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Lion Links: 2/2/21

Daryl Dike goes on loan, Pride announce preseason roster, SheBelieves roster announced, and more.

SOCCER: JAN 31 USA v Trinidad & Tobago Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everybody. It’s been a good couple of days. We got to see some of Orlando’s youngsters in action for the USMNT, and the Orlando Pride opened their preseason camp yesterday. Before we get going, here’s wishing a big happy birthday to the Pride’s Viviana Villacorta! As always there’s a lot to discuss, so let’s get into it.

Dike Goes on Loan

Daryl Dike’s growth looks set to continue, with news dropping yesterday that he will be going on a short-term loan to Barnsley F.C. in England. Dike’s rookie season with Orlando City went extremely well, and this seems to be an attempt to build off that success in a couple different ways. He’ll get to train during a time period where he typically wouldn’t, and with any luck he’ll get some game action as well. For a young, developing player, seeing time in matches is invaluable, and with the Major League Soccer season not set to start for two more months, it seems that Luiz Muzzi and Oscar Pareja wanted to make sure their young striker stays sharp. It’s been reported that the loan deal does include an option to buy, but with the price tag reportedly set at $20 million for 80% of his rights, it seems likely that he’ll be back in purple for the 2021 MLS season.

Pride Announce Preseason Roster

Yesterday, the Orlando Pride opened preseason camp for the upcoming 2021 NWSL season. That of course meant that the club announced a roster for the preseason camp, and there are 23 players on that roster. There are several notable wrinkles to the Pride roster, the first of which is that it includes Sydney Leroux. While Leroux has not yet been signed by Orlando, she has reported and will be training with team. Camila, another unsigned player, has not reported, and while the Pride have her NWSL rights, her return does not seem particularly close. Finally, none of the team’s NWSL Draft picks are on the roster, since they will be finishing out their college seasons before joining up with the team.

USWNT SheBelieves Roster Announced

The United States Women’s National Team has announced its final 23-player roster for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup, which is set to kick off at Exploria Stadium later this month. For the most part, the roster is a very experienced one, featuring plenty of the usual suspects. Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, Becky Sauerbrunn, Carlie Lloyd, and the Orlando Pride’s own Alex Morgan are included. There are some less familiar faces too though. Sophie Smith, Catarina Macario, and Margaret Purce have one, two, and four caps, respectively; while Cassey Murphy has never been capped. Most of the roster will arrive in Orlando on Feb. 8 to start camp. Notably absent are Pride stars Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger.

Americans on the Move

With the European transfer deadline drawing to a close, several Americans found themselves on the move. First up, Bryan Reynolds finalized a move to AS Roma in Serie A. The 19-year-old fullback has been the subject of transfer speculation for some time now, and it wasn’t always certain that he would end up at Roma. For a while it seemed like Juventus would sneak in and sign him from under the noses of the club from the Italian capital, but in the end Michael Bradley’s former club got their man.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards has gone on loan to Hoffenheim. The young defender, another former FC Dallas player, joins the team for a six-month loan deal. With several defenders out injured for Hoffenheim, he might find opportunities for playing time easier to come by than he did with the German champions.

Additionally, Paul Arriola has completed a loan move to Swansea City for the remainder of the Championship season. He joins fellow American Jordan Morris, who also recently went to the Welsh club on loan.

Finally, it isn’t a transfer, but Matthew Hoppe has signed his first ever professional contract. The deal will keep the former academy player at Schalke 04 until 2023.

Free Kicks
  • Pride defender Ali Riley gave her thoughts on the first day of preseason.

That’ll be all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.