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Lion Links: 1/31/18

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Goodbye Cyle, hello Uri, Pride involved in another trade, and more!

Sporting Kansas City v Chicago Fire

Good morning, Mane Landers! Before reading links today, hop outside and take a look at the Super Blue Blood Moon. This is the first time since March 1866 that there is this lunar phenomenon. It is a little difficult for us in the eastern part of the country to see, but if you have the chance, stop reading now and go outside and look up!

If you’re back to reading, let’s enjoy some Lion Links.

Rumors Become Reality

Monday was probably the craziest day in Orlando City history in terms of news. Yesterday was much calmer, but there was still breaking news.

First, Cyle Larin is officially finally gone. It was rumored on Monday, but yesterday it became official. Orlando City and Beşiktaş agreed to terms for an undisclosed fee, but the Lions are rumored to be making over $2.3 million and keeping all of it. It is sad to see Larin tarnish his reputation with the team that gave him his first professional opportunity, but — and I think many Orlando City fans are behind me on this — I hope the Canadian sits the bench for the rest of the year as the new and improved Lions win the MLS Cup.

Larin is not the only transfer that became official yesterday, though. The Lions sent $400K in TAM to FC Dallas for the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order to picked up Uri Rosell from Sporting CP.

“Uri brings many attributes to our midfield,” General Manager Niki Budalic said in a club press release. “He is a proven MLS midfielder with great vision and outstanding passing abilities to contribute offensively and defensively to the team. We’re excited to have him join the team.”

Jason Kreis Wants to Win Now

About a month ago, the Orlando fan base was freaking out because the club hadn’t made many moves. All I have to say if you’re reading this and fall into that category is: “Are you not entertained?”

The Lions have brought in Sacha Kljestan, Josué Colmán, Justin Meram, and now Rosell, who all could start in the midfield together, as well as Mohamed El-Munir, Cam Lindley, Adam Grinwis, Jose Villarreal, RJ Allen, and Stefano Pinho, and they also re-signed Dom Dwyer. This new attacking firepower means that it is playoffs or bust in 2018 for Kreis.

Pride Trade Out of Dispersal Draft

With the Boston Breakers folding, the club’s players were put into a dispersal draft. The Pride had the eighth pick, but chose not to participate by trading their first- and second-round picks and then passing in round three. Orlando got Seattle Reign FC’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in return for the dispersal picks.

The Washington Spirit traded up and, to no one’s surprise, drafted Rose Lavelle with the first overall pick and rookie Savannah McCaskill was picked up second by Sky Blue FC.

Mohamed El-Munir Hopefully Joining Lions Soon

Orlando City’s new left back is having some difficulty getting into the country. The Libyan international is coming from Serbian SuperLiga side FK Partizan and has been having trouble obtaining a visa. Hopefully this will all be behind us and he can join the boys in Sacksonville.

Free Kicks
  • These were 11 pretty steps by Justin Meram. That purple also is a much better color than Crew yellow.
  • Yesterday was crazy in the English Premier League as last-place Swansea City beat up on Arsenal to move out of the relegation zone. It’s no wonder why Alexis went to United.
  • Former NYCFC midfielder Jack Harrison signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Manchester City and was immediately loaned to Middlesbrough.
  • FIFA is one of the most corrupt organizations there is, but perhaps they are turning a new page? Doubtful, but this is at least a good sign.
  • While Orlando City is spending all the Garber Bucks, this Turkish club is spending Bitcoin. The real question is: Which has more value?
  • Today’s birthday’s include Justin Timberlake (1981), Nolan Ryan (1947), Jackie Robinson (1919), and Jersey Joe Walcott (1914).

Before I step away, I want to give a big shout out to UCF’s Shaquem Griffin on the combine invite. He is one of the most inspirational stories in recent memory and is about to show the NFL world to never doubt him!