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Lion Links: 12/12/18

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Lions deal El-Munir and Tarek, City acquires Joao Moutinho, MLS Expansion Draft results, and more!

MLS: Columbus Crew at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! Happy Wednesday and happy National Gingerbread House Day! Here are some ways to celebrate this random “holiday.” There was some big Orlando City news yesterday, so let’s get to it.

Orlando City Acquires Joao Moutinho

The Lions traded away Mohamed El-Munir for 2018 MLS SuperDraft first overall pick Joao Moutinho. Joao is getting his green card and is a Generation Adidas player, so this is an excellent move for Orlando. The left back has tons of potential and could be the left wingback in James O’Connor’s 3-4-3 formation.

Lions Trade Amro Tarek to New York

El-Munir was not the only defender that Orlando traded away yesterday. The Lions sent Amro Tarek to the Red Bulls in exchange for just a fourth-round pick. As there is rarely any value this late in the draft, Tarek was basically cut from the team and sent to the Supporters Shield winners. Trading Tarek, who would likely have been a critical figure for Orlando in 2019, seems like nothing more than a salary dump. The Lions are apparently trying to clear cap space to have room to sign other players.

MLS Expansion Draft Results

FC Cincinnati made its five picks in the Expansion Draft yesterday. Not surprisingly, no Orlando City players were selected. The biggest name selected was Kei Kamara, but Cincinnati sent the forward to the Colorado Rapids for an international spot. Here is a complete recap:

  1. Darren Mattocks
  2. Kei Kamara — Traded to Colorado
  3. Roland Lamah
  4. Eric Alexander
  5. Hassan Ndam

That was not the end of moves yesterday for the expansion team. Cincy sent a total of $1.2 million in allocation money to Vancouver and Atlanta for Kendall Waston and Greg Garza.

Columbus Crew Get Stadium Proposal Approved

The Columbus City Council unanimously approved a Crew stadium proposal. The city will contribute $50 million, and today the Ohio House will decide if it will provide another $15 million. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, especially after the fiasco that led to Orlando City privately funding its own stadium.

“To ensure the long-term success of Crew SC, and for the Club to remain in Columbus, a critical component of our discussions has been plans for a new stadium, as well as increased fan and corporate support,” said Don Garber. “We hope to see these essential elements finalized soon. While there is work to be completed, we commend Mayor Ginther, Alex Fischer, the City, the County, and all who are engaged in this process, which we believe will deliver great benefits to Crew fans and the Columbus community for generations to come.”

Zack Steffen to Manchester City is Official

The U.S. Men’s National Team keeper is heading to one of the biggest teams in the world. The transfer will be completed on July 9, 2019 — the 2019 Secondary Transfer Window. The Crew broke its record for the largest transfer fee and it is the most money for a goalkeeper in MLS history. Of course, the exact terms were not disclosed — although it is reportedly for $8.75 million.

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