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Lion Links: 4/12/19

Orlando City gets some money, Akindele finding his place, Morgan dominant, and more.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? Friday is finally upon us as we finish up the work week and head into a weekend filled to the brim with Orlando soccer. Hopefully, the week hasn’t been too rough on you and maybe it’s even your payday. Just don’t spend it all in one place. It’s going to be a fun and exciting couple of days. Now, let’s get to the links.

Lions Make a Trade

Orlando City completed a trade with the LA Galaxy, sending the Galaxy the second spot in the MLS Allocation Order in exchange for a total of $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Okay, so maybe it isn’t the most exciting news in the world, but it is certainly nice to see the club has some spending money to use during this summer transfer window or after the season. As for how that Allocation Order spot was spent, the Galaxy sent it and a first-round 2020 SuperDraft pick to Toronto FC for the top spot in order to sign defender Giancarlo Gonzalez.

Akindele Fitting In Well With Orlando Offense

One of the biggest needs Head Coach James O’Connor wanted to fill in the off-season was at the forward position, and it looks like he’s addressed it well with the production seen from Tesho Akindele. The 28-year-old striker has scored twice and had an assist already this season, despite battling a hamstring injury that has only let him play in three games so far. Akindele credits the Orlando City training staff and his teammates for his performance in 2019, particularly noting how well his skills pair with the offensive talent around him.

“I feel like we have players who complement each other,” Akindele said. “I like to get in behind. Maybe Dom likes to battle more with defenders, so I think we have a good thing. Maybe Sacha [Kljestan] and Chris [Mueller] like to come in for the ball. So, I think we have a lot of players who complement each other’s strengths.”

Ruan Putting Speed to Good Use

Orlando right back Ruan is no stranger to being the fastest player on the pitch. Even playing at the MLS level, the Brazilian is able to outpace most other players with an ability to turn a defensive turnover into an offensive opportunity in the blink of an eye. With fancy footwork and a talent for drawing fouls, Ruan is making the most of his one-year deal as a Lion. Off the pitch, he is in the process of learning English and thanks his wife for making the process of moving to another country smoother.

Alex Morgan Becoming Unstoppable

With 28 goals in her past 33 games with the United States Women’s National Team, Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan is undoubtedly one of the best attacking players on the planet. The 29-year-old recently became the seventh USWNT player to reach 100 goals, which is great news for USWNT and Pride fans alike as she prepares for both the NWSL season and the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. While her success with the national team has not always translated to success on the pitch for the Pride, she is performing at such an incredibly high level that it could be a historic year for her, her country, and her club.

Young Lion Recognized

It may have been in a 2-0 loss against Toronto FC II, but Orlando City B goalkeeper Christian Herrera may have had the save of his career and was nominated for USL League One Save of the Week. When the game was still scoreless early in the second half, Herrera had a diving save to keep out a free kick shot that seemed destined to sneak into the top corner. Lend him some support and vote, it’s not often an Orlando player of any sort gets nominated. Congrats on the big save, Herrera. OCB will need more of those tonight when it takes on Tormenta at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Free Kicks
  • They may be out of the playoff picture, but the season isn’t over for the Orlando SeaWolves as they finish out their 2019 campaign with a game tonight against playoff-bound Utica FC and tomorrow against the Florida Tropics.

That’s all I have for you today. Make sure to check in throughout the day for your Orlando soccer news. Have a wonderful Friday and celebrate responsibly this weekend!