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Lion Links: 11/23/22

Orlando City signs Felipe Martins, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United part ways, Saudi Arabia upsets Argentina, and more.

Soccer: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022-Argentina at Saudi Arabia Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers! I hope all is well with you down in Florida with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us. Let's also wish a happy birthday to Orlando City B forward Alejo Tangredi. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Signs Felipe Martins

Orlando City SC announced it signed Felipe Martins via free agency on Tuesday. The deal is a one-year contract with a club option for the 2024 season. The midfielder played with Austin FC this past season, making 28 appearances, starting in five matches, and playing 718 minutes. Martins scored one goal and added three assists for Austin last year. The 32-year-old provides some depth to Orlando’s midfield after the departure of Junior Urso and is a veteran with plenty of MLS experience. Martins has been in MLS since 2012, playing with clubs such as the Montreal Impact (now CF Montreal), New York Red Bulls, Vancouver Whitecaps, and D.C. United before joining Austin FC.

Lions Reportedly Finalizing a Contract With Mauricio Pereyra

The Lions are also working on re-signing some of their key players from the 2022 season. One deal that is reportedly close according to’s Tom Bogert is the Lions bringing back midfielder Mauricio Pereyra on a contract that won’t have him as a Designated Player. It would allow the Lions to add another DP to their ranks this off-season while keeping the player who led the team with 11 assists last season.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United Part Ways

Manchester United and forward Cristiano Ronaldo announced that they’ve mutually agreed to part ways and he has been released by the club. This news comes one week after Ronaldo criticized the club and manager Erik ten Hag in an interview with Piers Morgan right before the World Cup started. The club released the following statement on Ronaldo’s departure:

“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect. “The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future. “Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.”

The 37-year-old can join another club immediately and won’t have to wait until the January transfer window is open. Meanwhile, Ronaldo will focus on leading Portugal in its World Cup match tomorrow against Ghana.

Saudi Arabia Upsets Argentina in World Cup

There was a stunning result in the World Cup in Group C yesterday as Saudi Arabia came from behind to defeat Lionel Messi and Argentina, 2-1. Messi scored a penalty kick early in the first half, but Saudi Arabia turned it around in the second half. The Green Falcons got goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari, and goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais made five saves to snap Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak. The other match in Group C ended in a 0-0 draw between Mexico and Poland. In the second half, Robert Lewandowski had a penalty kick saved by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

In Group D, Denmark and Tunisia's match also ended in a scoreless draw. France’s title defense began with a 4-1 win against Australia, with Olivier Giroud scoring two goals. There are four World Cup matches today, with Morocco taking on Croatia, Germany battling Japan, Spain facing Croatia, and Canada playing Belgium.

Free Kicks
  • Atlanta United named Garth Lagerwey as the club’s president and chief executive officer. Lagerway recently served as general manager and president of soccer for the Seattle Sounders, helping the club win the Concacaf Champions League.
  • Saudi Arabia declared today a national holiday after its win against Argentina.
  • Free agent goalkeeper David Ochoa is reportedly on the move to join Liga MX side Atletico San Luis.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.