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Lion Links: 12/28/22

Pedro Gallese re-signs with Orlando City, the Lions were part of a wild year in MLS, transfer news, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all of you are doing well down in Florida during the holidays. I just got back to Chicago after spending Christmas with my family in Texas this past week. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Pedro Gallese Re-Signs with Orlando City

Pedro Gallese will officially be with the Lions next year after signing a two-year contract through 2024, with a club option for 2025. The Peruvian goalkeeper has been with the Lions since Jan. 17, 2020, and has been Orlando’s starter for the last three seasons. Gallese has made 228 saves and has kept 21 clean sheets across all club competitions. He also holds the club’s single-season shutout record, with nine this past season. Gallese logged 300 minutes in the U.S. Open Cup in 2022, helping the Lions win the tournament and earn a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League. With Gallese signed, this keeps him as the main guy in goal while backup goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar continues his development. The Lions can now focus on other off-season needs, such as adding another forward, solidifying the fullback position, and filling that third Designated Player slot.

Orlando City Was Part of a Wild Year in MLS

MLSSoccer.com’s Sam Jones shared 30 of the wildest moments from the 2022 MLS season. A couple of Orlando City moments were included, such as announcer Chris Wittyngham’s straightforward way to describe the ball striking Gallese in a sensitive spot. There was also the drama involving the 2022 U.S. Open Cup final, when an Orlando staffer was at a public park while the Sacramento Republic trained there. Former Lion Daryl Dike also made the list for revealing he’d been washing his clothes with dishwashing soap for eight months after moving to West Brom.

MLS Teams Make More Off-season Moves

More MLS off-season moves are in motion as we get close to the end of the year. FC Cincinnati officially acquired midfielder Marco Angulo from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle. Angulo will join the club as a U22 Initiative player and agreed to a deal through the 2025 season, with a club option for 2026. The Chicago Fire acquired winger Maren Haile-Selassie on loan from Swiss club FC Lugano for the 2023 season, with an option to purchase the 23-year-old as well. The Seattle Sounders are reportedly negotiating with Pumas over the potential transfer of midfielder Danny Leyva. Puebla has also reportedly expressed interest.

English Premier League Action Continues

With the World Cup over, the English Premier League is back as some of the top clubs in the world look to build momentum before 2023. Chelsea shut out AFC Bournemouth, 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Kai Havertz and Mason Mount scored the goals for the Blues in the first half and the defense held on for the victory. American winger Christian Pulisic started for Chelsea and was subbed off in the 82nd minute. At Old Trafford, Manchester United cruised to a 3-0 shutout against Nottingham Forest. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both scored in the first half, and Fred added a third in the second half to seal the victory for the Red Devils. Today’s lone Premier League match-up will see Leeds United host Manchester City at 3 p.m. in what should be an entertaining match

Free Kicks
  • MLSSoccer.com posted its top storylines that defined the 2022 season and it includes the Lions securing their first MLS-era trophy after winning the U.S. Open Cup.
  • Manchester United and Arsenal have reportedly both had talks with Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix.
  • Ajax and defender Daley Blind are parting ways after agreeing to terminate his contract six months early and he is now a free agent.
  • Former Toronto FC midfielder Tsubasa Endoh is undergoing treatment for acute leukemia in Japan after stating he was diagnosed on Dec. 2.
  • Former Toronto player Domenico Criscito is coming out of retirement to play for Serie B side Genoa CFC.

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