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Lion Links: 12/17/22

Orlando City striker bid rejected, NWSL expansion finalists named, Josh Sargent back with Norwich City, and more.

SOCCER: SEP 17 MLS - Toronto FC at Orlando City Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Salutations on this glorious Saturday, my fellow Mane Landers! The weather seems to finally be cooling down — at least in Tallahassee — and it brings a small bit of joy to my two-sizes-too-small heart. Let the people you love know that you love them, and if you’re feeling a bit down, please reach out to someone. Heck, you can contact me on Twitter or through The Mane Land if you’d like. It’s important we look out for each other. Let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Bid for Franco Fagúndez Reportedly Rejected

After the signing successes of Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres, and Cesar Araujo from Uruguay, Orlando City seemed poised to try that well again with striker Franco Fagúndez from Nacional. However, Orlando City’s bid for the forward was reportedly rejected with Nacional publicly stating it wants $8 million for the forward. The Lions might have been trying to get a better deal and decided that tactically a different direction is warranted to fill an open Designated Player spot.

NWSL Expansion Finalists

The NWSL is looking to expand once again with Boston, Tampa, and San Francisco in the mix to bring in a new club. Whichever city is chosen will be home to the 14th expansion club in NWSL history. Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Stuart Sternberg is involved in the talks, but I’m leaning towards San Francisco getting the nod because major league sports love California. Regardless, whichever city lands the expansion club can expect to pay over $40 million as compared to just a few million dollars as recently as a couple of years ago.

Sargent Still Soaring

Josh Sargent’s World Cup didn’t end the way he would have wanted with an injury that kept him out of the United States’ match against the Netherlands. Sargent is currently leading Norwich City with nine goals in 20 appearances, and he will want to continue that pace in the second half of the season. After a slow start last season in the Premier League with the Canaries that resulted in relegation, Sargent and his club will look to get promoted back into the top tier. Of course, if he keeps playing like this, other clubs may come looking to sign the young American.

France Fighting the Flu

With the World Cup final tomorrow, France is still dealing with a virus that kept Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot out of the semifinal against Morocco now it seems that Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate are dealing with the virus. Having two defenders out when your team is about to take on Lionel Messi seems less than ideal. France is not the only team to have dealt with this over the span of the 2022 World Cup, but it certainly isn’t an ideal time. It is possible that both Varane and Konate will be available to play on Sunday.

Free Kicks
  • Soon we will know Orlando City’s entire 2023 schedule. Perhaps we’ll find out the opener before then?
  • Finally, if you want or need a place to watch the World Cup final, the club is hosting a watch party at the Ace Cafe.

That will do it for today. Enjoy the World Cup third-place match today and the final tomorrow.