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Lion Links: 1/17/19

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Ruan signed, Pinho gone, Skinner says hello, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

A terrific Thursday morning to you, Mane Landers. I know you’re used to having me join you Monday mornings, but here we are. There was a ridiculous amount of news that dropped yesterday, making my job much easier. So let’s not waste any time, and get to the Links!

Welcome Ruan!

It’s been a week coming, but Orlando City signed Brazilian right back Ruan. The speedy defender comes from Sport Club Internacional of Brazil’s Série A via second tier club Associação Atlética Ponte Preta. Obviously, this was a need after the Lions parted ways with Scott Sutter. The 23-year-old Ruan’s addition continues the trend of Luiz Muzzi and James O’Connor taking Orlando City in a much younger direction. Ruan will compete for the starting spot with RJ Allen and former Louisville City FC defender Kyle Smith.

Pinho Let Go

Forward Stefano Pinho was waived by Orlando City yesterday despite being under contract through 2019. It seems that the young Brazilian striker isn’t a part of O’Connor’s plans going forward. It’s not all that surprising, given the lack of playing time that Pinho had at the end of the season, and his lack of production prior to that. While he might develop into an MLS level striker, it won’t be with Orlando City. The split was mutually agreed upon, but here is Pinho’s goodbye.

Pride Updates

Ali Krieger headed to Chicago, and while she was there she sat down and had a conversation with The Equalizer podcast. She discussed her coaching aspirations, the Orlando Pride, and the upcoming World Cup in France.

It turns out that the Orlando Pride are very popular, garnering the second highest total interactions on Twitter in 2018.

Now that Marc Skinner has come on board as the new head coach of the Pride, he had some introductions to do.

Berhalter Adding Staff

New USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter added some more pieces to the new look Yanks, with the addition of former U.S. international Josh Wolff as an assistant coach. He also added B.J. Callaghan as strategy analyst and assistant coach, Darcy Norman as movement and conditioning coach, and Steve Tashjian as head performance expert.

“In putting together the staff, we looked for coaches with considerable backgrounds in four different areas: World Cups, CONCACAF, MLS and Europe,” said Berhalter.

The new staff will get to show what they’ve got for the first time in a friendly against Panama on Jan. 27 and then a Feb. 2 match against Costa Rica.

Potential Qatar World Cup Issues

The largest sporting event in the world is coming in 2020 when Qatar hosts the World Cup. We’re already familiar with the issues related to holding a soccer tournament where the temperatures routinely top 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the abysmal working conditions to get Qatar ready are killing workers. It now turns out that even getting there is could be a problem. Qatar soccer players flying into the United Arab Emirates for the Asian Cup had to take circuitous routes via Kuwait due to the fact that the two countries have severed diplomatic, economic, and travel ties. If the situation doesn’t improve before the World Cup, you can expect soccer players from the UAE to have similar issues traveling to Qatar.

Free Kicks
  • Servando Carrasco has re-signed with the LA Galaxy, keeping the former Lion in the City of Angels.
  • Former NYCFC midfielder Yangel Herrera has been loaned from Manchester City to La Liga’s Huesca. The Venezuelan international made 33 appearances across two seasons for the Pigeons.
  • Portland has acquired the MLS rights for Claude Dielna.
  • You had one job Atlanta...to transfer Josef Martinez to a team Orlando City doesn’t play, not to sign him to an extension. Thanks for nothing.
  • Rafael Ribiero, a photographer for Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama, posted what might be the coolest picture I’ve seen in a while. Check it out.
  • Finally, it must be pointed out that our own Scott Carnevale was called out by not just our regular readers, but also by Los Angeles FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, for his preseason starting lineup predictions.

Have a great day everyone!