clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lion Links: 1/20/23

Anton Walkes passes away, Orlando Pride sign Brazilian forward Adriana, Orlando City players called up, and more.

SOCCER: MAY 07 MLS - Orlando City SC at CF Montreal Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s Friday, which means we’re another step closer to a weekend filled with soccer and fun. I plan on going bowling with friends for the first time since college. I’m admittedly awful at bowling, but I’m sure I’ll forget that after I have a drink or two. I hope whatever you have planned this weekend goes smoothly. Let’s get started with today’s links.

Charlotte Defender Anton Walkes Dies

Thursday brought with it the awful news that Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes has died at age 25 after a boating accident in Miami. Walkes was selected by Charlotte in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft, going on to start in 21 games during the club’s inaugural season last year. The club’s owner, David Tepper, released a statement following his passing.

“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes. He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” said Owner David Tepper. “Anton made those around him better people in all areas of life and represented Charlotte FC to the highest standard both on and off the pitch. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time. The Club offers its full support to all those impacted during this period of mourning.”

Major League Soccer, teammates, and the clubs he played for over the course of his professional career also mourned the loss of Walkes. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and the many other lives impacted by his passing.

Adriana Signs With the Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride signed Brazilian forward Adriana Leal da Silva, known as Adriana, to a three-year contract using Allocation Money. Adriana joins the Pride from Corinthians, where she scored 72 goals across 143 appearances to help the Brazilian club win 10 titles. The 26-year-old has also scored 12 goals in 34 caps with Brazil, although she missed out on the 2019 World Cup due to an injury. Nicknamed “The Wizard,” the Pride could certainly use a player of her caliber to spearhead an offense that also includes fellow Brazilian Marta. This seems to be a good use of some of the Pride’s pile of Allocation Money and Adriana is excited to get started.

Orlando City Homegrown Players Called Up

A trio of young Lions were called up for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team’s training camp in Bradenton this month. Defenders Michael Halliday, Thomas Williams, and Alex Freeman will join 20 other players for the camp as the team gets ready for the U-20 World Cup in May. Halliday featured in the team’s Concacaf U-20 Championship campaign last summer, while this is Freeman’s first call-up to the U-20 side. Orlando City is tied with the Philadelphia Union for the most representatives on the roster, with three each. U-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach Gonzalo Segares will lead the camp as Mikey Varas is assisting with the senior team’s camp in California.

USWNT Faces New Zealand Again Tonight

For the second time this week, the United States Women’s National Team will take on New Zealand in a friendly. Tonight’s match will take place in Auckland, with the action set to begin at 10 p.m. Although the USWNT won 4-0 in the previous meeting this past Tuesday, questions still linger heading into tonight’s match. All four of the U.S. goals Tuesday came in the second half, as Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s offense continues to struggle in the first half of games. Washington Spirit pair Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez both impressed as substitutes, so it will be interesting to see if they start tonight. Lindsey Horan started on Tuesday, but is back with Olympique Lyonnais in France.

Free Kicks
  • As is tradition, Orlando City Assistant Coach Josema Bazan fired up the grill at preseason training. You definitely shouldn’t watch this if you’re hungry.
  • Midfielder Felipe Martins weighed in on some photos of him taken by Orlando. The man seems to love beige.

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