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Lion Links: 6/14/22

Orlando City injury updates, Gallese and Peru eliminated one step from World Cup, Giorgio Chiellini joins LAFC, Ronny Deila leaves NYCFC, and more.

SOCCER: MAY 25 U.S. Open Cup - Miami CF at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. The drought between Orlando City games is finally almost over. Before the Lions take the field tomorrow though, the United States Men’s National Team has a date with El Salvador in the Concacaf Nations League tonight. As usual, there’s lots to talk about today so let’s get into it.

Orlando City Injury Update

There is some good news on the injury front for Orlando City. In his pre-match press conference Monday, Oscar Pareja revealed that Benji Michel is now back to training as usual and is available to be selected, while Antonio Carlos had his first day back in training. Michel has been absent for a month after injuring his foot/ankle back in May and his return will provide some welcome depth at the winger position. Carlos has been sidelined since April 2 when he injured his hamstring in the Lions’ 4-2 defeat to LAFC. It will likely still be a while before we see the defender back on the field as he builds up his strength and fitness, but it’s good that he’s back in training.

Gallese, Peru Miss World Cup after Penalties vs. Australia

Australia advanced to the 2022 World Cup courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Peru in Al Rayyan on Monday night. The game was scoreless after 120 minutes with Pedro Gallese making a good save to send the game to extra time.

Peru came within inches of winning the game in the extra period when Edison Flores’ header hit the post in the 106th minute, but the game went all the way to penalties. Things started well there for Peru with Gallese saving Martin Boyle’s opening kick. But Luis Advincula hit the post and Alex Valera had his attempt saved by a dancing Andrew Redmayne to send Peru home.

Giorgio Chiellini Joins LAFC

An item that’s been circulating the rumor mill for a little while is now official, as Giorgio Chiellini has signed with LAFC. The 37-year-old defender comes in on a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) deal that will run through 2023. It’s an interesting move, because while Chiellini has obviously had heaps of success at the highest level with Juventus and the Italian national team, he’s in the twilight of his career and LAFC is already pretty well stocked at center back. Bringing him in using TAM makes it potentially not such a bad deal, but still not one that will push LAFC over the top at first glance.

Ronny Deila Departs NYCFC

On the opposite coast there is another big piece of news, as New York City FC announced Monday that Ronny Deila has left the club effective immediately. Deila has taken the head job at Belgium’s Standard Liege after a little over two years in New York. Assistant Coach Nick Cushing has been appointed as the interim head coach and has signed a new long-term contract with the team. Deila departs after guiding the club to its first piece of silverware, as the Pigeons won MLS Cup last year. His replacement spent seven years as the coach of Manchester City in the FA Women’s Super League, where he won six trophies and was named the FA WSL Manager of the Year in 2016.

USMNT vs. El Salvador Preview

The United States Men’s National Team continues its quest to defend its Concacaf Nations League title tonight against El Salvador. The Yanks have to hit the road and go to San Salvador in what is typically a very tricky match-up for them. The USMNT has not given up a goal this window but will need to bring its shooting boots, as the good guys could only manage a scoreless draw in Estadio Cuscatlan in the first game of World Cup qualifying back in September of 2021. Like last time around, the crowd will likely be raucous, and the USMNT will need to be composed and clinical to avoid a slip-up on the road. It’s also already been announced that Ethan Horvath will be getting the start.

Free Kicks
  • Check out some scenes from training yesterday.
  • Vlatko Andonovski has announced the 23-player roster that will represent the United States Women’s National Team at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship.
  • If you were wondering why Christen Press was not included on the aforementioned roster, it’s because she unfortunately suffered a torn ACL.

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.