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Lion Links: 7/13/21

Orlando City is closing on a new fullback, takeaways from USMNT’s victory over Haiti, Gold Cup play opens at Exploria Stadium, and more.

Boca Juniors v Defensores de Belgrano - Copa Argentina 2021 Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. After a weekend without an Orlando City game, both the Lions and the Orlando Pride will be back in action on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, so there’s a lot of soccer to look forward to. There’s a lot to talk about today, so let’s jump straight in.

OCSC Closing on Argentinian Left Back

Orlando City fans have a shiny new transfer rumor to play with, reports out of Argentina indicate that the Lions are close to signing Argentine left back Emmanuel Mas and The Mane Land sources indicate that there’s something to those reports. The 32-year-old defender is currently without a club after his contract with Boca Juniors expired on July 1, and seems set to join OCSC. Mas has spent most of his career in South America, and helped San Lorenzo win its first ever Copa Libertadores title back in 2014. Should he join Orlando it would fill a pressing need for the club, as starting left back Joao Moutinho has battled injuries and the Lions are sorely lacking depth at the fullback position.

2021 Gold Cup Group C Opens Play at Exploria Stadium

Costa Rica and Jamaica were the favorites to win their Group C matches in the Concacaf Gold Cup last night when play opened at our own Exploria Stadium and that turned out to be the case. After Jamaica dispatched Suriname 2-0 in the early match, Costa Rica defeated Guadeloupe 3-1 in the nightcap. Our Michael Citro was on hand for the matches last night and has your recap and some highlights from a pair of entertaining games.

USMNT Gold Cup Takeaways

The United States Men’s National Team got its 2021 Gold Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Haiti on Sunday. While the scoreline isn’t as impressive as most U.S. fans were probably hoping for, there were still some important things to take away from the contest. For one, the squad might already be running into some depth issues. Paul Arriola went off after just 14 minutes with what appeared to be a hamstring issue, and winger was already a dangerously thin position before his injury. Shaq Moore and Gianluca Busio were also impressive, with Busio making his senior debut for the USMNT. If they can continue playing at that level throughout the tournament then they may find their way into the rotation for World Cup qualifying in the fall.

MLS Transfer Roundup

Several notable transfer happenings in Major League Soccer are in the news. First up, CF Montreal signed former Orlando City defender Kamal Miller to a two-year contract extension. The offer also includes an option for the 2024 season.

Sporting Kansas City is reportedly in the mix for securing the services of Dijon midfielder Mounir Chouiar, following the club’s relegation from Ligue 1. The 22-year-old is a winger who can also play as an attacking midfielder, and could potentially be brought in as a replacement for Gianluca Busio should he make a move to Serie A in the near future.

Finally, the Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Derek Cornelius to an extension and sent him on loan to Greek team Panetolikos FC. The loan runs through December of 2022, as Cornelius is seeking more playing time after only making five appearances so far this season with one of those being starts.

Free Kicks
  • Sydney Leroux highlighted the attitude and mentality of the Orlando Pride following a last-gasp draw over the weekend.
  • You can still get a pretty cool game-worn Orlando City souvenir.

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