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Lion Links: 11/11/22

Junior Urso returns to Brazil, Orlando City releases protected list, Facundo Torres heads for the World Cup, USWNT falls to Germany, and more.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, everyone. Hopefully you made it through Hurricane Nicole safely. It’s an exciting time for soccer in this country. The MLS Expansion Draft is tonight and we’re just over a week from the beginning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of soccer.

Orlando City Parts Ways with Junior Urso

The day started off with the disappointing news that the club has parted ways with popular midfielder Junior Urso. The club said that he wanted to return to his native Brazil for personal reasons and reports say that he’s close to signing with Vasco da Gama. It’s tough to see the Bear go, as his tenure in Orlando marked the club’s most successful period since joining MLS in 2015.

Orlando City Announced Its Protected List for the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft

Later today, St. Louis City FC will begin building out its roster by selecting players in the 2022 MLS Expansion Draft. Orlando City announced its list of protected players Thursday afternoon. The news of Urso’s departure came before the list was released, so there aren’t any surprises. In addition to the 12 players that the Lions were able to protect, seven more are automatically protected as they are Homegrown Players, including the club’s newest signing, Luca Petrasso. The rest of the league’s teams also announced their protected lists on Thursday and there are some interesting names among those not protected.

Facundo Torres is Headed to World Cup in Qatar

Orlando City will be represented in the 2022 FIFA World Cup this month as star midfielder Facundo Torres was named to the Uruguay roster Thursday afternoon. It will be the first appearance on the world’s biggest stage for the 22-year-old playmaker. It’s a somewhat surprising addition to the roster as he’s only made 10 appearances for his country but an exciting development for Orlando City fans.

USWNT Falls to Germany

The United States Women’s National Team returned to the field Thursday night to face Germany in Fort Lauderdale. Klara Buhl gave the visitors the lead in the 52nd minute before Megan Rapinoe equalized in the 85th minute. Paulina Krumbiegel then gave the Germans a 2-1 win with the winning goal in the 89th minute. The USWNT has now lost three straight games and is searching for answers.

D.C. United Acquires Derrick Williams from LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy traded defender Derrick Williams to D.C. United Thursday for $180,000 in General Allocation Money. The 29-year-old spent two seasons in Los Angeles, making 51 appearances and 46 starts across all competitions. The Hamburg, Germany native plays internationally for the Republic of Ireland, making three appearances for the side.

Free Kicks

That’s all I’ve got for today. Enjoy the MLS Expansion Draft this evening and hopefully Orlando City won’t lose any players.