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Lion Links: 12/2/20

Antonio Carlos and Mauricio Pereyra back for 2021, Andres Perea called up to USMNT, NWSL draft order announced, and so much more.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers. I hope the day finds you well. We’ve got a lot to cover, but before we jump in let’s all take a moment to wish Mason Stajduhar a happy birthday!

The Lions We Love are Back

Orlando City has begun announcing some of its roster moves ahead of the upcoming season. The club has secured a permanent transfer of center back Antonio Carlos, signing him to a three-year deal with an additional option year.

“The presence and stability Antonio Carlos brought to our back line was a key piece of the team’s defensive success during this last season,” Orlando CIty Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “Negotiating a deal with Palmeiras to his rights was a key focus for us this off-season and we are happy to get this deal, not only completed, but to secure Antonio Carlos as a member of Orlando City for the foreseeable future.”

Additionally the club has announced that Uruguayan midfielder Mauricio Pereyra has signed a one-year contract extension and will be back with the Lions for the 2021 season.

“We are very excited to have Mauricio continue with us in Orlando for another year,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He has shown himself to be incredibly creative and a driving force behind our attack. Mauricio is a very important piece on our roster and we look forward to seeing how he continues to elevate his game with the club next season.”

Andrés Perea Called up to the USMNT

U.S. Soccer confirmed yesterday that FC Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya has tested positive for COVID-19. Orlando City’s very own Andrés Perea has been called up to replace him. Perea is a dual citizen of Colombia and the U.S. He played at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup and would require a one-time change to represent the U.S. in international competition.

Speaking of those Lions representing the U.S.A., I spy with my little eye, Chris Mueller and Daryl Dike arriving to camp.

This U.S. Men’s National Team roster showcases all but one player coming from MLS. Matthew Doyle says this USMNT roster could be geared toward the Olympics as the Yanks prepare for a busy year. With so many new faces to the roster, now would be a great time to get to know the newbies.

NWSL Draft Order Announced

The National Women’s Soccer League announced the opening of player registration for the rebranded 2021 NWSL Draft yesterday. The 2021 NWSL Draft will stream on the NWSL’s Twitch channel Wednesday, Jan, 13 at 7 p.m. The draft order has been determined by the reverse standings after the preliminary stage of the Challenge Cup. Exceptions being made for Louisville, which will take the first slot as the league’s expansion team, and Orlando going fourth as agreed upon by the NWSL Board of Governors.

Marta Makes WICC Best XI

The Women’s International Champions Cup unveiled its Best XI. An advisory board of soccer experts picked the 11 people across the globe who are doing the most to advance women’s soccer, not just players. Orlando Pride and Brazil star Marta made the list, with the board citing her longevity and push for the sport.

The complete list:

  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Marta
  • Wendie Renard
  • Jean-Michel Aulas
  • Kelly Simmons
  • Moya Dodd
  • Meg Linehan
  • Bibiana Steinhaus
  • Jill Ellis
  • Sarai Bareman
  • Khalida Popal
USWNT Updates

The United State’s Women’s National Team and the U.S. Soccer Federation have settled and will not go to court right now.

“We are pleased that the USWNT players have fought for — and achieved — long overdue equal working conditions,” said USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson in a statement. “We now intend to file our appeal to the court’s decision which does not account for the central fact in this case that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job. We remain as committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve. Our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and this country.”

Speaking of the UWNT, with eight months off it would be easy to believe the team could be rusty, but the win over the Netherlands last week proved they’re anything but. As the team prepares for the Olympics, here are the 2020 takeaways.

One USWNT regular who is reportedly on the move is right back Kelley O’Hara, who may finally be making her long-awaited transfer from Utah to the Washington Spirit.

Free Kicks
  • Former Lion Shane O’Neill scored the game’s only goal to push the Seattle Sounders past FC Dallas 1-0 and into the Western Conference final.

That’s going to do it for me this morning, everyone. Be sure to check in as we start our 2020 Season in Review player pieces today. Have a great week and stay safe.