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Lion Links: 1/27/21

Andres Perea and Chris Mueller discuss upcoming USMNT match, former Pride players find new teams, OCSC expands youth soccer commitment, and more.

SOCCER: JUL 20 NWSL - Sky Blue FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone has had a great start to their week. I have a school presentation today performing a sportscast show for my project. Don’t worry, I’ve got some soccer stories to share, so it won’t just be about the Super Bowl in less than two weeks. Speaking of soccer, we’ve got lots to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Andres Perea, Chris Mueller Share Thoughts on Upcoming USMNT Match

Andres Perea talked to Miguel Gallardo about subjects such as reconnecting with his roots in the United States, and his experience training with the national team.

Chris Mueller also shared his thoughts on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming match against Trinidad & Tobago at Exploria Stadium on Sunday. We’ve already told you some of what he said on Monday.

Former Orlando Pride Players Join New Teams

The Orlando Pride have been busy as we approach the 2021 NWSL season. In case you missed anything, you can keep track of the latest roster moves here. Meanwhile, a couple of former Pride players are on the move. Defender Erin Greening, who was waived on Aug. 5 of last year, has signed a contract with Klepp Elite in the Norwegian Toppserien. Greening was a third-round pick by the club in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. She made 17 appearances and scored one goal for the club.

Another player who found new employment is Deneisha Blackwood, who signed a short-term deal with Orlando for the 2020 NWSL Fall Series. Blackwood has signed a contract with the Houston Dash.

Orlando City SC Expands Youth Soccer Commitment

Orlando City announced the launch of the Orlando City Youth Soccer Network on Tuesday. OCYSN member organizations will be part of the club’s developmental pyramid and, as such, will be more likely to be on the radar of the team’s technical staff.

Members will also have access to exclusive player, gameday and Front Office experiences, as well as organization-specific rebrands that will allow the members to use City marks for increased exposure and Club association within the Central Florida market.

The OCYSN will include a number of programs and opportunities for youth players and local organizations to become involved with Orlando City SC including Club-operated camps, clinics and tournaments as well as the newly-announced Orlando City After School and Orlando City Affiliate Programs. The latter will include two levels of involvement, as Partner club or as an embassy location by becoming an Orlando City Soccer School.

The club announced that three founding members are already on board, with Soccer School locations in Celebration, Kissimmee and Hunter’s Creek.

FIFA Confirms 2026 World Cup Timeline for Venue Selection

FIFA has provided further details to the 23 candidate host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. There are currently three candidates apiece for Canada and Mexico. For the United States, there are 17 cities in contention, including Orlando, vying for a spot to host a match in five years’ time. The field will be narrowed to 16 cities before games get underway. FIFA plans to appoint host cities for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico by the last quarter of 2021.

Free Kicks

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday, stay safe, and I’ll see you next time.