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Lion Links: 2/4/20

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OCSC preseason rolls on, USWNT wins Group A, NWSL trades, Pulisic injury setback, and more.

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

Good morning and happy Tuesday, everybody. Another day down, and another day closer to that home opener on Feb. 29. I’m actually going to be able to attend this year, so it’ll be my first home opener; although I’ve come close to making it in the past. Anyway, there’s plenty of interesting stuff to talk through today, so let’s have at it.

Views from OCSC Preseason

Orlando City’s preseason waits for no man, woman, or child, and yesterday the team looked to be very busy. The Lions participated in three training sessions, and did some work in small sided games.

The team even found time to hit the beach and knock out some soft sand running workouts, something I can attest to being absolutely grueling through personal experience. I wouldn’t mind doing it again at some point, but for the time being, better them than me.

The team has another preseason match scheduled for tomorrow against Inter Playa, so hopefully the hard work will pay off.

USWNT Wins Group A by Smoking Costa Rica

The United States women are on a roll, sweeping Group A in dominating fashion. After last night’s dominating 6-0 dismantling of Costa Rica, the Yanks have out-scored their Concacaf Olympic qualifying opponents 18-0 in three matches. Christen Press scored twice in the first half, Sam Mewis added a second-half brace, and the Yanks got solid performances from Pride defender Ali Krieger, captain Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan, and others. The U.S. awaits the loser of tonight’s Canada-Mexico match-up on Friday in Carson, CA, in the semifinals.

Pride’s Harris Wants to See More Federations Invest in Women

If you’re sick of seeing the top women’s teams clobber lesser competition, there’s a solution — countries must invest more in women’s soccer. It’s a cause that Orlando Pride/USWNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris definitely supports.

“That’s what we are trying to push right now across the board, it’s to keep investing in women, keep investing in these federations and so they can put out a good product on the field,” she said.

NWSL Trade News

In case you missed it, there was some player movement within the NWSL yesterday. Reign FC traded forward Shea Groom and defender Megan Oyster to the Houston Dash, and also sent the Dash a conditional natural second-round pick in the 2022 NWSL College Draft. In return, Reign FC received the rights to defender Amber Brooks and forward Sofia Huerta. Brooks will actually be making her return to Seattle after spending the 2015 season with the team.

Pulisic Injury Setback

Unfortunately, it seems that Christian Pulisic has suffered a setback in his bid to return to the field after suffering an adductor injury. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said.

“We tried to get him out there last week, step it up a little bit, but we had to pull out of that,” Lampard said. “The break might have come at a good time, it buys us a couple of weeks. Of course you miss him. He’s a quality player and he was having a really good patch pre-Christmas. Others have to stand up too, but of course we’ll be happy when he’s back.”

Chelsea’s next game isn’t until Feb. 17 against Manchester United, so hopefully the break provides the youngster plenty of time to heal and be ready to hit the field again.

Wood Turns Down Cincy, Remains Open to MLS

German newspaper Bild has reported that Bobby Wood turned down the chance to join FC Cincinnati ahead of the upcoming MLS season. However, the striker is said to still be interested in making his way to Major League Soccer, just maybe not right away. While Cincy is said to have offered Wood $1 million in salary, the national team forward would make about $3 million more than that if Hamburg gets promoted. With the club currently sitting second in the 2. Bundesliga — just one point off leaders Arminia Bielefeld — it isn’t unreasonable for Wood to be worried about missing out on a hefty paycheck.

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me today. While the Lions do have that preseason friendly today, there won’t be any video coverage of it. With that being said, we’ll be sure to update you on any details that happen to sneak their way out of the closed-door match-up, so make sure to keep both eyes on us here at The Mane Land. Y’all stay safe out there.