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Lion Links: 7/14/21

Orlando City signs left back Emmanuel Mas, Chris Mueller receives interest from Belgian clubs, Gold Cup results, and more.

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Orlando City SC v New York Red Bulls Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you as we are nearly midway through the month. Let’s all wish a happy 40th birthday to former Lion Lewis Neal, who just wrapped up his first season as an assistant coach with Central Florida Panthers SC in the National Premier Soccer League. Now, let’s get to today’s links!

Orlando City Signs Left Back Emmanuel Mas

Although not officially announced by the club, Orlando has reportedly signed Argentine left back Emmanuel Mas to a contract that will last through the rest of the 2021 season, with an option for an additional year. The 32-year-old will fill a huge need for the Lions considering injuries to Joao Moutinho this season and should take some of the load off of fullback Kyle Smith. Mas made 43 appearances for Argentine club Boca Juniors from 2018-2021 and has shown some prowess when going forward. Time will tell how he adjusts to MLS and has been training with the Lions.

Chris Mueller Linked With Belgian Clubs

According to The Athletic, Orlando winger Chris Mueller has attracted interest from clubs in Belgium ($). RSC Anderlecht, KV Oostende and OH Leuven have all expressed interest in the forward, with Leuven reportedly submitting an offer to Orlando City. Mueller’s contract does expire at the end of the MLS season, meaning the 23-year-old would be eligible to sign a pre-contract with a foreign club. Mueller could be moved this summer, but the club may be hesitant to sell him considering he has four assists and two goals so far this season as the Lions hunt for trophies in 2021.

Concacaf Gold Cup Action Rolls On

Qatar made its debut in the Concacaf Gold Cup in a 3-3 draw with Panama. All six goals came in the second half, with Qatar getting the scoring started in the 48th minute before Panama responded just three minutes later. There were plenty of goals in the later Group D match as well, although all came from Honduras in a 4-0 win over Grenada. Today’s action will feature Trinidad & Tobago taking on El Salvador at 7:30 p.m. before Guatemala plays Mexico at 9:30 p.m.

USMNT Opening World Cup Qualifier May Be Moved

The United States Men’s National Team is set to begin its Concacaf World Cup qualifying campaign on Sept. 2 in El Salvador. However, a proposal by the El Salvador Ministry of Health could result in the match being played without spectators or moved to the U.S. due to the spread of COVID-19. If the match has to be moved to the U.S., El Salvador Federation President Hugo Carrillo named Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Houston as possible venues.

Free Kicks

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday, take care of yourself, and I’ll see you next time.