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Lion Links: 2/4/21

Orlando City signs Jonathan Suarez on loan, Sydney Leroux signs new Orlando Pride contract, Daryl Dike available for Barnsley on Saturday and more.

Queretaro v Toluca- Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Howdy, Mane Landers. I hope you’ve been enjoying your week so far. We’re halfway through it, and the weekend can’t come soon enough. If you have been having a slogger of one like me, hang in there, The days off for many of us are nearly here.

Luckily, there has been an abundance of news regarding Orlando City, the USMNT, and soccer in general throughout the week, so that has helped keep us entertained. The happenings kept on keeping on yesterday, so without further adieu, let’s get right into the links.

Orlando City Signs Left Back Jonathan Suarez on Loan

Orlando City has signed left back Jonathan Suarez on loan from Querétaro FC. The loan signing could help fill the void left by Joao Moutinho as he will be out for the foreseeable future through injury. Michael Citro stated how the signing helps to fill the biggest need of the off-season for the Lions.

“The signing of Suárez addresses the club’s biggest need this off-season, even if he’s a bit of an unknown quantity. The fact that he doesn’t require an international slot helps, but the biggest question is whether he can make the jump to the MLS level from Mexico’s second division. It’s reasonable to think a ‘tweener’ in Mexico could handle MLS competition, and the current Orlando City technical staff has a good track record in identifying players.”

On paper, the loan acquirement looks both sensical and adequate as one would think a player with experience in the Mexican division can cut it in MLS. Let’s hope he does so, and the 23-year-old can showcase his quality in the forthcoming season.

Sydney Leroux Signs New Contract with Orlando Pride

Sydney Leroux has put pen to paper for a new contract with Orlando Pride. The new agreement is structured as a three-year deal with an option to add a fourth if the club decides to do so. In the NWSL such a lengthy deal is uncommon — few players are signed for more than two seasons.

Leroux said she is excited by the new, long-term contract and is looking forward to proving herself in a full season.

“I’m excited to be here in Orlando now and for the future. I know what this Club is capable of and I’m ready to get to work,” Leroux said in the club release. “It’s really nice to feel valued by the club, my teammates, and the fans in Orlando. I’m extremely excited to continue to work with Marc and our staff and can’t wait to get a full season to prove myself.”

With the NWSL season set to start May 15, it’s great to see the Pride secure the future of such a great player that can help see the side on to great things.

Daryl Dike Will be Available for Barnsley Selection Saturday

The Barnsley CEO confirmed Daryl Dike will be available for selection come Saturday. Barnsley is 12th in the Championship and is set to face the struggling Derby County, which sits 20th.

“He (Dike) is making his way here now and will do his immigration process at the border and then have a test and once that test comes back negative, he can be included in the group as he is going from bubble to bubble from the US national team bubble to the Barnsley Football Club bubble. Once he has a negative test and clears all immigration, he should be available.”

Orlando City fans can see if Dike gets some minutes under his belt on ESPN+ at 10 a.m. If the big man manages a debut, he will have made his national and European introduction in the very same week.

Tim Weah Helps Keep Lille at the Top of Ligue 1 Table

American forward Tim Weah scored in a comprehensive victory for Lille. The French side is currently on top of the table, two points clear of Lyon, and three ahead of last year’s champions, PSG.

“Weah finished off a clinical counterattack in the club’s 3-0 win over Bordeaux on Wednesday, scoring the club’s second goal that provided insurance before Canadian international Jonathan David finished off the result.”

The 66th-minute finish is Weah’s third goal this season — equal to his season high. The 20-year-old and Lille are on fire this campaign and appear a force to be reckoned with after 23 league matches. The league leaders are tied for the fewest losses in the division with a record of 15-6-2. Can Weah help Lille secure its fourth Ligue 1 trophy?

Free Kicks
  • Ashlyn Harris loves the Orlando Pride and bleeds purple. Let’s hope Harris and her teammates can instill the winning culture the goalkeeper wants to bring in the coming NWSL season.
  • Wholesome content alert: Everton midfielder Allan has shaved his hair off to support his son, who was recently diagnosed with alopecia.

That should do for this Wednesday’s set of links. Try to enjoy the second half of your week, folks.