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Lion Links: 8/12/22

Joao Moutinho draws more interest abroad, Nicholas Gioacchini talks about his move to MLS, Orlando’s teams get ready for matches this weekend, and more.

MLS: New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s Friday, which means we get to dress as casual as our jobs will allow and look forward to a weekend filled with soccer. So long as the weather plays nice, it should be a nice next couple of days. Let’s get this Friday started with today’s links!

Joao Moutinho Linked With More European Clubs

According to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, Dutch clubs AZ Alkmaar and Twente, along with Czech club Slovan Liberec, are interested in adding Orlando City left back Joao Moutinho. The 24-year-old has struggled with injuries across four seasons with Orlando, but has started in 19 games this season and is fifth in the league with 40 tackles. His contract ends at the end of the year and he was also linked last month with a move to Toulouse in France.

Nicholas Gioacchini Discusses His Move to Orlando

American forward Niko Gioacchini became a Lion during the summer transfer window and spoke about what led him to leave Europe to play in MLS. Gioacchini struggled to find his footing while on loan with Montpellier in France’s top flight and Orlando presents an opportunity for him to develop under Oscar Pareja, who helped develop fellow American forward Daryl Dike. While making the USMNT’s roster for the World Cup is a possibility, it was not the main reason behind Gioacchini’s move to Florida.

“I had backing, even more reason to consider the proposition and the project,” Gioacchini said. “Through the phone calls, I didn’t get the feeling that this was not something we would consider. It was really positivity. … I heard what I needed to hear, and that’s how my decision was made.”

The 22-year-old will need some time to adapt to his new teammates and Florida weather, but Orlando could certainly use the boost to its offense for a playoff push.

Orlando City Hits the Road This Weekend

The Lions have lost their past two games but will look to right the ship when they take on the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena tomorrow at 6 p.m. The Red Bulls will have revenge on their minds after Orlando beat them 5-1 in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. The Red Bulls have struggled since that match as well, losing 5-4 at home to the Colorado Rapids before playing D.C. United to a scoreless draw on the road. While the Red Bulls sit in fourth in the Eastern Conference, they have also only won three of their 11 home games this season.

Orlando Pride Will Play Familiar Faces Tomorrow

After a 2-2 draw with Angel City FC last weekend, Orlando will take on another expansion team with many former Pride players. The Pride will play on the road late tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. against a San Diego Wave FC team that features Alex Morgan, Taylor Kornieck, Emily van Egmond, and Jodie Taylor. Morgan has 11 goals this season — tied for the most in the league — but hasn’t found the back of the net for the Wave since June 19. San Diego is coming off of its first loss at home after falling 2-1 against the Kansas City Current last weekend. While the Pride will be familiar with some of the Wave’s attacking players, this will be the first meeting between the clubs.

Orlando City B Takes on NYCFC II Tonight

Tonight at 8 p.m., Orlando City B will play on the road against New York City FC II in an Eastern Conference showdown. This match will feature two of MLS NEXT Pro’s best scorers as Orlando’s Jack Lynn has 12 goals while New York’s John Denis has scored 13. NYCFC II boasts a strong offense that’s scored 42 goals this season, but it was shut out by Columbus Crew 2 this past Sunday. OCB has lost four of its last five matches and has struggled mightily on the road, losing seven away matches. The playoffs may be out of reach at this point for the Young Lions, but hopefully they can get a result on the road for momentum to finish the season strong.

Central Florida Crusaders Announce Coach and First Players

Tom Traxler was named as the Central Florida Crusaders’ head coach for the club’s inaugural season in the National Indoor Soccer League. Traxler previously coached the Orlando SeaWolves in the Major Arena Soccer League and has been at the helm of the Central Florida Panthers in the National Premier Soccer League. The Crusaders also announced the first four players signed, including former Lion Will Johnson. Indoor soccer veterans Rodolfo Lopez, Eduardo Cruz, and Maycon França will also play for the Crusaders.

U.S. Beats Ghana in FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team started its World Cup campaign with a 3-0 win against Ghana. Captain Michelle Cooper got the scoring started for the U.S. in the 11th minute, with 18-year-old forward Alyssa Thompson doubling the team’s lead later in the first half and Ally Sentnor adding a third in the second half. On Sunday, the U.S. will take on the Netherlands, which fell 1-0 to Japan.

Free Kicks
  • Daryl Dike will miss at least two months due to his thigh injury, according to West Brom manager Steve Bruce.
  • Orlando received a “C-” grade in ESPN’s All-Star break report card. Personally, I think the grade is a bit low for a team that has a chance at silverware next month.
  • Scott Parkinson is no longer the head coach for NJ/NY Gotham FC, as the two sides have parted ways. Despite bringing in Kristie Mewis and former Pride players Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger, it’s been a rough year for Gotham as it sits in 11th in the NWSL standings.

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