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Lion Links: 7/21/22

Orlando City signs Nicholas Gioacchini, Lions fall to Arsenal, Erin McLeod nominated for Save of the Week, and more.

MLS: USA Tour-Arsenal FC at Orlando City SC Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all enjoyed last night’s friendly with Arsenal as we get ready for another weekend filled to the brim with Orlando soccer. I’ll be spending the next few days working, but it should be a fairly relaxing week for me. Now, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando City Signs Nicholas Gioacchini

American forward Nicholas Gioacchini is officially a Lion after signing a two-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him in Orlando through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025 as well. The 21-year-old joins Orlando on a free transfer and won’t take up an international roster slot, making him an addition that doesn’t carry much risk for the Lions. Gioacchini has played in France for the past seven years, spending the past season on loan with Montpellier in Ligue 1. This is a good move for both parties as he will receive more playing time while giving Orlando a needed offensive boost. Gioacchini is already in Orlando and sent a greeting to supporters from Exploria Stadium.

Orlando City Falls to Arsenal in Friendly

Arsenal visited Exploria Stadium for its first match ever against Orlando City. The English Premier League side struck first early on, but Orlando was able to equalize later in the first half and held its own. Arsenal then scored twice in the second half to win 3-1 in the friendly. Both sides used plenty of substitutions, with Orlando City B’s Jack Lynn and Moises Tablante both coming off the bench in the second half for the Lions. Left back Joao Moutinho also started in this match, which is a good sign, considering he hasn’t featured in a game since June.

Erin McLeod Up for Save of the Week

Orlando Pride goalkeeper Erin McLeod was nominated for NWSL Save of the Week for her diving stop to deny Jordan Baggett. It was a crucial save just minutes into the second half and helped the Pride earn a result in a scoreless draw against the Washington Spirit this past Sunday. The Kansas City Current’s Adrianna Franch was also nominated, alongside San Diego Wave FC’s Carly Telford and Racing Louisville FC’s Katie Lund.

England Mounts Comeback in Euro Quarterfinal

After a scoreless first half, Spain scored in the 54th minute to take the lead against England in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro quarterfinals. It looked as if the host nation would be on its way out of the tournament until Ella Toone found an equalizer in the 84th minute. The game was sent into extra time and Georgia Stanway scored possibly the best goal of the tournament to book England’s ticket into the semifinals.

England will take on the winner of tomorrow’s quarterfinal between Sweden and Belgium. Today, Germany will play Austria at 3 p.m. and France will face the Netherlands this Sunday.

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That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!