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Lion Links: 2/17/20

More Orlando City transfer rumors, Mauricio Pereyra is fit, Olrando Pride players recognized, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 06 MLS - Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning and happy President’s Day, Mane Landers! I hope everyone is doing well. We’re getting sneak peeks at the Lions as the preseason progresses and we’re inching closer and closer to opening day. It’s quite an exciting time of the year, and since we’re currently even in the standings with every other team in MLS, I suggest we all take the time to enjoy it. But before we get to today’s links, let’s wish a happy 23rd birthday to Orlando City draft pick Austin Aviza.

Lions Make a Bid

Orlando City reportedly put in a bid for Florinel Coman. The 21-year-old is a winger for Fotbal Club Steaua București and starts for Romania as well. Despite Orlando’s “sizable” bid for the winger, FCSB owner Gigi Becali seeks a transfer fee that would set a new MLS record. The word is in quotes since it is strange for Orlando to offer a hefty amount given its current position.

Pereyra is Ready

Mauricio Pereyra joined the Lions in the middle of last season and had an immediate impact once he stepped on the field. Despite not having time to adapt to America, let alone MLS, Pereyra showed potential to be the linchpin in the midfield for Orlando City. With an entire off-season and preseason now under his belt, Pereyra is acclimated to Orlando and fully fit. Head Coach Oscar Pareja is confident in the 29-year-old’s abilities and believes he can help the Lions in many ways.

Pride Players in W-League

Emily van Egmond and Claire Emslie both made the W-League Team of the Week. Van Egmond has been on fire with both club and country, scoring four goals in two games for Australia this past week and adding another for Melbourne City in its match against the Melbourne Victory. As for Emslie, she scored a brace and had 10 shots for Melbourne City in the match. Let’s hope they can keep up the momentum when they return to the Pride.

Heather O’Reilly Speaks Out

The U.S. Soccer Membership meeting took place this weekend, and while a lot of good came out of it, there was some controversy. Stephen Flamhaft, a United State’s Men’s National Team player from the 1960s, chastised the United State’s Women’s National Team during the open remarks section of the meeting. In short, he called the team out for not displaying sportsmanship during international play. One can assume he was referring to how the U.S. dominated in certain matches, even during the World Cup. Shortly after, Heather O’Reilly, who is currently an Athlete’s Council member, also got the chance to speak. O’Reilly called on U.S. Soccer to settle the lawsuits, bring everyone back together, and added the following:

“...I want to be proud of this federation. I’ve been part of it for a long time. And unlike evidently some others in the room, I am incredibly proud of the confidence, sportsmanship, and courage the team displayed this summer.”

It was a clear rebuke of Flamhaft’s comments and, frankly, I’m not surprised. The members of the USWNT have been underappreciated for years, and they will no longer be silent.

Free Kicks

That will do it for today. If you’re lucky enough to be off of work, enjoy it. For those of you like me who aren’t...well, we’ll get through it together.