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Lion Links: 11/1/22

Arsenal interested in Facundo Torres, Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh return to national team roster, Inter Miami confident of signing Messi, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at CF Montreal David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. The MLS Cup final is set and it should be a good one with the best teams in each conference advancing to the final. Between that, various domestic leagues continuing to churn along, and the World Cup a little under three weeks away, there’s lots to talk about as usual. Let’s jump on in.

Facundo Torres Attracting Overseas Interest

Orlando City star Facundo Torres has reportedly attracted the interest of Arsenal following an impressive debut season in purple. Torres bagged 13 goals and 12 assists in all competitions during his first year in Major League Soccer, and his form played a large part in propelling Orlando to victory in the U.S. Open Cup. Arsenal has seemingly taken notice and will reportedly hold talks with him soon. It’s unclear whether or not a move will be pursued, and it’s important to note that no contact has seemingly been made yet, so don’t put too much stock in some of the outlets that have reported things being at a more advanced stage.

Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh Return to National Team

The United States Women’s National Team is getting some high-powered reinforcements at a good time, as Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh are rejoining the team for a pair of upcoming friendlies against Germany — the team currently ranked third in the world. Both players missed the pair of defeats to England and Spain, which marked the first time the USWNT has lost consecutive matches in five-and-a-half years. Other players returning to the fold include Taylor Kornieck and Emily Fox, further strengthening the player pool. The two matches against Germany are the Yanks’ final games of 2022 and the team will look to round out the year on a strong note.

Inter Miami Reportedly Confident of Signing Lionel Messi

Inter Miami is reportedly in advanced talks with Lionel Messi about a move to the Herons, and as of now the team is confident that he will be joining the South Florida side next summer. Talks between the two sides are said to have been paused until after the conclusion of the World Cup, but they certainly seem to have progressed well. As one would expect, Miami isn’t the only interested party, with Paris Saint-Germain seeking to extend his deal and Barcelona wanting to entice him to make a splash return to the team he played for for so many years. With his form picking back up after an inconsistent first year in France, it’ll be very interesting to see if these rumors come to fruition.

MLS Concludes Investigation Into Taxi Fountas

Major League Soccer has finished its investigation into whether or not D.C. United player Taxi Fountas racially abused Inter Miami defender Aimé Mabika during the Sept. 18 match between the two teams. The league found that Mabika’s allegation of racial abuse was credible, but could not independently verify it through other sources. It also found that Fountas’ claim that he said absolutely nothing in the moment, not credible. Basically, the league knows that Fountas said something, but doesn’t know what it was. With that being the case, the league did not announce that it will be taking any disciplinary action against him, and Fountas is eligible to play for D.C. next season.

Free Kicks
  • Speaking of D.C. United, the club has been fined $25,000 for failing to meet the obligations of the MLS Diversity Hiring Policy during the head coaching search that ended with the appointment of Wayne Rooney.
  • Paul Pogba has been ruled out of the World Cup, since he will not be able to recover in time from knee surgery he had in September.
  • The injuries are beginning to pile up for the United States Men’s National Team, with the World Cup creeping closer and closer.

That’s all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.