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Lion Links: 4/29/21

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Greetings, Mane Landers. I hope you are all having a good week. There has been an abundance of news happening recently, so let’s get right into the links.

Orlando City Negotiating Daryl Dike Playoff Loan with Barnsley 

Orlando City is currently negotiating with Barnsley over extending Daryl Dike’s loan through the promotion playoffs. With the Reds clinching a spot in the playoffs, the side will be hoping to keep the American youngster around for its crucial postseason fixtures, but that won’t happen unless a deal is struck to extend Dike’s stay.

“Dike went to Barnsley on a free loan on Feb. 1. The 20-year-old has since scored nine goals in 18 games for the Reds. Under the original conditions of the agreement, Dike’s loan terminates on May 31, but the Lions will gain the right to recall the striker after May 3.”

The Lions are in a good position to land some sort of fee for Dike to take part in the playoffs. Oscar Pareja’s men have only scored one goal in the first two matches of the season, so demanding a sum of money is more than justified. 

“Leitão said the team isn’t set on recalling Dike, but the club feels the Lions can’t allow their top striker to play for free for a different team for another month of the MLS regular season. The CEO said the Lions could decide to recall if Barnsley doesn’t reach an agreement as early as Thursday.”

Orlando City Signs SuperDraft Selection Derek Dodson 

Orlando City announced the signing of Derek Dodson on Wednesday to a one-year contract for 2021. The deal sees the forward added to the supplemental roster, and the club will also have options for 2022, 2023, and 2024. 

“Dodson, 22, was Orlando City’s first selection (No. 8 overall) in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. The Georgetown product left college just a couple of weeks after Hoyas (and now Lions) teammate Rio Hope-Gund departed and signed an MLS deal. Orlando City secured the No. 8 pick by trading $75,000 in 2021 General Allocation Money (GAM) and $25,000 in 2022 GAM to the Portland Timbers.”

With Georgetown, Dodson was prolific in front of goal, managing 32 goals and 14 assists in 72 matches (54 starts). If he can continue in his potent ways, City may have a future gem on its hands. If Dodson can lead from the front like he did in college, it could help the void left by Dom Dwyer, fill a hole at striker left by Alexandre Pato’s injury, and soften the blow of potentially losing Daryl Dike. 

Dike Voted Barnsley Player of the Month Again 

Speaking of Dike, the Orlando City loanee has been awarded the Barnsley Player of the Month accolade once again. After receiving 54% of the votes, Dike snapped up his second successive award. The 20-year-old was appreciative of winning the personal hardware. 

“Honored to be voted again as Player of the Month! Hoping to continue the momentum the team has had into the end of the season and then the playoffs,” said Dike. “Thank you all for your support, and I hope to see everyone soon!”

Dike could be pivotal for Barnsley heading into the playoffs. Prior to then, however, his side takes on Preston North End on Saturday and Norwich one week later to finish the regular season.

American Jesse Marsch looks set to Join RB Leipzig 

RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch looks set to take over at RB Leipzig. The American has been under the Red Bull umbrella since 2015, and now appears set for a new challenge.  

“Jesse Marsch, the first American to coach in the UEFA Champions League, is looking likely to be back in the competition for the foreseeable future as he’s set to become the next head coach at RB Leipzig, per Kicker. The German publication is reporting that the RB Salzburg boss, who last season became the first American to win a top-tier European trophy by claiming the Austrian Cup, is moving within the massive Red Bull umbrella once again, following his move from New York Red Bulls to Salzburg with a move to the German Bundesliga to replace Julian Nagelsmann, who is leaving for Bayern Munich.”

Taking over from such a highly rated manager in Nagelsmann may be no easy feat. It will be interesting to see how the Wisconsin-born, 47-year-old does with the side currently placed second in the Bundesliga. 

Free Kicks

  • Charlie Davies says the USMNT striker depth chart has a new name at number one. The name is Daryl Dike. 
  • Pedro Gallese showed off a sumptuous back heel in training. Nani would be proud.

