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Lion Links: 8/25/22

U.S. Open Cup final sells out, Orlando Pride waive forward Abi Kim, Central Florida Crusaders announce first player signing for women’s team, and more.

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Orlando Pride v North Carolina Courage Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I’ve been keeping myself busy at work but have been trying to catch up on as much soccer as possible. There’s plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City’s U.S. Open Cup Final Match Sells Out

The 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final between Orlando City SC and Sacramento Republic FC on Sept. 7 has officially sold out. Tickets for this championship match at Exploria Stadium have been in high demand from season ticket holders, supporters, and partners. The Lions have a chance to win their first major trophy since they joined MLS. They can also become the first Florida team to win the tournament since 1989, when the St. Petersburg Kickers of the Florida Suncoast Soccer League won it. If you didn’t get a ticket for the match, you can watch it live on ESPN+ or visit one of the club's four City Pub locations in the Orlando area. There will also be pregame festivities for fans to check out at Mane Street Plaza.

Orlando Pride Waives 2020 Third-Round Pick Abi Kim

The Orlando Pride announced they have waived forward Abi Kim. The 2020 third-round pick made 21 appearances for the club, scoring one goal while adding two assists. Kim made 11 appearances for the club this season and started in three matches. With the NWSL waiver deadline passing two days ago, Kim couldn’t get regular minutes this season with the Pride and can now pursue more playing opportunities with another club. Pride General Manager Ian Fleming shared his insight on this latest move from the club.

“Abi has been a valuable part of our team and the locker room over the last two seasons and we are going to miss having her here in Orlando,” Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a club press release. “We’d like to thank her for being not only a part of our club but, more importantly, the Orlando community. We wish her the best of luck in the next step of her career.”

The Pride are covered at the forward position and will now focus on their remaining six NWSL matches as the club continues to push to qualify for the playoffs.

Central Florida Crusaders Announce First Player Signing for Women’s Team

The Central Florida Crusaders, Orlando’s newest indoor soccer team, announced their first player signing for the club’s women’s team for their inaugural season in the National Indoor Soccer League. The club has signed former UCF forward Yvonne Hayes. The Winter Springs native played at UCF from 2006 to 2009. Hayes made 74 appearances for the Knights, scoring 16 goals while tallying 16 assists. She scored eight goals during her sophomore season and made the All-Conference-USA Second Team. Crusaders General Manager and Head Coach Tom Traxler shared his perspective on signing Hayes as the club prepares for its first season.

“Yvonne is a true representative of Central Florida soccer,” GM and Head Coach Tom Traxler said, “Being born and raised here, she is a leader and an exciting player to build this team around.”

CF Montreal’s Djordje Mihailovic Will Transfer to AZ Alkmaar

CF Montreal has reached an agreement with Dutch Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar to transfer their star midfielder Djordje Mihailovic in January 2023. The deal will reportedly be a record-transfer fee of $6 million for Montreal. Mihailovic will remain with CF Montreal until the end of the 2022 season. Montreal would also retain a sell-on clause, while the Chicago Fire would get 10% of the transfer fee from their sell-on clause from when they traded Mihailovic before the 2021 MLS season. The attacker has been the star playmaker for Montreal under Head Coach Wilfried Nancy, scoring 11 goals and adding 20 assists in 54 appearances with the club as it sits in second place in the Eastern Conference.

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That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Thursday and I’ll see you next time.