michel, 5 — For most of the match, Orlando’s offensive plays tended to end once Michel got involved. Michel wasn’t always at fault for this as he was often given daring balls in on goal by Pereyra, but his touch was heavy and he couldn’t seem to get past defenders. Although he played 75 minutes, Michel only had 18 touches and eight passes at a 75% success rate. It is worth noting that he posed enough danger running down a ball in the box that Leerdam desperately played it out for the corner that resulted in Orlando’s goal. Defensively, he did well securing goal kicks by using his body and had an interception. Michel had no shots or crosses and needed to make much more of an impact against Miami.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 7 — In the 19th minute, Pereyra sent a nice ball from deep in the midfield over the top of Miami’s defense, but Nani’s resulting header didn’t give Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman much trouble. That ball was one of his two key passes during a full shift and it was Orlando’s first real chance of the game. Most of the maestro’s conducting was done from similar spots deep in the midfield rather than at the top of the box. His quality was on display all night long as he was able to cut through Miami’s defense with a single touch on multiple occasions. However, most of his created chances ended up as corners rather than goals as attacking Lions had tough positions to score from. He put one of his two shots on target, but it was fired right at Marsman. Pereyra finished the game second on the team in touches with 75 and he was successful on 85% of his 53 passes, which isn’t too bad considering most of his unsuccessful passes were lengthy and in Miami’s half. He was dispossessed twice, including a late turnover that could’ve ended up badly, and also chipped in defensively with three tackles. It was a strong outing from Pereyra and he’ll certainly benefit once Orlando’s strikers are more frequently on the field.

MF, Chris Mueller, 5 — Mueller’s struggles on offense continued as he had no shots or key passes over the course of 66 minutes of play. He was successful on one of his three crosses and completed 19 of his 21 attempted passes for a strong 90% success rate. Mueller was also successful on his single attempted dribble, but was dispossessed three times. It was far from his best game, but Mueller did the little things well as he hustled on defense and won four fouls. Mueller has definitely been overshadowed by Orlando’s other offensive players in recent weeks and only has one shot in his past five appearances.

F, Nani, 7.5 (MotM) — The captain led Orlando with five shots, with two on target and another two blocked. None were particularly easy and he did decent enough with the opportunities even though he wasn’t able to find the back of the net. His cross from a short corner to find Carlos in the box was picture perfect, the ball placed in the best spot possible for his sixth assist of the year. That cross was his only successful one from three attempts in open play, but he also led the Lions with five key passes. Nani took six of Orlando’s seven corners and found his target on all but one as he continues to make an impact from those dead-ball situations. He was also very efficient with the ball at his feet, only being dispossessed once and completing 40 of his 43 passes for a great 93% success rate. Nani is our Man of the Match for creating multiple chances for Orlando while taking care of the ball. He had 63 touches, committed no fouls, was successful on two of his three attempted dribbles, and looked threatening for most of the game.


D, Rodrigo Schlegel (45’), 6 — Schlegel came on at halftime in place of the injured Carlos. He got himself out of position on Robinson’s chance, pushing forward to pressure Higuain and then losing the foot race against him after pressing high. He does get some style points for a neat somersault of sorts to keep his momentum when slipping to stay in the play. It wasn’t his most dominant performance, but he did have three clearances and won all three of his aerial duels to limit Miami’s chances. Schlegel completed 90% of his 21 passes and had 25 touches as well.

MF, Silvester van der Water (67’), 6.5 — The Dutchman came on to give the Lions an edge on offense after Miami equalized. His only shot was in the box, but he wasn’t able to get all of his weaker right foot on it to put it on target. Van der Water did well finding dangerous areas to operate in and had a brilliant pass out wide to Smith in the same motion he fashioned to take a shot to fool the defense. Had Akindele not been offside, that would have been an important part of the buildup to a game-winning goal. Van der Water provided the needed urgency the Lions lacked during the match and was hungry in the half hour he spent on the field. He completed all eight of his passes and had 13 touches in another efficient shift.

F, Tesho Akindele (75’), 5.5 — It looked like the Canadian scored the game-winner but his goal was ruled offside after review. Apart from that moment, he didn’t make much of an impact in the match beyond his diligent pressing, which shouldn’t be overlooked. Akindele was accurate on all four of his passes and had a total of eight touches.

MF, Uri Rosell (76’), 6 Like Urso, Rosell had a frustrating time in the midfield. He committed two fouls that gave Miami free kicks in dangerous areas, picking up a yellow card in the process. While he didn’t have any tackles, interceptions, or clearances, Rosell completed 22 of his 23 passes and had 23 touches to help stabilize the midfield.

