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Lion Links: 1/23/22

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Lion Links: Facundo Torres announcement may come soon, Lions reportedly eyeing Austrian striker Ercan Kara, Orlando pulls out of NYCFC scrimmage, and more.


Welcome back to another edition of Lion Links! Orlando City fans have cried out for new signings. Reports this weekend indicate their prayers will soon be answered.

Report: Orlando City Signing All But Official

Orlando City is reportedly on the cusp of adding significant firepower to its attack. On Friday night, the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Gramajo reported that Peñarol forward Facundo Torres has put pen to paper for the club for a club-record $7.5 million fee and $1.5 million in bonuses for 100% of his rights. Gramajo said the signing will be announced “later next week” but the club teased Torres’ arrival with this tweet featuring crows (his nickname is Cuervo, or “crow”):

Torres posted a lengthy farewell on Twitter to Peñarol, the club he joined when he was 10.

Report: Lions Closing in on Austrian Striker Ercan Kara

Transfermarkt’s Manuel Veth reported striker Ercan Kara of Austrian first division side and Europa League participant Rapid Wien will soon sign with the Lions as a Designated Player now that the clubs have agreed on a transfer fee. The 6-foot-4 Kara has notched nine goals and three assists in 17 Austrian Bundesliga matches (16 starts) this season after tallying 17 goals and six assists in 38 matches across all Rapid Wien competitions last season. The 26-year-old has also appeared in seven matches (two starts) in the Austrian national team’s current World Cup qualifying campaign. Transfermarkt estimates Kara’s current market value is $3.4 million.

Although the Kara deal’s transfer fee is yet unknown, the reported signing of Torres and the interest in Kara — two players valued in the millions — indicate the Wilf family, Orlando City’s new owners, are willing to open the coffers to land valuable attacking talent wherever General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi can find it.

Lions’ First Scrimmage Canceled

Orlando City announced today’s preseason scrimmage against reigning MLS champs New York City FC has been canceled. NYCFC simultaneously announced the cancelation and said the club would instead play New York Red Bulls, which suggests the cause of the change comes from Orlando’s end. The Lions’ next scheduled preseason scrimmage is set for Feb. 3 against Adrian Heath’s Minnesota United.

USMNT’s Musah Scores in Valencia Loss

One day after U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter named him to the upcoming three-game World Cup qualifying campaign roster, Yunus Musah scored Valencia’s first goal to propel the La Liga side to a 2-0 lead at the half against Atlético Madrid. Diego Simeone’s reigning champs stormed back, scoring two stoppage-time goals to complete a stunning 3-2 comeback win.

Chicago Fire Acquire Kacper Przybyłko from Union

The Philadelphia Union shipped Polish striker Kacper Przybyłko to Chicago in exchange for $1.15 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) split across two seasons. Przybyłko spent the past three seasons with the Union, ringing up 35 goals and 14 assists in 83 appearances (77 starts) there. Since making his MLS debut in 2019, Przybyłko’s 35 goals are tied for the third-most in the league, behind only Atlanta United striker Josef Martínez (38) and Seattle Sounders attacker Raúl Ruidíaz (37).

Free Kicks

Thanks for checking out today’s Links. Online reports of the Torres signing have appeared for weeks. However, yesterday’s report linking Ercan Kara to Orlando City was the first of its kind. What more surprises await Orlando City fans? Stay tuned to The Mane Land to find out.