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Lion Links: 8/9/21

Orlando Pride win on the road, Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer split, Josh Sargent reportedly headed to Norwich City, and more.

OL Reign v Orlando Pride Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know that a point on the road at Cincinnati wasn’t the best result for Orlando City, but it is still better than nothing. The Olympics are over, and so are most of the summer’s competitions other than the Concacaf Champions League and the Leagues Cup. Players are returning, and hopefully Orlando City and the Orlando Pride will get other players back from injury as well. There’s plenty to look forward to, but for now, let’s get to the links.

The Pride Win in Chicago

The Orlando Pride earned all three points in a 2-0 road win over the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday night. It was interim coach Becky Burleigh’s first win leading the Pride, as Jodie Taylor and Sydney Leroux scored the goals to give them a needed victory to snap a six-game winless skid. Marta and Ali Riley returned from the Olympics to help the Pride get closer to full strength. Riley’s inclusion allowed the defense to return to its best shape while Marta helped improve the midfield. The Pride next take on the league-leading Portland Thorns at 7 p.m. next Saturday in Burleigh’s first match at Exploria Stadium.

Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer Split

Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux and former Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer are ending their marriage.

The couple got married in 2015 and share two children together. Leroux recently signed a three-year contract with the Orlando Pride in February, and Dwyer signed a two-year contract with Toronto FC in May. Leroux has thrived with the Pride this year, with her goal against the Red Stars giving her seven so far this season to lead the league. We wish both her and Dwyer the best moving forward. As Ted Lasso said, “Divorce is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one leaving or if you’re the one who got left.”

Josh Sargent Reportedly Headed to Norwich City

Josh Sargent was expected to move to a top-five league following Werder Bremen’s relegation to the second division of professional football in Germany. Now, the American forward will reportedly be transferred to Norwich City in the English Premier League. Sargent isn’t guaranteed playing time up top for Norwich though. Teemu Pukki is currently the striker for the Canaries and scored 26 goals in the EFL Championship League to help them earn promotion. Sargent will find himself in a familiar position as last year as Norwich may be fighting off relegation this coming season.

Messi Bids Farewell to Barcelona

Lionel Messi held a press conference at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium and seemingly confirmed that his exit is for real this time. With tears, Messi detailed how he was expecting to stay in Barcelona and was willing to take a pay cut to do so. The Argentine also stated that he’s been in talks with Paris Saint-Germain, but that nothing is finalized. Reports surfaced that Messi is expected to head to Paris in the coming days for a medical before signing a two-year deal with an option for a third. In Paris, he would team up with former Barcelona teammate Neymar and Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City academy midfielder Daniel Moya is one of eight players joining Temple University’s freshman class.
  • I evidently missed it during television coverage, but there was a toddler pitch invader during Orlando’s match in Cincinnati. It turns out that the mom had some pace and was able to safely track him down.
  • As the European leagues ramp back up, it’s that time of the year to check in with the various Americans playing abroad. Giovanni Reyna had an assist, Julian Green scored, and Konrad de la Fuente had an assist in his debut for Marseille.
  • FC Cincinnati is taking its time to find a new general manager after parting ways with Gerard Nijkamp. The club is on the hunt for a candidate with MLS experience.
  • I want to end today by talking about the other kind of football. Legendary former Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden passed away at the age of 91 years old yesterday morning while surrounded by his family in his Tallahassee home. Bowden will go down as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. His 14 consecutive top five finishes in The Associated Press poll is unlikely to ever be broken. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and former assistant coaches and players. He will be missed.

That will do it for today. Check back for more as the Lions meet Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup play Thursday at 7 p.m. Vamos Orlando!