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Lion Links: 2/25/18

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Final preseason match, Aja traded, Dwyer injury update, Omar looking for a new home, and more.

Orlando City SC v Chicago Fire Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The countdown to the first match of the 2018 MLS season is now just six days away. Six days, everyone. If you are like me, the emails and texts are flying to friends, hectic ideas are being bounced around, and plans are being solidified for next Saturday. Need a hint for my plans? Come by Stonewall about an hour before the match and join me for my traditional beer of choice, a Reef Donkey, and watch The Ruckus and Iron Lion Firm make the turn into the stadium. And now for something completely different.

Final Preseason Match at OCSC Stadium

Orlando City played its final full squad preseason match against the Chicago Fire at Orlando City Stadium (Nashville will face a reserve City squad today). As a note, the Lions haven’t beaten Chicago since 2015. A few key pieces of information leaked out.

The two goals scored by Orlando City were a PK by Yoshimar Yotun and a goal by Chris Mueller. If you haven’t been keeping track, Mueller has been on absolute fire this preseason. This is good because...

Kreis on Dwyer Injury

Head Coach Jason Kreis has weighed in striker Dom Dwyer’s injury.

Remember, he first picked up a hamstring injury prior to USMNT camp and then, upon his return to preseason action, he injured his quadriceps in the scrimmage against Philadelphia. But, with Mueller’s success in preseason, and having Stéfano Pinho ready, maybe Orlando will be OK at the striker position until Dom can get back to 100%.

Aja Traded to Vancouver Whitecaps

As reported here yesterday, Jose Aja has been traded to Vancouver Whitecaps for $125,000 in TAM. There are a number of other possible perks to the deal, which are explained in the linked article. This came as a bit of a shock to some, considering he was getting some pretty high praise from the coaching staff coming out of training, and a relief to others who have long criticized his play. I wish Jose well and good luck moving forward.

Omar Wants Return Stateside

USMNT center back Omar Gonzalez wants out of Liga MX side Pachuca, and may be willing to take a pay cut to return to MLS. Seems like finding a place to help with the comeback from injury, and get quality minutes is paramount to his current goals. Hey, we know a team that just had a central defense spot open up.

Free Kicks
  • Congrats to the Orlando City U-17s.
  • I know we will never have this issue with Joe Bendik, but if we did, I expect The Wall to give him Hell. Always know when to hydrate, folks.
  • Injuries have been popping up around the league, unfortunately. USMNT and Seattle Sounders striker Jordan Morris has picked up a nasty ACL tear that will keep him out six to nine months.
  • And in typical TheBeardedGuy fashion, no other music video fits the mood right now better than this one, right here: