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Lion Links: 1/11/23

Orlando City linked with Argentine striker, Lions trade for an international roster spot, MLS Season Pass broadcasters announced, and more.

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FBL-ARG-BOCA-BANFIELD Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all of you are doing well down in Florida. I’ve been busy at work covering high school sports up here in Chicago this past week. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Linked With Young Attacker

Per Cesar Luis Merlo, the Lions are reportedly finalizing the signing of Argentine forward Ramiro Enrique from Banfield in Argentina’s top flight. Enrique would fill the MLS U22 Initiative spot left by Andres Perea’s departure this off-season. The versatile 21-year-old attacker could be developed to fill some of the void up front after the exits of Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele, and Alexandre Pato.

OCSC Acquires International Roster Spot

In a minor trade to help get Orlando City’s roster compliant before the 2023 season, the Lions have received a 2023 international roster spot from the Portland Timbers in exchange for $200,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM). This trade could be related to the reports regarding Enrique. It could also just be due to the club recently signing Argentine midfielder Martin Ojeda and Brazilian left back Rafael Santos. If the latter, look for the club to acquire another slot via trade.

Apple and MLS Announce Broadcasters for MLS Season Pass

Apple and Major League Soccer released an initial list of broadcasters for its MLS Season Pass for the upcoming 2023 season. Analysts will include former MLS stars such as Bradley Wright-Phillips, Diego Valeri, and former Lion Sacha Kljestan. Some of the other match analysts mentioned are Taylor Twellman, Kyndra de St. Aubin, Maurice Edu, Lori Lindsey, and Danielle Slaton. Some notable names handling the play-by-play duties include Max Bretos, Steve Cangialosi, and Pablo Ramírez. Also, Liam McHugh, Jilian Sakovits, and Tony Cherchi will be hosts in the studio. This list is not final and the complete broadcasting team will be announced prior to the season’s start next month.

MLS Off-Season Moves Continue

Plenty of MLS teams are busy getting their rosters set for the upcoming season. Real Salt Lake officially acquired winger Carlos Andres Gómez from Colombian club Millonarios for a club-record transfer fee. The contract is for five years and includes a player option for the 2028 season. Austin FC made a trade with the Houston Dynamo, acquiring defender Adam Lundkvist in exchange for $300,000 in 2023 GAM and $200,000 in 2024 GAM. The New England Revolution signed midfielder Jack Panayotou to a Homegrown Player contract. Nashville SC announced that it’s mutually agreed to part ways with midfielder Handwalla Bwana. FC Dallas signed center back Amet Korca from Croatian side HNK Gorica to a deal while also mutually reaching an agreement to terminate forward Franco Jara’s contract to free up a Designated Player spot. Atlanta United will reportedly buy out Josef Martinez’s contract, with the Venezuelan then joining Inter Miami without taking up a Designated Player spot.

MLS Owners Considering New Playoff Format

According to The Athletic , Major League Soccer is reportedly considering changing its playoff format (paywall), to include a best-of-three series. The best-of-three format would only apply to the first round, while the next rounds will be single elimination if the league owners approve the proposal. The proposed format would include 16 teams, with eight from each conference qualifying for the playoffs. MLS had reportedly previously discussed a playoff format featuring groups and a knockout stage as well. The league is also reportedly discussing the possibility of allowing clubs to buy and sell players to other MLS clubs through an intra-league transfer market. What do you think of the new proposals? Let me know in the comments section below.

NWSL Announces 2023 Draft Broadcast Details

The 2023 NWSL Draft will start tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Orlando Pride have the third overall pick in this year's draft. The league announced the broadcast details for the draft, with coverage beginning on CBS Sports Network, Paramount+, and CBS Sports HQ at 6 p.m. Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ will then stream the draft until its conclusion. The Attacking Third podcast, hosted by Sandra Herrera and Lisa Roman, will also have a live show analyzing the draft and interviewing some of the selected players.

Free Kicks
  • Looks like Orlando City’s Ercan Kara is the strongest MLS player in FIFA 23.
  • Former Lion Luis Gil and his girlfriend Salua welcomed their newborn son this past weekend. Gil is currently playing for USL League One side Union Omaha. Congratulations to the happy couple.
  • The Central Florida Crusaders posted this video on social media recapping their first day of the preseason.

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