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Lion Links: 7/8/22

Orlando City preps for Inter Miami, the Orlando Pride host the Houston Dash tonight, USWNT defeats Jamaica, and more.

MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you are all doing well as we get all set for a weekend filled with soccer in Orlando. If you’re looking for a new show to watch, I highly recommend The Bear on Hulu. It’s hectic, intense, and has enough moments of triumph to make you want to watch it all over again. If you check it out, let me know what you think. But for now, let’s get to today’s links from around the soccer world.

Lions Get Ready for Inter Miami

Orlando City is set to take on Inter Miami Saturday night at Exploria Stadium as part of MLS’s Rivalry Week. While this is the first regular-season meeting between the two Eastern Conference teams this season, they faced off in the U.S. Open Cup in Orlando on May 25. In that match, Facundo Torres gave the Lions an equalizer in extra time and Orlando was able to win the penalty shootout following the 1-1 draw.

Torres, Ercan Kara, and Mauricio Pereyra have 27 goal contributions this season, the most of any group of Designated Players in MLS. Of course, take that with a grain of salt as they’ve also played more minutes than any other team’s Designated Players and not all teams have the full three slots filled. Still, it’s nice to see they can score together and four of Torres’ six assists this year come from goals by Kara. Pereyra is two assists away from setting a single-season club record and was a full participant in training Thursday, despite an injury scare Monday night against D.C. United.

Orlando Pride Host the Houston Dash Tonight

The Orlando Pride will welcome the Houston Dash to Exploria Stadium for a match tonight at 7 p.m. It’s been a rough season for the Pride as they sit in 11th, but they battled back for a 2-2 draw against Racing Louisville in Daytona last weekend. Tonight’s match will be their first at Exploria Stadium since May and they are still on the hunt for their first home win of 2022. Meanwhile, the Dash are fifth in the standings and are coming off of a 2-1 loss at home to the Kansas City Current. The last time these two teams met was on June 3, when the Dash hosted the Pride and won 5-0. The Dash will be without several players due to international tournaments, but forward Ebony Salmon is now with the Dash after a trade from Louisville.

USWNT Qualifies for 2023 World Cup After Win

The United States Women’s National Team won 5-0 against Jamaica in the group stage of the Concacaf W Championship. With the result, along with Mexico’s 3-0 loss to Haiti, the USWNT booked its spot in the semifinals and qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Sophia Smith had a brace within the first 10 minutes to give the USWNT an early lead and goals in the second half put the game out of Jamaica’s reach. USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski opted for a different lineup than the first match, with former Pride player Alex Morgan on the bench. Speaking of former Pride forwards, Taylor Kornieck came off the bench in the second half for her first appearance of the tournament. The USWNT will take on Mexico on Monday in the final group stage match before the semifinals.

Sergio Santos May Be Headed to Ohio

Reports surfaced that a trade is in the works for Philadelphia Union forward Sergio Santos to head to FC Cincinnati in exchange for a windfall of General Allocation Money. The reported amount is a bit eye-watering, as $300,000 in GAM would be received up front with another $700,000 in GAM tied to incentives.

Santos would join a Cincy offense that is finding its footing thanks to Brenner, Brandon Vazquez, and Luciano Acosta. That much GAM would be hard for the Union to turn down for a player who has had to deal with injuries throughout his career.

MLS Debutants Add Intrigue to Rivalry Week

With the secondary transfer window now open, plenty of players will play their first games with their new teams during MLS Rivalry Week this weekend. Alejandro Pozuelo was officially traded from Toronto FC to Inter Miami and the former MLS MVP could make an immediate impact tomorrow against Orlando, so long as his visa is processed in time. El Trafico will take place tonight as LAFC hosts the LA Galaxy. Gareth Bale isn’t expected to play, but Italian center back Giorgio Chiellini may make his MLS debut. Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera is expected to play for the Houston Dynamo tomorrow night and FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estevez spoke about how motivated his side is for the rivalry match.

Free Kicks
  • Luca de la Torre could be the latest American midfielder on the move as he is reportedly set to join Celta Vigo. If this happens, he would join Sergino Dest, Yunus Musah, and Matthew Hoppe as Americans playing in La Liga.
  • Norway won 4-1 against Northern Ireland in the women’s European Championship. Ada Hegerberg had an assist but didn’t score, proving that the Norwegians won’t have to necessarily rely on her to provide all of the offense.
  • Alcohol won’t be available in the stadiums for this year’s World Cup in Qatar. However, alcohol will be served at restricted times outside of the stadiums for fans to enjoy.
  • We’ll end our links with this fantastic goal from Everaldo Stum over in Japan.

That’s all I have for you for now. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend. Go Orlando!