D, Emmanuel Mas (81’), 6 — The left back came on late to relieve Ruan and racked up 20 touches in a brief outing. Defensively, Mas had a clearance, an interception, and won both of his aerial duels. His only cross didn’t find its target, but he did a good job making sure Miami couldn’t get much going on his side of the field. Mas completed nine of his 12 passes for a 75% success rate and is looking like a solid acquisition for Orlando.

That’s how I saw things play out in Orlando’s draw over its rival. Make sure to weigh in on how you feel about the grades in the comments below and to vote for who you think deserves the title of Man of the Match.

Polling Closed

Mauricio Pereyra6
Antonio Carlos10
Kyle Smith8
Andres Perea1
Other (tell us who in the comments)0

Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/28/24

Yutaro Tsukada earns recognition, Americans in midweek action, European coaching updates, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all had a restful holiday weekend, and if you didn’t, then I hope you’re well on the way to recovery. We’ve got an exciting schedule this week, with two Orlando City games before an Orlando City B game on Sunday. It’s also OCB defender Yeiler Valencia’s birthday today, so let’s wish him well and jump into today’s links!

Yutaro Tsukada Earns MLS NEXT Pro Honors

OCB winger Yutaro Tsukada was named MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchweek 11 for his performance in the team’s 5-0 home win against Huntsville City FC. The 22-year-old provided the assist on OCB’s first goal after using some nice skill on the ball to shake his defender. Tsukada then scored a goal of his own off of a free kick in the second half. The rookie has been electric for the Young Lions this season, recording four goals and four assists so far. Hopefully he can keep the momentum rolling when OCB faces Inter Miami II this Sunday.

Major League Soccer Stock Watch

Every week gives us a better idea of each MLS team’s capabilities, so let’s check in on how things are looking following the latest matchday. LAFC is on a great trajectory, as it’s won three consecutive league games and five straight in all competitions. Elsewhere in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake scored three goals in the final 30 minutes of play to stretch its unbeaten streak to 11 games, and Cristian Arango didn’t have to do all of the heavy lifting. At the other end of things, the New England Revolution have lost three straight games, and six of their last seven. Likewise, the shine looks to have worn off from St. Louis City’s expansion season, as the team has also lost three straight games and simply doesn’t look the same as last year.

Americans in Midweek Action

With most of the European club seasons having concluded, there aren’t as many United States Men’s National Team players in action during the working week, but there are still some important games to make note of. Chief among those is Venezia’s game against Cremonese on Thursday. Tanner Tessmann, Gianluca Busio and Venezia will take on Cremonese over two legs, with the winner gaining promotion to Serie A. Left back Jonathan Gomez may take the field tomorrow morning in Real Sociedad’s friendly against Tokyo Verde as well.

In a pair of friendlies on Friday, Mexico plays Bolivia and Uruguay takes on Costa Rica. With the USMNT set to face both Bolivia and Uruguay in group play of this summer’s Copa America, the two matches present a good chance to better gauge the Yanks’ opponents.

European Coaching Updates

Several notable European club teams have coaching vacancies to fill this summer, and there are some updates on a few of those positions. Chelsea has reportedly made an approach for Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca, and has requested permission to talk to the manager who guided the Foxes back to the Premier League in his first year with the club. Meanwhile, despite interest from Manchester United, Kieran McKenna is reportedly set to stay at Ipswich Town, and has had talks about extending his contract. Finally, Aston Villa has extended Unai Emery’s contract, with his new deal keeping him at the club until 2029.

Transfer Rumor Roundup

Transfer season is kicking into gear, and we have several rumors to sift through this morning. Up first, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich are reportedly all in hot pursuit of Stade Rennais winger Desire Doue. Casemiro reportedly has a deal lined up with a team in the Saudi Pro League, and may have played his last game for Manchester United. Newly promoted Southampton are reportedly interested in signing Adam Lallana as a free agent. Finally, Paris Saint Germain are said to have entered the race to sign Bruno Guimaraes, and will face stiff competition from Manchester City and Arsenal.

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That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. the Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in a 2-0 loss at home against Columbus?



Rafael Santos Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

The Lions returned home riding a three-game unbeaten streak but a bizarre video review call moments before halftime set the tone for a physical match against the Columbus Crew. Ultimately, Orlando fell to the Crew 2-0. Here’s how I saw each individual Lion’s performance in Orlando’s fourth loss at home on the season.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — The Peruvian No. 1 saw a relatively quiet first half come to a close in a fury as he was forced into action to face a penalty kick before halftime. Gallese guessed correctly, but Diego Rossi’s placement was just above Gallese’s outstretched trailing hand. The Crew put three of their eight shot attempts on target and Gallese was credited with one save on the night. He completed 94.1% of his 17 passing attempts, including two accurate long balls out of three attempts.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 7 (MotM) — Schlegel continued to fill in for injured starter Robin Jansson and has now strung a few solid performances together on the back line. Defensively, he put out multiple fires for Orlando City. He tied Wilder Cartagena for the team lead with five clearances. Schlegel also added three tackles and one blocked shot. He committed one foul while he suffered three throughout the match. He completed 93.1% of his 58 passing attempts, including two key passes. He also completed one of his three long-ball attempts on the night. For his total effort throughout the game he is our Man of the Match.

D, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 — The Peruvian international continued to function as a center back in the squad’s 3-5-2 lineup. Defensively, he tied for the team lead with five clearances and added three tackles and a blocked shot. He won two aerial duels and was whistled for two fouls on the night. He completed 91.7% of his 48 passes, including two successful long balls out of four attempts. Offensively, Cartagena put one of his two shot attempts on target and completed one successful dribble.

D, David Brekalo, 6 — Brekalo continued to perform well in the back as he has become more comfortable in his role, leading the team with four total tackles and chipping in one clearance. He completed 91.3% of his 46 passes and was successful on both long balls that he sent up the field. He committed one foul in the match. Offensively, he did not contribute any statistics.

WB, Facundo Torres, 5.5 — Torres again slotted in at wingback, which limits the number of looks he gets at goal, but it’s nice to see a Designated Player willing to change positions for the good of the team. The Uruguayan logged one tackle, one clearance, and one interception on defense. He committed one foul and earned a foul as well. He completed 91.5% of his 47 passes, which included two key passes. He completed three of his eight crossing attempts on the night and was successful on one of two long balls. Offensively, he logged one shot, which was off target, and completed one successful dribble.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6.5 — Lodeiro played solidly throughout the match and was asked to do a little bit of everything during the game. Defensively, he contributed three tackles and one interception. He led the team with 77 total touches and completed 84.8% of his team-high 59 passing attempts, including one key pass. He successfully completed one of his five crosses and both of his long-ball attempts. Offensively, he put one of his two shot attempts on target. He was whistled for being offside once. Lodeiro saw his night come to an end in the 66th minute when he was replaced by Martin Ojeda.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6 — Returning from suspension for yellow card accumulation, Araujo functioned as the only true defensive midfielder. Araujo’s effort on the night will ultimately be remembered for the jersey tug and subsequent yellow card recieved for the “foul” on Aidan Morris, which resulted in a penalty kick attempt for the Crew (instead of Orlando City) after a confusing and frustrating video review. Araujo finished the night quietly from a statistical standpoint with one interception as his only defensive stat. He committed four fouls total, including the aforementioned “foul.” He completed 96.3% of his 27 passes, including two successful long balls on two attempts. Offensively, Araujo was credited with one successful dribble. He was subbed out of the match in the 58th minute as Orlando chased the game.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 6.5 — Angulo slotted into the midfield for the second straight game. Defensively, he contributed one tackle. He completed 86.5% of his 52 passes, including a team-high three key passes. He also completed his lone through ball attempt. Offensively, he did not log a shot attempt, but he did complete two dribbles and was fouled once. Angulo was able to use his speed to get into dangerous positions throughout the match but continued to lack precision when it came to the final pass or dribble.

WB, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — Thorhallsson joined Torres as the wingback on the opposite side in the 3-5-2 system and seemed to be an afterthought throughout much of the match as the team played down the left side of the field for the majority of the game. Defensively, he contributed three total tackles and one clearance while also winning one aerial on the night and did well to deny the speedy Yaw Yeboah multiple chances to get inside him on give-and-go plays. He completed 83.3% of his 24 total passing attempts. He was unsuccessful on both crossing attempts but completed one of his two long balls. Offensively, as a byproduct of much of the action happening opposite his side of the field, he failed to record an offensive statistic. He was subbed out of the match in the 58th minute.

F, Luis Muriel, 6.5 — Muriel put in a good effort on a night when the scoreboard unfortunately would not reflect it. His effort to get in on goal — and subsequently be taken down from behind — earned what everyone thought at the time to be a penalty attempt for the Lions, although it was taken away by the referee after the review. Defensively, Muriel was credited with one interception. He completed 88% of his 25 passes and was successful on his lone crossing attempt. He won one aerial and offensively put one of his three shot attempts on target while completing three successful dribbles and suffering one foul.

F, Jack Lynn, 5.5 — With the injury to Duncan McGuire, the hero of the Lions’ last match, Lynn made Orlando’s starting lineup. Defensively, Lynn contributed one clearance. He completed 81.8% of his 11 passes. Lynn was unsuccessful on his lone crossing attempt. Offensively, Lynn failed to record a shot attempt but was credited with one successful dribble while being whistled for offside twice. He was subbed off in the 58th minute for Ramiro Enrique.


