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Lion Links: 1/21/17

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Yoshi’s excited for 2018, Atletico Nacional win Florida Cup, Ramos says goodbye, and much more.

SOCCER: SEP 27 MLS - NE Revolution at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey Mane Landers, I hope you’re having a good weekend so far. Today’s the last day before you have to go back to the work grind tomorrow, so relax and kick back with some Lion Links.

But before we get to it, let’s wish a happy birthday to both Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson (31) and Orlando Pride midfielder/defender Alanna Kennedy (23)!

Yoshi Excited to Play With New Lions

Returning to Orlando in the coming days after traveling to Los Angeles for MLS Media Day, Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotun said he is excited to see the 2018 roster starting to take shape. He and Sacha Kljestan will be quite the duo in the midfield and Yoshi was especially looking forward to getting the ball in the feet of young Paraguayan Josué Colmán. Although the team will look much different this season, Yotun says that the style of play will remain the same for the most part, so hopefully it goes better this time with a new group of talent.

Lindley and Ramos Trade a Win-Win, According to Fire GM

Earlier this week, Orlando City traded away Rafael Ramos and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to the Chicago Fire in exchange for Homegrown midfielder Cameron Lindley. I’m sure you’ve heard ours and other Orlando City-focused takes on the swap, but Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez gave his thoughts on Lindley’s move down to the Sunshine State. Rodriguez revealed that while Lindley was a product of Chicago’s academy, the 20-year-old told Rodriguez that he did not want to start his professional career with the Fire. Following an ideology of putting the Homegrown player’s wishes first, Rodriguez was able to not only fulfill Lindley’s desires but get something valuable in return.

“I think this is an instance where it’s a win-win for Orlando and for us, they get a talented player, we get resources and an equally young player with pro experience who also can compete for a starting spot.”

Rafael Ramos Bids Farewell

It’s always bittersweet when a trade goes through and we have to say goodbye to one of our own. It’s especially bittersweet when that player has been a part of an organization as long as Rafael Ramos has. Ramos joined the club back in 2014 when Orlando City was kicking it at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. It’s unfortunate that his time with the Lions in MLS was plagued by injuries but hopefully he can have a promising future in Chicago.

Hill Shines in W-League Round 12 Play

In a W-League match that pitted Orlando Pride players against each other, Rachel Hill put on a show as the Perth Glory and Canberra United played to a 4-4 draw. Perth forward Sam Kerr dominated the headlines with a hat trick, but Hill assisted Kerr’s first and last goals while adding one of her own in the eight-goal thriller.

Despite the performance, the draw means that Hill and the Perth Glory will likely miss out on the Finals Series with just 14 points and only one game left on their schedule. Toni Pressley and Canberra United fare slightly better on the ladder with 16 points and will fight with Melbourne City and the Newcastle Jets for one of the top four spots.

Speaking of Melbourne City, birthday girl Alanna Kennedy and City captain Steph Catley had a 0-0 draw with the first-place Brisbane Roar in a clash between two W-League heavyweights. Kennedy was able to get on the end of a few threatening corners, but she and the City offense were unable to get past the Brisbane defense. Although it now holds the coveted fourth spot with 17 points, City is in a tough spot on the ladder with both Canberra and the Newcastle Jets (third place with 17 points) having a game in hand over the defending champions.

Atletico Nacional Wins Florida Cup Title

The Florida Cup came to a close last night with Atletico Nacional beating Legia Warsaw 2-0 to take the Florida Cup trophy. Aldo Ramirez netted a brace in the thrilling win that resulted in a three-way tie at the top of the standings with Atletico Nacional, Rangers FC, and Barcelona SC all sitting on six points from two wins. But Nacional held the tie-breaker in goal differential to give the Colombian club the title in its first ever Florida Cup.

Bruce Arena Details U.S. Soccer Collapse

It’s been over three months since the USMNT was knocked out of World Cup contention, and now former coach Bruce Arena finally gives the details on what exactly happened. Speaking at the United Soccer Coaches convention, Arena went into depth on how the USMNT failed to get a point in its final game against Trinidad and Tobago.

“I felt if we went into halftime at 1-0, we had a chance to come back and get our point,” Arena said. “We read them the riot act at halftime. We told our guys they had to go out and battle, find a way to create chances. We get the early goal [by Christian Pulisic]. We feel if we get another goal, we get the point, we get the hell out of here. We’re going to World Cup. It never came.

Free Kicks
  • Word around the rumor mill is that Stoke City made a $4.5M offer for NYCFC’s Jack Harrison.
  • Stirring up some interest, the USL DIII tweeted that its first member will be from one of the following southern states:

The most likely choice would be one of the Carolinas, with both the Myrtle Beach Mutiny and the Wilmington Hammerheads as Premier Development League teams that could make the jump. But I’m gonna place my bet on Hunstville, AL, after USL DIII Vice President Steven Short visited in December and said the city was “poised for tremendous success.”

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That’ll do it for links today. Remember to check out Ertz and the rest of the USWNT when they take on Denmark tonight at 7:30 p.m.