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Lion Links: 8/2/22

Wilder Cartagena rumors intensify, Junior Urso up for MLS Goal of the Week, NSWL players may lose money after crypto crash, and more.

Peru v Chile - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier Photo by Daniel Apuy/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a mixed bag for Orlando soccer over the weekend, and there’s definitely plenty of frustration to go around. The only way out is through though, and Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B all need to press on through the dog days of summer. There’s plenty of good stuff to get through today, so let’s get right into things.

Wilder Cartagena Rumors Intensify

In Saturday’s Lion Links we reported on the rumors linking Peruvian midfielder Wilder Cartagena to Orlando City. Those rumors continue to heat up, with Paul Tenorio of The Athletic reporting that a deal for the player has now been finalized and that an announcement will be coming soon.

Tenorio also noted that Cartagena said goodbye to his now former club on Instagram Monday evening, lending further credence to the report. Cartagena is a defensive midfielder, and is seemingly coming in to replace the departed Sebas Mendez. He and Pedro Gallese played together during the last World Cup qualifying cycle and for Alianza Lima back in 2019.

Junior Urso Up for Goal of the Week

Junior Urso has been nominated for the latest edition of the MLS Goal of the Week. Urso’s one-touch chipped finish early in the first half was a thing of pure beauty and put Orlando City ahead. Alexandre Pato’s pass was inch perfect and rather than take a touch and let the opportunity pass, the Bear simply looked up and lobbed Rafael Romo before he could get out of no-man’s land. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the match for Orlando, but regardless, make sure you go drop a vote in Urso’s favor!

NWSL Players’ Money Under Threat After Crypto Crash

The National Women’s Soccer League has reportedly informed its players that they could feel the negative effects of the bankruptcy filing by Voyager Digital, the league’s official cryptocurrency partner. After striking the partnership with the league back in December, Voyager was supposed to fund a crypto account for every one of the league’s players, but funds have yet to be provided and there’s now doubt over whether or not they will be. After the league reportedly told players they might be “out money,” its possible that players won’t get that money at all.

United State’s Men’s National Team Weekend Roundup

There were plenty of United States Men’s National Team players in action over the weekend, and several of them had good games. Joe Scally scored in the 59th minute of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s DFB Pokal win over Oberachern. Jordan Pefok also scored the equalizer in his first start for Union Berlin in the team’s 2-1 comeback win over Chemnitzer FC in the DFB Pokal. Elsewhere, Ethan Horvath and Zack Steffen made their debuts in the EFL Championship, making three saves and four saves, respectively. Last but not least, Sam Vines assisted the lone goal in Royal Antwerp’s win over Zulte Waregem.

Barca Gets Cash Injection to Register Players

FC Barcelona has sold 24.5% of Barca Studios to for €100 million. Despite having spent over €150 million on players this summer, the club has been unable to register them in La Liga up to this point due to the league’s strict spending caps. Barca’s debt and financial issues have been anything but a secret, with the team selling 25% of its domestic television rights for about for around €600 million. Barca president Joan Laporta said that the team will prioritize on getting players out the door who are no longer in the club’s plans and wants to use the combined cash influx to make more signings before the summer transfer window closes.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando City Foundation did some great work ahead of the upcoming school year.
  • Alexis Sanchez’s time at Inter Milan is reportedly about to come to an end, with Olympique Marseille emerging as a suitor.

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