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Lion Links: 5/14/24

Orlando City players earn recognition, Luis Muriel up for Goal of the Week, Blackburn still wants Duncan McGuire, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Orlando’s teams were firing on all cylinders this weekend, as Orlando City and the Orlando Pride combined to take all six points on offer. Orlando City beat the Philadelphia Union on the road by a score of 3-2, while Adriana’s penalty kick saw the Pride safely to a 1-0 win over Bay FC. As usual, we have a lot to discuss today, so let’s get after it.

Three Lions Earn Recognition After Win

A trio of Lions have been recognized for their efforts in Saturday’s win, as Luis Muriel is in the starting lineup of the MLS Team of the Matchday, with Nico Lodeiro and Pedro Gallese on the bench. Muriel led the way for Orlando on the scoresheet with a brace, while also doing some creative work in addition to the scoring. Lodeiro assisted on all three Orlando City goals, as he turned in an outstanding performance in the midfield. Gallese made two big saves from open play, and stonewalled what would have been an equalizer by Daniel Gazdag from the spot to preserve all three points for Orlando City. Here’s hoping the good performances continue.

Luis Muriel Up for Weekly Honors

The recognition didn’t stop with the Team of the Matchday for Muriel though. The Colombian striker was also nominated for MLS Player of the Matchday, although the award ultimately went to Christian Benteke. While he missed out on Player of the Matchday honors, it’s hard to argue with Benteke’s hat trick that saw D.C. United beat Atlanta United 3-2, and I’m sure Muriel will take Orlando’s victory over personal honors any day of the week. Muriel also received a nomination for MLS Goal of the Week. Which goal he was nominated for should come as little surprise, with his thunderous left-footed strike to open his Orlando City account getting the nod.

Blackburn Rovers Still After Duncan McGuire

It seems that Blackburn is still interested in Duncan McGuire, as the English team is said to be sending someone stateside to scout him this week. If Orlando City has its way, that interest won’t matter, as the club has reportedly offered him a new contract (paywall) with improved terms from the last one offered to the young striker. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out after a move to England collapsed so spectacularly during the January window. If McGuire keeps scoring at the rate he has so far this season then he’ll presumably have bigger fish than Blackburn chasing his services.

Jesse Marsch Takes Canada Job

Jesse Marsch has been named the new manager of the Canadian Men’s National Team. Out of a coaching job since his time managing Leeds United ended back in 2023, Marsch will take over for John Herdman, who left the post last summer to take the reins at Toronto FC. Marsch’s appointment could add an extra level of intrigue to games between Canada and the United States Men’s National Team, as Marsch has been critical of Gregg Berhalter at times. While he will be in charge of Canada for this summer’s Copa America, the USMNT and Canada find themselves on the opposite side of the bracket, and the only way they will meet is in either the final or the third-place game.

Americans in Midweek Action

Speaking of the USMNT, a number of American players will be in action this week, so make sure you have everything noted on your calendar. On Wednesday, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Celtic will win the Scottish league if they beat or draw with Killie, while Weston McKennie, Tim Weah and Juventus square off against Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final. Thursday sees Josh Sargent and Norwich City take on Leeds United in the second leg of the Championship playoff semifinals, while Friday will see Daryl Dike’s West Brom play the second leg of its semifinal against Southampton, although Dike will miss out through injury.

Free Kicks

  • Oscar Pareja says Robin Jansson’s injury isn’t as bad as initially feared, but didn’t elaborate much more beyond that.

That’s all I have for today. Vamos Orlando!


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