MF, Felipe, (59′), 5.5 — Brought on for Araujo just before the hour mark, Felipe looked to help control the midfield. Defensively he logged one tackle and one clearance while committing one foul, which landed him a yellow card. He completed 89.5% of his 19 passes, including one key pass and two successful long balls on two attempts. Offensively he did not record a shot attempt.

WB, Rafael Santos, (59′), 6 — Santos came on for Thorhallsson but went over to fill the left wingback role, sending Torres forward and Angulo to right wingback. He recorded one interception on the defensive end. Santos completed 84.2% of his 19 passes, which included one successful long ball on his one attempt. He was fouled once and was whistled for offside once.

F, Ramiro Enrique, (60′), 6 — Making his return from an extended absence due to injury, Enrique came on for the final half hour in the hopes of providing an offensive spark. He got into good areas but struggled to finish on some of Orlando’s best scoring chances of the night. Enrique completed 66.7% of his six passes and was unsuccessful on his lone cross. In a little over 30 minutes of game time, Enrique managed to tie Muriel for the most shot attempts, with three, and put two of them on target, albeit right at the goalkeeper. Despite the poor overall outcome of the match, it was good to see Enrique return to the pitch.

MF, Martin Ojeda, (67′), 5.5 — Designated Player Ojeda came off the bench to replace Lodeiro as Orlando faced a two-goal deficit. Defensively, Ojeda logged one interception. He completed all eight of his pass attempts, with two key passes, and three of his five crosses. Ojeda attempted one shot, which was off target.

How did you see the individual performances in this game? Make your voice heard down in the comments, and be sure to vote in our Man of the Match poll. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/27/24

Orlando City loses to the Crew, Pride and OCB win, Southampton seals return to Premier League, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Happy Memorial Day, Mane Landers! I hope you all had a good holiday weekend. I worked at Under Armour all weekend while wrapping up my high school sports coverage for the spring season. It was a mixed weekend for our teams. Orlando City lost, but both the Pride and OCB won their matches. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links. 

Lions Lose at Home to Columbus Crew

Orlando City lost 2-0 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Inter&Co Stadium and saw its three-match unbeaten streak end. The match’s first goal was controversial as the referee, Jair Marrufo, initially awarded the Lions a penalty late in the first half but went to the monitor and reviewed a play at the other end of the pitch. He instead awarded Columbus a penalty kick. Diego Rossi scored from the spot to put the Crew ahead 1-0 before halftime. Columbus extended its winning streak to three matches. Orlando has struggled at home, going just 1-3-4 so far this season. The Lions have not scored a goal at home since April 27. Despite the loss, the Lions still remain in 10th in the Eastern Conference with 16 points. Next up for Orlando is a pair of road matches this week, starting Wednesday at the Chicago Fire, followed by a Saturday night matchup against the New York Red Bulls. 

Pride Win at Home Over Portland Thorns

The Orlando Pride won their record-setting eighth straight match with a 2-1 victory at Inter&Co Stadium against the Portland Thorns Friday. Barbra Banda scored two goals in the first half to give the Pride a 2-0 lead going into halftime. Portland pulled one back, but the Pride held on for the victory and claimed three points. Orlando remains undefeated in league play after 11 matches, and the Pride stay atop the NWSL table with 27 points. The Pride are off this week but will return to action on the road next Friday, June 7, against the San Diego Wave.

OCB Win at Home against Huntsville City FC

On Sunday, Orlando City B bounced back with a season-high five goals in a 5-0 win over Hunstville City FC at Osceola County Stadium. Jhon Solis, Yutaro Tsukada, and Shak Mohammed put OCB ahead 3-0, while Yeiler Valencia scored his first two OCB goals to seal the win for the Young Lions. OCB is now in sixth in the Eastern Conference with 16 points. Meanwhile, Huntsville City FC remains winless through 10 matches and stays at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. OCB’s next match will be on the road Sunday at Inter Miami CF II. 

Southampton Clinches Promotion to Premier League

Southampton booked its return to the Premier League with a 1-0 over Leeds United in the EFL Championship playoff final at Wembley Sunday. Adam Armstrong scored the lone goal in this match as the Saints returned to the top flight after being relegated the previous season. Southampton joins Leicester City and Ipswich Town, securing promotion to the Premier League. Despite finishing third in the table, Leeds’ playoff woes continue as this is the sixth time it missed out on securing promotion and finished its season with only one win out of its last six matches. 

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

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