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Lion Links: 12/28/18

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Yoshi transferred, Orlando City to add a left back, Pride narrow coaching search, and more.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? Just when it looked like Orlando City was going to end 2018 quietly, we got a slew of wheeling and dealing from the club. As we begin to bid farewell to some players and say hello to others, let’s make sure to wish the best of luck to all players as they make the next step in their careers. Now, let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Transfers Yoshimar Yotún

2018 MLS All-Star and defensive midfielder Yoshimar Yotún has been transferred to Cruz Azul in Mexico. Rumors surfaced last week regarding the move and Orlando City stated it had no intention on losing Yoshi, but negotiations to keep him on board failed. However, the move itself is far from a failure despite Orlando City losing perhaps its best player as the transfer is reportedly worth $4 million, Yoshi got to make the move he wanted, and the club was able to walk away with more than initially suspected. That being said, it really hurts saying goodbye to one of the most exciting players Orlando City had at its disposal. Good luck in Mexico, Yoshi!

Danila Acosta Set to Join Lions

Although not yet official, Real Salt Lake defender Danila Acosta is reportedly set to join the Lions for 2019. The 21-year-old was a starter for the Utah club until losing the starting job to Aaron Herrera and he would help strengthen Olrando’s left back position, although he has experience in center back as well. Should he become a Lion, Acosta will join new face João Moutinho to form a decent tandem at left back.

Orlando City Sells Joe Bendik’s Rights

Orlando was able to make something from nothing after receiving $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for the rights to goalkeeper Joe Bendik, whose option was not exercised by Orlando earlier this off-season. It’s a win for all parties involved as Bendik was not going to be returning to Orlando regardless and the Crew have since signed the seven-year MLS veteran. The Lions were able to make a little money, the Crew have a fail-safe for when Zack Steffen leaves for England next summer, and Bendik gets a gig with another passionate fan base.

Lions Close to Adding Ecuadorian Midfielder

Reports surfaced yesterday that midfielder Jhegson Méndez is expected to join Orlando City. Just 21 years old, Méndez has played nearly his entire career with C.S.D. Independiente del Valle of Ecuador and has a few international appearances under his belt as well. With Yotún no longer on the team, the opportunity is there for a player like Méndez to fill the void and perform well.

Pride in Final Stages of Coaching Search

With the National Women’s Soccer League draft slated for Jan. 10, the clock is certainly ticking for the Orlando Pride to find a new head coach. Fortunately, it looks like the Pride are narrowing down their search and are expected to have a new head coach announced some time next week. The Pride are currently the only team in the NWSL without a head coach, with the Washington Spirit hiring Richie Burke yesterday afternoon.

Free Kicks

That’s all from me folks. As this is the last time I will write to you this year, I wish you all a wonderful rest of 2018 and a happy New Year. Stay safe and make sure to check back with us for the latest Orlando City news.