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Lion Links: 12/25/18

Orlando City transfer rumor, 2019 soccer predictions, 2019 college player rankings for the SuperDraft, and more.

MLS: MLS Cup Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Christmas, Mane Landers! It’s officially that festive time of year again and just like how the fat man in red and white never rests, neither do the people manning the keyboards here at The Mane Land. News stops for no man and no holiday, which means that there’s a healthy dose of soccer related events to go over today. Let’s be about it.

Orlando City Linked to Brazilian No. 10

Christmas Day brings with it news of Orlando City being linked with a potential new signing. GloboEsporte.com has reported that the Lions had made an offer for Flamengo’s Diego Ribas, an attacking midfielder and Brazilian international. While at first glance this seems like news to be excited about, signing Ribas might not be all sunshine and roses, or even possible at all. Considering where Orlando currently finds itself DP, contract, and salary-wise, signing someone of Ribas’ caliber probably isn’t possible at the moment, especially since he’s under contract till July. That being said, if Yoshi Yotún were to depart it would make things easier, but even then Ribas is soon to be 34 and, according to some, isn’t the most light and breezy guy in the locker room.

Big Things Ahead for Alex Morgan in SI’s 2019 Soccer Predictions

Given that 2018 is very nearly in the rearview mirror, Sports Illustrated has released its list of predictions for soccer in 2019. Chief among them is that the Orlando Pride’s own Alex Morgan will be a dominant presence at the upcoming 2019 Women’s World Cup. With 18 goals in 19 games this calendar year the folks over at SI think that her hot streak will continue. They also foresee Christian Pulisic demolishing the record transfer fee for an American when Borussia Dortmund sells him off to a Premier League club come the summer. They also predict that Gregg Berhalter will help restore the USMNT to winning ways with a clear vision, and that Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will continue their respective tears through MLS.

Top MLS SuperDraft Prospects

With the 2019 MLS SuperDraft quickly approaching, the MLS website has released its list of the 12 best senior prospects in this year’s draft. Given that Orlando will be picking third in this year’s draft, there’s a reasonably good chance that one of these names could be joining the Orlando roster. The names include FIU’s Santiago Patino, a striker who has a good goal scoring record in the college game and also succeeded with the Seattle Sounders’ U-23 team in the USL PDL over the summer. There are also several highly rated senior fullbacks and center backs in the draft — both areas that the Lions need to bolster. Here are Top Drawer Soccer’s college rankings, including seven projected Generation Adidas players.

SeaWolves Trade for Freitas

The Orlando SeaWolves have acquired midfielder Thiago Freitas via trade from the Harrisburg Heat in exchange for Dylan Hundelt and another player that will be named at a later time. The Brazilian Freitas has led Harrisburg in scoring in both of his full seasons with the MASL team, and also recorded 26 assists last year. After three games in their debut MASL season the SeaWolves have a record of 1-2. Orlando exploded for 12 goals after struggling offensively for the first two games. Hopefully the addition of Freitas will help reverse the maiden team’s goal-scoring fortunes.

Free Kicks

That’ll be all for me today. I hope you all have a wonderful day and that you spend it with those closest to you. The absolute merriest of Christmases from all of us here at The Mane Land to all of you readers.