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Lion Links: 5/20/21

MLS transfers, USMNT abroad, Ashlyn Harris honored again, and more.

Ornaldo Pride v North Carolina Courage Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

It’s Thursday, or two days from Orlando City and Pride gameday, and we’ve got things to discuss. Let’s get into it.

Big Transfers in MLS

With Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window winding down, closing on June 1, multiple teams announced big signings yesterday. New York City FC announced the signing of Brazilian youth international forward Talles Mango from Brazilian club Vasco De Gama. New York paid a rumored $8-12 million for the 18-year-old, one of the largest fees in MLS history. Mango was a member of Brazil’s U-17 World Cup-winning team, scoring two group stage goals in the tournament. He will qualify as a Young Designated Player for New York.

Former Orlando City manager Adrian Heath also received reinforcements yesterday, with his Minnesota United finally announcing the long-rumored signing of Argentine winger Franco Fragapane. The 28-year-old winger arrives via Targeted Allocation Money. The Loons have struggled so far in 2021, losing their first four games before winning the last two. They’ll hope Fragapane can fill the void of former Lion Kevin Molino on the left wing, who had 13 goals and three assists in all competitions for Minnesota in 2020.

NWSL’s Houston Dash and Portland Thorns to Compete in WICC

2020’s NWSL Challenge Cup and Fall Series winners, the Houston Dash and Portland Thorns, respectively, are set to compete in this summer’s Women’s International Challenge Cup. The competition, set for late August this year, will also feature UEFA Champions League winners FC Barcelona and French champions Lyon. Per ESPN, “the tournament is being touted as the unofficial world club championship for women’s soccer,” especially given the lack of an equivalent competition from FIFA.

Weston McKennie Wins Coppa Italia

Midfielder Weston McKennie became the latest young American to pick up silverware in Europe, becoming the first U.S. international to win the Coppa Italia. He picked up an assist in Juventus’ 2-1 win over Atalanta. The win was the culmination of a good first season for McKennie in Turin — one that saw his loan from Schalke turned into a permanent transfer, with six goals in 45 appearances across all competitions.

USMNT’s Tyler Adams Injured Again

Former New York Red Bull and current RB Leipzig star Tyler Adams has left Germany to rehabilitate a back injury. Adams was set to be a key player for Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. Men’s National Team in 2021, with Nations League, Gold Cup, and World Cup qualifying on the schedule, but with another injury, his role with the national team could be limited. Despite being one of the brightest American prospects ever, Adams has only played 12 times for the senior U.S. team. While we don’t yet know if his back injury will keep him out of anything this summer, it’s a worrying sign for a player who’s been more injured than not in his national team career.

Free Kicks
  • The Pride’s Ashlyn Harris won NWSL Save of The Week for her point blank stop against the Washington Spirit’s Trinity Rodman.
  • The LA Galaxy are reportedly close to a deal with AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko. I wouldn’t put too much stock into it as the Galaxy already have three designated players, but we’ve seen the Galaxy bend the rules before so we’ll see.
  • PSG won the French Cup once again for a record 14th time. French superstar Kylian Mbappe finished with a goal and assist.

That’s all I have for you this morning, thank you all for reading.