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Lion Links: 1/29/20

Orlando City embraces diversity, Perea’s return to Florida, USWNT wins, and more.

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Spain Women v The United States Women - International Friendly Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Mane Landers! We’re in the middle of what has been (for me) a crazy week, but we are this much closer to the weekend. Here’s hoping this Wednesday finds you all well as we jump right into the links.

Orlando City Confident In South American Influence

With players from over 12 countries, Orlando City’s diversity brings something unique to the pitch. Many of the Lions noted that with the addition of more Brazilian and South American players, the influence can only be positive.

“There’s something different about them,” Júnior Urso said through a translator. “They never give up on balls. It’s just something in their blood. To be honest, it not only helps the team, but it can also help individual players. When they’re feeling down, they bring them up because they never give up.”

Speaking of Lions coming together, they’ve made it safely to Mexico and are putting in some work. Here’s a nice sneak peek at their training outside of the U.S.

Andrés Perea Embracing Being Back in the States

The young lion, on loan from Atletico Nacional, is no stranger to Florida. Perea was born in Tampa but moved to Colombia when he was only five years old, so he’s working to adjust now that he’s back in the United States. The midfielder faced a tough choice but was ultimately interested in Orlando City and its future.

“It’s very different, it’s obviously a completely different culture here,” said Perea. “The language, the food, but I think that helps in my transformation and that’s a positive for my career — being able to apply myself to new surroundings.”

USWNT Starts Olympic Qualifying with Win

It took just two minutes for the United States Women’s National Team to take the lead against Haiti thanks to an early goal by Christen Press. Three more goals in the second half by Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan, and Carli Lloyd secured the 4-0 victory as the USWNT kicked off its Olympic qualifying campaign. No Orlando Pride players started in the match, but Emily Sonnett did come on late to help out on defense. The USMNT’s next game will come on Jan. 31 against Panama as group play continues.

Predicting the USMNT’s Lineup

The United States Men’s National Team is gearing up for its first match of 2020 on Saturday. SBI Soccer predicted a starting XI for the upcoming match against Costa Rica that proves to be a mix of veteran and young players. The lineup puts Sean Johnson in goal; Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman, Chase Gasper, and Reggie Cannon on defense; Jackson Yueill, Sebastian Lletget, and Christian Cappis in the midfield; and Ulysses Llanez, Jesus Ferreira, and Paul Arriola up top. Do you agree or do you have thoughts on how the lineup could be improved?

Free Kicks
  • Former Lion Leo Pereira was officially signed by Brazilian giants Flamengo.
  • The USWNT’s U-18 squad put in the work for a strong win.

That’ll do it for me today, Mane Landers. Have a great rest of the week and stay safe!