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Lion Links: 1/19/23

Jake Mulraney heads to Ireland, Darian Jenkins retires, USMNT roster announced, and much more.

MLS: FC Dallas at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I don’t know about you, but I’m itching to get back to Exploria Stadium and can’t wait for the NWSL and MLS seasons to get started. I plan on attending a few more matches this year and am looking forward to the jersey reveals as mine are getting a bit old. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride defender Caitlin Cosme! The Pride drafted Cosme in the 2022 NWSL Draft, but she didn’t play last season due to injury. Hopefully she bounces back in a strong way this year.

Jake Mulraney Transferred to Irish Club

Orlando City transferred winger Jake Mulraney to St. Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland’s top flight. The terms of the transfer were not disclosed. Mulraney joined the Lions in a trade with Atlanta in May of last year, but he wasn’t able to make much of an impact in Orlando. With Gaston Gonzalez, Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, and Shak Mohammed all as options for Orlando on the wing, along with Facundo Torres locked in as a starter, it makes plenty of sense for Orlando to make this move. As for Mulraney, he now gets to be closer to his family in Ireland and he spoke about why he chose St. Patrick’s Athletic over other options. We wish him the best with his new club!

Darian Jenkins Hangs Up Her Cleats

Orlando Pride forward Darian Jenkins announced her retirement from professional soccer after six years in the NWSL. Drafted by the North Carolina Courage in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, Jenkins ends her career with 11 goals across 83 NWSL games. She joined the Pride via a trade with the Kansas City Current in January of last year and was still under contract through the 2023 season. Jenkins contributed four goals and a pair of assists across all competitions while in Orlando. The Pride aren’t lacking options up top, although Jenkins’ speed and versatility may be missed at times in 2023. The club also drafted forwards Messiah Bright and Kristen Scott earlier this month, so it will be interesting to see if either player can fill the void left by Jenkins should they sign with the Pride.

Getting to Know Luca Petrasso

As part of a new series for fans to learn more about what Orlando City players are like off the field, left back Luca Petrasso fielded some questions regarding his move from Toronto to Orlando this off-season and more. The 22-year-old is settling in and praised both the weather and Orlando City’s coaching staff as he gets ready for the 2023 season.

Luca Petrasso: Everything’s been good. I’m excited, obviously a different kind of adventure for me because I’ve been at home for a long time – I was at Toronto FC for 10 years, so, it’s a little bit new to me. But I’m enjoying it. Some good people, a great coaching staff, the weather is amazing – you can’t get much better than that, so I’m excited.

Petrasso has already been to Disney World in the time since his trade to Orlando and he’s exploring the various coffee shops in the city. Training seems to be going well for the left back, although he did bemoan the lack of an espresso machine at the training facility.

Roster Announced for USMNT Training Camp

With training camp taking place in California this month, 24 players were called up for the United States Men’s National Team. With European leagues continuing throughout this month, this camp presents a great opportunity for many Americans. This is the first call-up to a USMNT training camp for 11 players, including dual-national forwards Brandon Vazquez and Alejandro Zendejas. The goalkeepers are also a position group to keep an eye on. Chelsea’s Gabriel Slonina could make his USMNT debut later this month. FC Cincinnati’s Roman Celentano was also called up, with veteran goalkeeper Sean Johnson there as well. Paul Arriola, Walker Zimmerman, and Kellyn Acosta are a few of the other veteran MLS players called up. Anthony Hudson will lead the training camp and the U.S. will host Serbia and Colombia in friendlies on Jan. 25 and 28, respectively.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you today. Make sure to stay hydrated out there as this Floridian winter rolls on. Have a great Thursday and rest of your week.