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Lion Links: 5/17/18

Tarek talks MLS, Yotún named to Peru’s preliminary World Cup roster, Pride using road success for momentum, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Mane Landers. Hope you are enjoying your Thursday and getting prepared for Orlando City’s match against Toronto FC on Friday. Before we start the Links, The Mane Land wants to wish Amro Tarek a very happy 26th birthday, as he has become a nice addition to Orlando City this season. Speaking of Tarek, take a look below at his first ever Egyptian National Team appearance, as he was added to Egypt’s World Cup squad a few days ago:

Lets get into the Links for today.

Tarek Talks MLS, National Team Call-Up

Staying with Amro, his solid start to the 2018 MLS season has gotten him noticed. It’s certainly a key reason he’s on Egypt’s preliminary World Cup roster. He recently spoke to DMC Sports about Major League Soccer, as well as the call to play for his country.

The MLS is not poor the way Egyptians see it. It is a very strong and competitive league and has a huge publicity. The fans need to grasp this,” Tarek told DMC Sports channel.

“My Egypt call up was a dream, whether I go to Russia or not. I received an Egypt call before with Hector Cuper, and Hamada Tolba had given me some advice. The coaching staff make their choices based on their requirements and not based on the player’s condition or his current form with his team.”

The other big takeaway from the link above is that Tarek seems to have leaked that Orlando City will pick up his option after the season.

Yoshimar Yotún Named to Peru’s 2018 World Cup Provisional Roster

To no one’s surprise, Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotún was named to the Peruvian 2018 World Cup preliminary roster on Wednesday.

Yotún’s skill set is obviously important to Peru’s success, as he helped lead his home nation through CONMEBOL qualifying for the first time in 36 years. Yotún has made 70 appearances with Peru, netting two goals along with seven assists. The only bummer is that Orlando City will lose him for about a month as he plays for his nation, but as a fan, it is something we will have to live with.

Successful Road Trip Gives Pride Momentum

After picking up seven points in three road matches, the Orlando Pride have given themselves momentum going into the middle part of the season. The Pride completed their road trip with their first ever victory over Portland Thorns FC in a 2-1 effort, which really had Head Coach Tom Sermanni happy.

An absolutely unbelievable performance away from home at the toughest play to come and get points against a team we’ve never beaten before.

As Pride return home, the unbeaten road trip allows them to keep the momentum going, as they have gained points in all three of their home games thus far ahead of their May 23 match against the undefeated North Carolina Courage. The bye week will give Orlando time to touch up on things and use this momentum heading into the showdown with the Courage. A win would also give the squad much-needed confidence as the Pride will travel to play the Chicago Red Stars on May 26 and the Seattle Reign on June 3. Let’s see if they can keep it going. Check out The Mane Land’s interview with Orlando Pride’s own Alanna Kennedy here.

USWNT Hosts Tournament of Nations This Summer

The USWNT has already held a successful four-team event this year with the SheBelieves Cup, but will do so again, hosting the Tournament of Nations. Australia, Brazil and Japan will visit this July and August, with matches at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Rentschler Field in Connecticut, and Toyota Park in Illinois. The tournament begins July 26 in Kansas City and concludes Aug. 2 in Illinois. All coverage for the tournament will be presented by Fox Sports on FS1. The Pride stars from the USWNT, Australia, and Brazil, are expected to participate. Orlando hosts a match against Seattle just five days before the start of the Tournament of Nations and Sky Blue just three days after the event concludes.

Free Kicks
  • Disciplinary action has been finalized after events against Atlanta United.
  • Pride players Haley Kopmeyer and Christine Nairn had a blast with some birds.