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Lion Links: 1/31/22

Orlando City’s newest faces, the coaching staff is keeping them fit, the U.S. falls to Canada, and much more.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know it wasn’t a great Sunday for those of us who support the United States Men’s National Team. I understand that there was a football game going on at the same time, so congrats to Bengals fans. We’ve just about made it through the first month of 2022, so congratulations if you’ve made it and are reading us here. Let’s get to the links.

A Tale of Two Signings

It is well known at this point that the signing of Facundo Torres was a lengthy process while the signing of Ercan Kara was like the Road Runner in comparison. Orlando City General Manager Luiz Muzzi spoke about the difference between the two signings.

“I don’t want to say easier, but he was easier than Facundo,” Muzzi said. “We talked and it was a deal that was there could be made right and we had been scouting number nines for a little bit so we’re really happy that it worked out because he’s the guy that we wanted and he’s going to bring a lot of the classic skills over #9 up top.”

These players are two pieces in the continued roster building by Muzzi and Technical Director Ricardo Moreira in Orlando City. You can listen to all of what Muzzi had to say to Evan Weston and Miguel Gallardo regarding the team’s new Designated Players and more.

The Preseason Grind Continues in Orlando

When Orlando players leave after the season, they are given a program by Strength and Conditioning Coach Fabian Bazan to recover while still keeping the motor running for the next season. Once the players return, it’s time to ramp things back up, and that is what Bazan is doing right now. You might think it’s toughest on the older veterans, but it’s actually more difficult for the academy players who haven’t gone through it all before. The Lions are hard at work as Bazan increases their fitness loads and the first preseason game will take place this Thursday against Minnesota United.

Canada Defeats the USMNT

In its latest Concacaf World Cup qualifier, the USMNT fell 2-0 on the road against Canada. The U.S. had a plan to play in Ohio and Minnesota during the same window to limit travel and brace them for their cold visit to the Great White North. Unfortunately, former Orlando City striker Cyle Larin put the Canadians up 1-0 in the seventh minute and the USMNT was unable to capitalize on the three shots on goal it managed in the remainder of the match. Canada doubled its lead in second half stoppage time on Sam Adekugbe’s strike and the U.S. will not be able to secure a World Cup berth in its next match against Honduras on Wednesday.

Manchester United’s Greenwood Arrested

Mason Greenwood was arrested on suspicion of rape and assault following allegations on social media that included images and audio files. Before the arrest, Manchester United stated that Greenwood will not return to training or play until further notice. Greenwood has a sponsorship deal with Nike and the company is monitoring the situation. Listening to victims of sexual and domestic violence is important, and should be given proper consideration.

Free Kicks
  • Left back George Bello has reportedly decided to leave Atlanta United for Arminia Bielefeld in Germany’s Bundesliga.

This will do it for today, but check back with The Mane Land as we bring you all the soccer news you can handle.