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Lion Links: 1/24/22

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Facundo Torres called up, Gaston González may join Orlando in May, USMNT gets ready for World Cup qualifiers, and more.

United States Training Sessions Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I hope you are keeping warm during this cold snap. To be fair, it is nice to be able to wear your Orlando City scarf without sweating. We’re into the preseason now, and things are starting to happen every day. There’s plenty on the horizon, but for now, let’s get to the links.

Facundo Torres Called Up by Uruguay

We are waiting for the official announcement of Facundo Torres joining Orlando City. Even if OCSC makes the announcement today, he still won’t make it to Orlando until Feb. 2 as he was called up by Uruguay for its World Cup qualifiers. Uruguay will take on Paraguay this Thursday and then host Venezuela on Feb. 1.

If you are wondering why Orlando City hasn’t made an official announcement yet, MLS requires that all paperwork be done before a club can do so. This helps explain why there are pictures of Torres signing but no announcement just yet.

González Could Arrive in Orlando in May

Reports surfaced that an agreement was reached between Orlando City and Union de Santa Fe for Gastón González. The Argentine winger was linked with Orlando City earlier this off-season and the reported deal would be $3.2 million for 70% of the player’s rights and last through 2026. However, the 20-year-old isn’t expected to join the Lions until May when the first phase of the Argentine Primera División comes to a close.

You’ll need Google Translate to view the tribute Emanuel Britez, Gonzalez’ teammate, wrote on Instagram for his friend. It was the type of post one does when accepting the departure of a teammate.

USMNT Prepares for World Cup Qualifiers

The United States Men’s National Team will host El Salvador this Thursday at Field in Columbus, OH for a World Cup qualifier. The Yanks currently sit in second place in the Concacaf’s Octagonal, just one point below Canada. El Salvador sits near the bottom of the standings with six points compared to the U.S.’s 15. The USMNT’s qualifying campaign began with a scoreless draw in El Salvador and here’s what to know about Los Cuscatlecos before this week’s match. El Salvador is captained by former Lion Darwin Ceren and the Seattle Sounders’ Alex Roldan plays in the team’s midfield.

USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter may not be too worried about the sub-freezing temperatures that are likely in the upcoming match, but he is taking precautions in regards to COVID-19. He announced the 28-man roster, but has several other players in reserve in the event he has to deal with positive tests for those called up.

More Americans on the Move

USMNT right back Bryan Reynolds is heading out on loan from AS Roma to Belgium’s KV Kortrijk. The American hasn’t seen much time with José Mourinho’s squad and the loan will run through the rest of the season.

Over in Serie A, Venezia has already brought in Americans Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessmann, and Jack de Vries. Now the club is looking to bring USMNT striker Jordan Pefok from Switzerland’s Young Boys. Pefok has impressed in the Swiss league and Champions League and it would be interesting to see how he does in Italy alongside fellow Americans and former Lion Nani.

D.C. United has reportedly received offers from VfL Wolfsburg for Homegrown defender Kevin Paredes. The 18-year-old started in 19 games for D.C. last season and would join American defender John Brooks should he head to Wolfsburg in Germany.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando’s Pedro Gallese and Sebas Mendez were called up for World Cup qualifiers in South America later this week. Ecuador called up its players in style by making a video showcasing the players and you can see Mendez at the 1:27 mark.
  • Juventus and AC Milan played to a scoreless draw at San Siro and Zlatan Ibrahimovic exited in the 28th minute due to an ankle injury.
  • India was unable to field the required minimum of 13 players for its Group A match against Chinese Taipei in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022. As a result, the host nation had to withdraw from the tournament.
  • Comoros’ first time in the African Cup of Nations has taken a turn for the worse. Two of its goalkeepers have tested positive for COVID-19, and Comoros will have to use an outfield player in goal when it takes on Cameroon today at 2 p.m. The team has been the Cinderella story of the tournament, but the clock may have struck 12 on its run.

That will do it for today. Stay tuned in to The Mane Land and go USMNT!