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Lion Links: 1/30/23

The Orlando Pride sign goalkeeper Carly Nelson, Weston McKennie reportedly headed to Leeds United, Cyle Larin scores in La Liga debut, and more.

Football, Italian Serie A: Juventus FC VS Atalanta BC Photo by Giuliano Marchisciano/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. Orlando City continues its preseason, and the Orlando Pride begin their preseason today. The MLS and NWSL seasons are another day closer and it won’t be long until we’re all back in Exploria Stadium. It’s an exciting time to be an Orlando soccer fan. Now, let’s get to the links.

Orlando Pride Sign Carly Nelson

After the departure of Erin McLeod, the Orlando Pride signed former Kansas City goalkeeper Carly Nelson to a two-year contract. Nelson joins Anna Moorhouse and Kaylie Collins as Orlando’s goalkeepers, and they will compete for the starting position this season. Nelson comes to the Pride following a stint with FC Nordsjælland in Denmark’s top division. The Pride’s preseason camp starts today and Nelson greeted her new team.

Weston McKennie Set to Join Leeds

The American invasion of Leeds United may continue as USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie is reportedly the latest to head to the West Yorkshire club.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the loan carries a $1.4 million fee and Leeds has the option to buy McKennie for just under $36 million. McKennie would join fellow Americans Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson under Head Coach Jesse Marsch. This could be a good move for the American midfielder given he hasn’t made much of an impact with Juventus this season.

Wrexham Draws, Liverpool Loses in FA Cup Action

Ryan Reynolds was on hand at Racecourse Ground as Wrexham AFC hosted EFL Championship club Sheffield United FC in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday. The Red Dragons took the lead twice in the 3-3 draw after Sheffield scored the first goal in the second minute. Unfortunately for the Wrexham faithful, Sheffield’s John Egan scored the equalizer in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. The two clubs will replay the match at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane.

Liverpool’s troubles continued as the club was knocked out of the FA Cup in a 2-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion less than a year after winning the competition. Kaoru Mitoma’s goal in stoppage time was the difference for Brighton to advance to the fifth round.

EFL Championship side Stoke City defeated League Two side Stevenage 3-1 in its fourth match-up. The Potters got an early goal in the third minute, but Stevenage equalized in the 70th minute. Stoke City took the lead again three minutes later and put the match away on an 80th-minute penalty kick.

Cyle Larin Scores Winner in La Liga Debut

Former Orlando City forward Cyle Larin made his La Liga debut for Real Valladolid CF, coming off the bench in the 76th minute. In the 90th minute, Larin scored his first goal for his new club, giving Valladolid a 1-0 win at home over Valencia CF. I imagine such goals are the reason Valladolid brought Larin to town last week. The victory moved Valladolid out of the relegation zone and it will face Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Free Kicks
  • Icelandic midfielder Dagur Dan Thorhallsson is in the City Beautiful according to his Instagram. The 22-year-old was linked with a move to Orlando City last week.
  • In an interview with CNN regarding Wrexham, Rob McElhenney commented on how America does not have a tournament like the FA Cup. Of course, there is already a U.S. tournament that pits lower-division clubs against bigger clubs, as evidenced by Orlando beating USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC in the 2022 U.S. Open Cup final.
  • The USMNT drew Colombia 0-0 Saturday night in a friendly. It wasn’t what the result many wanted, but Paxten Aaronson and John Tolkin both made their USMNT debuts. January camps are never the best with several top players still in Europe, so keep that in mind.
  • American defender Kevin Paredes scored his first goal for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.
  • Arsenal is reportedly trying to bring in midfielder Moises Caicedo once again.

That will do it for today’s links. Have a great Monday and rest of your week!