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Lion Links: 11/8/17

Orlando City makes roster moves, Dom Dwyer gets a call-up, Harvey out at Seattle Reign, and more.

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-USA  at Panama The Tennessean-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, everyone! I was thinking that today was going to be pretty slow. Not going to lie, after my brother’s wedding this weekend, I was kinda hoping for a simple day. We went through a few hefty open bar tabs, as you can imagine. But better for you all that it was an uneventful Tuesday.

Before we dive in, we’d like to wish a very happy birthday to Orlando Pride midfielder Nickolette Driesse!

Orlando City Trims the Roster by 11

Niki Budalic and co. had a busy day as the roster took one hell of an overhaul yesterday. Several key Lions were cut as 11 players in total either saw their contracts expire or weren’t renewed by the club. Notable names whose contracts were not renewed: Antonio Nocerino, Giles Barnes, Seb Hines, Dillon Powers, Hadji Barry, and Servando Carrasco.

While the club could start a renegotiation process with some of the players above, many of these players have played their last matches in purple.

Dwyer Called Up for USMNT Portugal Friendly

Dave Sarachan — interim U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach — has named his first ever roster. These 21 will feature against the No. 3-ranked team in the world, Portugal, on Nov. 14. As part of the roster, Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer received his first call-up since the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Youth features heavily — and to much outcry in the soccer community — as over half the roster features players under the age of 24. Names include U-17 and U-20 standouts Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen) and Weston McKennie (Schalke FC).

While the roster is nowhere near perfect, with injuries or rest needed for players like Christian Pulisic and Bobby Wood, it’s a welcome sight to see new blood all over the roster and it will be exciting to see what the future has in store.

Laura Harvey Moves to the Federation; Vlatko Moves from FCKC to Replace Her

While details remain limited, Laura Harvey has left the Seattle Reign to join the U.S. Soccer Federation in an unnamed role. She leaves a Seattle Reign team that lost twice in the in the NWSL final, claiming two shields but never having gained that elusive NWSL title.

Vlatko Andonovski comes into a Seattle Reign side that is stocked with talent. With players like Megan Rapinoe, the Reign arguably have a stronger roster than what he won with at FC Kansas City either time — interestingly enough, against the coach he’s replacing, Harvey.

Former Orlando City Development Academy Players Earn Honors

Former OCSC academy standout David Loera, a player most were surprised wasn't signed to a Homegrown deal, earned first-team All-Freshman honors in the ACC. With 17 starts, five assists, and one goal, Loera had a very good first season for the Wolfpack.

Additionally, Noah Franke, a senior midfielder with Creighton, made Second Team All-Big East and Marcos Arroyo, a senior midfielder at Army, was named second team All-Patriot League.

MLS Looking at Proposed Rule Changes

As we continue to report on the rumors about the eventual sale of Cyle Larin, MLS may be enacting a rule that would incentivize teams to sell and develop players even more. Currently, MLS takes 25% of all transfer fees directly from MLS teams. This can, at times, hold teams back as they aren't getting 100% of the reward of developing such players.

Such rules make it so that MLS teams don’t prioritize building youth players since they can’t reap everything they sow. Personally, I’m rooting for this rule change.

Free Kicks

And I leave you with the news that former Columbus Crew, U.S. Men’s National Team, and LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers has officially announced his retirement. In a time where sports can be used as an agent for change, especially socially, Rogers commendably became the first openly gay male athlete in North American team sports. I could talk to you about how we missed out on a great career as he struggled with this personal journey mid-career, but I’d rather say thank you to what undoubtedly is a decision most of us will never understand. I wish him all the best and can't wait to see what is next.

Have a great week, everyone, and enjoy a great weekend of FIFA World Cup playoffs.