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Lion Links: 3/23/21

Wilfredo Rivera signed as a Homegrown, Pride draftee has big week, USMNT roster updates, Orlando City academy teams beat Miami, and more.

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Preseason continues to roll on and with the international break upon us there’s plenty of soccer to keep us all occupied, which is never a bad thing. There’s lots to talk about today, so let’s get to it.

Rivera Signed as Homegrown

Yesterday Orlando City announced the signing of Wilfredo Rivera as a Homegrown Player. Rivera becomes the ninth Homegrown in club history, and the sixth on the current OCSC roster. After playing with Orlando City B last year as one of the team’s best players, the Lions decided to lock him up with the first team by signing him to a three-year contract. At 17 years old, Rivera is the youngest player to join the first team since Tommy Redding did so in 2014. While he likely won’t play a lot in 2021, this is a move made more towards an eye with furthering his development, and it’s good to see that the Lions’ youth setup is bearing fruit.

Orlando Pride Draft Pick Has Big Week

Orlando Pride draft pick Mikayla Colohan had a huge week for BYU, and as a result she was named College Soccer News National Player of the Week. Colohan scored two goals and assisted on the other two in a 4-1 win over Utah Valley University. She followed that up with a penalty-kick goal and two assists in a 5-1 win over Pacific. The BYU star was Orlando’s second pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft (14th overall). She’s now scored 31 career goals for the Cougars. Colohan has eight goals and three assists in nine matches (all starts) this season and she’s four for four on penalties.

USMNT Roster Updates

Several changes have been announced regarding the USMNT’s roster ahead of a pair of friendlies against Jamaica and Northern Ireland. First, Nicholas Gioacchini has been allowed to rejoin the camp’s roster after previously withdrawing due to COVID-19 restrictions. Additionally, Chris Richards, Josh Sargent, and Giovanni Reyna will all be allowed to travel with the team to face Northern Ireland. Previously, the trio was only on the roster for the Jamaica game due to quarantine protocols in the respective areas of Germany where they play their club soccer. Now that those protocols have changed, they will be available for both games, something that is particularly welcome for Reyna and Sargent, who are in good form at the moment.

BBC & Sky Pick up WSL

In very big news, the BBC and Sky have announced that the networks will start to broadcast the Women’s Super League next season, in a move that should bring games to a much wider audience than previously possible. The agreement with the two broadcasters runs through 2024 and is worth between £7 million and £8 million for a season. Specifically, the BBC will have 22 live matches and Sky will show at least 35, although that number could rise to 44. The deal should easily boost the visibility of the league and women’s soccer in general, while also hopefully getting some money to the clubs themselves.

TUDN Gets Copa America

In more broadcasting news, TUDN has acquired the U.S. Spanish-language rights to this summer’s 2021 Copa America. The deal is simply the latest for a network that has a busy summer ahead of it. TUDN also has Spanish-language rights to the UEFA Champions League Final, Concacaf Nations League, UEFA Euro 2020, the Concacaf Gold Cup and the MLS All-Star Game, among other events. It’s an even bigger win for the company because it seems like Telemundo was going to secure the rights to Copa America back in early 2020, and having the continental South American tournament is obviously a pretty big deal.

Free Kicks

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