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Lion Links: 11/4/22

Martin Ojeda linked with Orlando City, Seb Hines wants to bring the Orlando Pride success, Europa League group stage wraps up, and more.

River Plate v Godoy Cruz - Liga Profesional 2022 Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers. I hope this Friday finds you well as we get ready for a weekend filled with soccer. The MLS Cup final is set for tomorrow afternoon and there will be plenty of European soccer to enjoy as well. Let’s dive right into today’s links!

Orlando City Linked With Argentine Midfielder

According to TyC Sports reporter Cesar Luis Merlo, Orlando is interested in Argentine midfielder Martin Ojeda. The 24-year-old contributed 13 goals and 14 assists in 45 games across all competitions this year for Godoy Cruz, which plays in Argentina’s top flight. Merlo has reported on moves involving Orlando City and Argentine players before, including the signings of Gaston Gonzalez and Emmanuel Mas.

With experience playing out wide and as a central attacker, Ojeda would hopefully give Orlando a boost on offense should he come to the City Beautiful. This report also comes at an interesting time as rumors regarding European teams interested in Facundo Torres continue to swirl.

Seb Hines Wants to Bring Success to the Orlando Pride

After Amanda Cromwell was placed on administrative leave in June, Seb Hines served as the Orlando Pride’s interim coach for the remainder of their season. In an interview with The Equalizer ($), Hines discussed his hopes to stay with the Pride. Although Orlando missed out on the playoffs, Hines guided the team through a seven-game unbeaten run during part of his time at the helm. Pride players Erika Tymrak, Meggie Dougherty Howard, and Haley Hanson praised the job Hines did as the interim coach, and Pride General Manager Ian Fleming also spoke about how Hines helped the team grow both on and off the field. Hines has been in Orlando for quite some time, joining Orlando City on loan in 2015. After retiring in 2017, he became a youth coach with the club and joined the Pride as an assistant coach in 2020. The Pride are currently undergoing a rebuild and only time will tell if Hines will be the team’s head coach next season

Exploring Orlando’s Potential Champions League Opponents

The draw for the Concacaf Champions League takes place on Monday at 7 p.m. as the 16 teams will learn their path to glory in the tournament. After winning the U.S. Open Cup this year, Orlando City will play in the Champions League for the first time. Orlando is one of five MLS teams that will be in the tournament, the others being the Philadelphia Union, LAFC, Austin FC, and the Vancouver Whitecaps. All five of those teams are in Pot 1 and can’t be drawn with each other or Liga MX’s Atlas, Club Leon, or Pachuca. That leaves Tigres and seven clubs from Central America as potential opponents for Orlando in the Round of 16. Honduras has three representatives as Olimpia, Real Espana, and Motagua all qualified. It will be interesting to see what Orlando’s road to the final will look like.

Big Games Await as Europa League Group Stage Ends

Arsenal beat FC Zurich 1-0 at home to secure the top spot in its group as the Europa League’s group stage finished up. American goalkeeper Matt Turner didn’t play for Arsenal in the match and Kieran Tierney scored a nice goal to give Arsenal the win. Manchester United beat Real Sociedad 1-0, but it wasn’t enough to win the group over the Spanish club. AS Roma avoided disaster by coming back in the second half to win 3-1 over Ludogorets. Union Berlin and Monaco also won their matches to reach the next round, although Serie A’s Lazio was eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Feyenoord. United, Roma, Berlin, and Monaco could face the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, or Sevilla in the next round. The draw takes place Monday at 7 p.m. and there are sure to be some good match-ups.

Free Kicks
  • According to Fabrizio Romano, American striker Ricardo Pepi will reportedly leave Augsburg next summer.
  • Enjoy this trailer for an upcoming docuseries that will dive into the intense soccer rivalry between Mexico and the U.S.

That’s all I have for you today. Have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend.