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Lion Links: 2/8/23

Orlando Pride announce preseason schedule, Mauricio Pereyra is reliable for Orlando City, Jack Lynn answers questions in “Stoppage Time,” and more.

SOCCER: SEP 17 MLS - Toronto FC at Orlando City Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I’ve been busy covering high school basketball, swimming, and wrestling this past week, with the postseasons for those sports about to start up here in Chicago. There is plenty to get to in today’s links from around the soccer world, so let’s get right to them.

Orlando Pride Announce Preseason Schedule

The Orlando Pride released their preseason scrimmage schedule on Tuesday, with one match open to the general public. That match will take place on Thursday, Feb. 23, when the Pride host the Kansas City Current. In their five scrimmages, the Pride will play against three NWSL clubs and two collegiate sides. The Pride face NJ/NY Gotham FC on Feb. 18, UCF on Feb. 28, Florida State on March 4, and then close out the preseason against the Washington Spirit on March 18. Season ticket holders will also get to attend an open training session and “chalk talk” event on March 12 at Exploria Stadium. The Pride is in preseason training camp in Port St. Lucie through Saturday.

Mauricio Pereyra Named “Mr. Reliable” for the Lions

Joseph Lowery of determined which players on Eastern Conference teams are the most reliable for their clubs. Orlando City’s Mauricio Pereyra was mentioned, as he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can play as a No. 10 or deeper in the midfield. It’s good to have a familiar face like Pereyra returning with so many changes to Orlando’s roster this off-season. The captain averaged 50.2 passes per game and led the Lions with 11 assists last season. His quality and versatility should pair well with Designated Players Facundo Torres and Martin Ojeda to make things interesting on offense for the Lions as the season opener nears.

Jack Lynn Answers “Stoppage Time” Questions

Orlando City forward Jack Lynn fielded questions and gave his perspective on preseason training, meeting all the new players brought in, and more as the team gets ready for the 2023 season. The 23-year-old stated that defender Robin Jansson is his best-dressed teammate. Lynn also trusts anyone on the team other than goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar when it comes to playing music inside the locker room. Orlando signed Lynn last year after selecting him in the first round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. He revealed that his first purchase after signing his first professional contract with the Lions was new furniture for his apartment.

MLS Transfer Roundup

MLS teams remain busy making moves with season openers only two and a half weeks away. Toronto FC announced it signed Norwegian center back Sigurd Rosted from Danish Superliga side Brøndby IF, penning him to a three-year deal with an option for 2026. The LA Galaxy re-signed center back Eriq Zavaleta to a new contract through the 2024 MLS season. The Philadelphia Union signed midfielder Jack McGlynn to a new contract extension. McGlynn, a Homegrown Player for the Union, is now under contract through the 2025 MLS season, with club options for 2026 and 2027.

Wrexham’s FA Cup Run Comes to a Close

In the fourth round of the FA Cup, fifth-tier side Wrexham’s dream run ended in a 3-1 defeat to Championship side Sheffield United. The game was tied 1-1 late, but Sheffield United scored twice in stoppage time to advance to the fifth round for a match against Tottenham Hotspur. Elsewhere in England, EFL League Two side Grimsby Town scored three goals in the first half to win 3-0 over Ethan Horvath’s Luton Town. Grimsby Town will face Southampton in the next round on March 1. The final match of the fourth round takes place today, with Sunderland hosting Fulham at the Stadium of Light

Free Kicks
  • Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu has been found alive after being buried under rubble. Atsu was reported missing following the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this week.
  • VAR could be coming to the later stages of the U.S. Open Cup after its addition was reportedly approved in meetings last month.

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