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Lion Links: 12/29/21

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Orlando City interested in Gastón González, Dike’s goal was a top MLS export moment from 2021, Marta added to CONMEBOL Team of the Year, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 20 MLS - CF Montreal at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Mane Landers. I’ll be providing your links for today and would like to thank Joshua Taylor for helping out when I was away at a wedding last week. Now, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City is Interested in Winger Gaston Gonzalez

You’ll need Google Translate to view all of the details as Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja spoke to Argentine newspaper El Litoral about the club’s interest in Argentine winger Gastón González. The 20-year-old had 23 appearances for Union de Santa Fe in the Argentina Primera Division, scoring five goals and adding seven assists. The transfer fee is rumored to be in the $2 million dollar range.

With the departures of Nani and Chris Mueller after the 2021 season, the Lions are on the hunt for wingers this off-season and were also linked with Facundo Torres and Brian Ocampo. A busy off-season is expected for the Lions with Designated Player spots to fill and new ownership at the helm. It will be interesting to see which players join the Lions before their preseason begins on Jan. 16. Pareja also spoke about how the team will travel to Mexico for part of its preseason this year.

Dike Makes Top 10 MLS Export Moments of 2021

MLSsoccer.com‘s Greg Seltzer listed the top 10 moments from MLS products playing abroad. Orlando forward Daryl Dike’s powerful strike from a difficult angle while on loan with Barnsley FC placed sixth on the list.

It was one of many goals from Dike during his stint in England and he is the only player listed who still plays in MLS. Former Orlando City Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin was also listed, placing fifth for scoring four goals in one game for Besiktas in Turkey. Americans such as Brenden Aaronson, Zack Steffen, and Matthew Hoppe were also included and it’s nice to see players from MLS teams and academies doing well in Europe.

Marta Named to Women’s CONMEBOL Team Of The Year

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics announced its women’s CONMEBOL Team of the Year and the Orlando Pride’s Marta was named as a starter. The midfielder had four goals and three assists for the Pride this past NWSL season and also helped Brazil in the Summer Olympics by scoring three goals in the group stage. The team is dominated by Brazilian players, although North Carolina Courage star Debinha was only listed as a substitute.

Big Names Headline MLS Transfer News

Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne will reportedly head to MLS this summer to join Toronto FC this summer. If the move comes to fruition, Insigne would bring serious firepower to Toronto as he’s scored over 100 goals in 415 appearances for Napoli over the course of his career. The Italian would be 31 if he joins Toronto in the summer and could make a staggering amount of money in MLS.

Meanwhile, Brazilian club Palmeiras reportedly made an offer for New York City FC talisman Taty Castellanos following the club’s MLS Cup victory. Castellanos won the 2021 Golden Boot after scoring 19 goals for the Pigeons during the regular season. According to ESPN, Palmeiras’ $12.5 million bid falls short of NYCFC’s $15 million valuation of Castellanos.

In other MLS transfer news, Austin FC signed veteran forward Maxi Urruti to a two-year deal, Charlotte FC added goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina from Ludogorets Razgrad in Bulgaria, and Toronto is interested in Torino’s Andrea Belotti. The Houston Dynamo are also closing in on their next head coach, with former MLS player Paulo Nagamura reportedly set to replace Tab Ramos after a disappointing 2021 season.

Free Kicks

That will be all from me today, Mane Landers. Have a great Wednesday!