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Lion Links: 1/14/18

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Larin transfer takes a turn, Lions reportedly eye Serbian defender and U.S. midfielder, MLS Combine, and much more!

Columbus Crew SC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? Things are heating up here in Orlando with some exciting transfer news, the MLS Combine, and the Florida Cup. So, let’s not waste any time and hop right into today’s links!

Cyle Larin Transfer Gets Interesting

If you read yesterday’s links you’d know that Orlando City forward Cyle Larin is in Instabul, Turkey to presumably meet with Besiktas, the Turkish club Larin has been linked with for the past few months. But Besiktas went beyond “linking” by announcing that Larin is in contract negotiations to join the Turkish giants.

Orlando City quickly responded with a statement saying Orlando City has not agreed to terms on a transfer and that Larin is still under contract until 2019. Hopefully, this will all sort itself out but it may require a trip to the courtroom or a FIFA appeal after Besiktas made this announcement.

Ramos Gone? Lions May Pick up Cam Lindley
  • Paul Tenorio reports that Rafael Ramos and an unknown amount of allocation money could be on its way to the Chicago Fire for the rights to University of North Carolina midfielder Cam Lindley.

Lindley is a talented Chicago Homegrown midfielder who was named No. 5 in Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 100 men’s players (sophomores through seniors) back in December. He also made that site’s Best XI following his sophomore season in 2017. His accolades go on for miles. Lindley was ACC Midfielder of the Year, a first-team All-ACC selection, a member of the NCAA Men’s College Cup All-Tournament Team and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. He scored seven goals and added 13 assists during his sophomore campaign.

While Ramos is young and has loads of potential, he’s had a miserable time staying healthy in his time in Orlando. He’s made just 39 appearances (37 starts) in his three years in MLS, without scoring a goal, producing five assists, and earning seven yellow cards and three red cards. He played in only two games in 2017.

This trade, should it happen, could be one of those that helps both teams. Or neither. Time will tell.

Orlando City Makes an Offer for Serbian Center Back

According to Mozzart Sport, Orlando City has made an 800,000 euro offer for Partizan Belgrade center back Nemanja Miletic. However, the offer was rejected as Partizan is reluctant to give up such an integral part of the team at that price. Partizan also took it upon itself to point out that Orlando City has already nabbed Mohamed El-Munir on a free transfer and that is playing into negotiations as well. The report also stated that Orlando City is still keeping tabs on Partizan defensive midfielder Everton Luiz.

Jordan Schweitzer Joins Switchbacks

Former Orlando City B midfielder Jordan Schweitzer has joined the Colorado Springs Switchbacks for the 2018 season. Although only getting one goal and one assist in his 24 appearances for OCB last season, Schweitzer made great strides in 2017 by serving as facilitator for OCB’s offense and earning his first call-up for the Canadian national team. Good luck as a Switchback, Schweitzer.

Rangers Win Florida Cup Thriller, Legia Warsaw Falls to Barcelona

Scottish club Rangers FC mounted a comeback after trailing by two goals at the half to defeat Corinthians 4-2 in yesterday’s Florida Cup action. Alfredo “El Bufalo” Morelos scored a brace and added an assist to help Rangers score four times in one half in what was possibly the greatest comeback in Florida Cup history. With the win, Rangers finish the tournament undefeated and in the driver’s seat of the tournament with six points and a +3 goal differential.

After the Rangers win, only three teams remained in contention to overthrow the Scottish club. And after Barcelona SC’s 3-2 victory over Legia Warsaw, only two remain. Barcelona will need to win by three goals to overtake Rangers, but don’t count out Atletico Nacional which starts its Florida Cup run today against Atletico Mineiro at 1 p.m. ET at Spectrum Stadium. Our Kevin Mercer will be out there to cover that one. Here are the goals from that Barcelona vs. Legia Warsaw match:

MLS Combine Day One Recap

The MLS Combine kicked off right here in Orlando yesterday with Team Predator beating Team Nemeziz 2-1 in the first game. It wouldn’t be a shock for Orlando City to use its No. 6 draft pick in the MLS SuperDraft next Friday on a forward and there was a fair bit of scoring for the Lions to take notice of. In particular, Albert Ruiz saw his draft stock rise a bit after scoring yesterday and the Florida Gulf Coast product could be an early target for Orlando City.

In the 1-1 draw between Team X and Team Tango, Orlando City and fans should take note of University of Cal center back Josh Morton who headed in Team X’s only goal. If the front office wishes to trade down, Morton would give the Lions a weapon in the box on corners and would be a smart addition given Tommy Redding’s recent departure to New York Red Bulls.

Outside of the games, there were a variety of performance tests that are worth checking out and MLSsoccer.com has you covered if you’re into tracking draft stocks like I am.

Free Kicks

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That’ll do it from me guys, we’ll keep you posted if any news breaks so make sure to check in with us throughout your Sunday. Let’s leave you with some new Orlando City shirt numbers:

Note: RJ Allen has worn 27 in the past and if Ramos is traded that number opens up for him.