  • Marsch reportedly had interest from other suitors as well as Leipzig. 


That will do for this Thursday’s set of links. As always, thanks for reading. I’ll catch you next week.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/17/24

MLSPA releases player salaries, Duncan McGuire discusses move to Blackburn, Orlando Pride prepare for the Seattle Reign, and more.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Friday! The weekend is nearly here, with plenty of soccer both here in the domestic leagues and abroad. I have a pretty packed weekend but am looking forward to watching Orlando City and the Orlando Pride in action. It should be a nice next few days, so let’s get it started with today’s links!

MLSPA Releases Player Salaries

The Major League Soccer Players Association unveiled the base salary and guaranteed compensation information for every player under contract with the league as of April 25 — except Wilder Cartagena, apparently. Luis Muriel is the highest-paid Orlando City player, and his $4.3 million in guaranteed compensation is the 12th most in the league, while his base salary is just over $2.83. As for other Orlando newcomers, Nico Lodeiro’s compensation is $800,000 and David Brekalo’s is $683,000.

Lionel Messi predictably tops the list of all players with $20.4 million guaranteed for playing with Inter Miami. To put that number into perspective, it’s more than the compensation of every team in the league except his own team (Miami), Toronto FC, Nashville SC, and the Chicago Fire. Orlando City is 22nd in the league in compensation, clocking in at $15.07 million.

Duncan McGuire Weighs In on Moving to Blackburn

Orlando City forward Duncan McGuire had a hurricane of an off-season due to a transfer saga that nearly saw him join Blackburn Rovers in England. An administration error by Blackburn prevented the move from going through, and McGuire ultimately returned to Orlando. In the time since, there have been reports that Orlando offered him a new contract and that Blackburn still wants him to join in the summer. McGuire spoke about whether he is still interested in a move to Blackburn after the difficult experience.

“It’s tough to say,” McGuire told GOAL.”That was a pretty bad mistake, a pretty bad mistake by them. I’d be open to maybe having a conversation but it would have to be a lot to get me to go back there. On the plane ride back, I just felt like my tail was between my legs. I asked my agent how often this happens and he was like ‘This doesn’t happen’.

“I didn’t burn bridges with my teammates or have it be like ‘Oh you wanted to leave and now you’re back’. When I got back, it was like I never left.”

Orlando Pride Prepare for the Seattle Reign

The Orlando Pride will take their six-game win streak on the road for a match against the Seattle Reign Sunday night. The Reign are coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Portland Thorns in their sixth defeat of the season, but Pride Head Coach Seb Hines discussed how the Reign played better in that match than the score suggests. The Pride have also never won in Washington, and the turf and atmosphere of Lumen Field could give Orlando some trouble after a long trip. Injuries, particularly to the midfield, have made things difficult for the Pride, but midfielder Morgan Gautrat detailed how the team’s chemistry has helped them get results despite the adversity.

Nashville SC Fires Gary Smith

Nashville SC has parted ways with Gary Smith, who had been the club’s only head coach while in MLS. Smith joined Nashville back in 2018, coaching the team for two seasons in the USL Championship before. With a defensive style, Smith led the team to MLS playoff appearances in all four years but couldn’t put together a deep run. Nashville is currently 10th in the Eastern Conference and Rumba Munthali will serve as the club’s interim head coach while the club searches for a new permanent coach.

Charlotte FC Transfers Enzo Copetti Out

Another Designated Player is leaving Charlotte FC, as the club transferred Enzo Copetti to Rosario Central in Argentina’s top flight. The forward recorded eight goals and three assists across all competitions while with Charlotte, and has played less than 500 minutes this season. Copetti is the latest Designated Player transferred out since Dean Smith took over as Charlotte’s head coach, with Kamil Jozwiak sent to Granada and Karol Swiderski loaned to Hellas Verona. Despite the turnover, Charlotte sits fifth in the Eastern Conference and could make some noise this season if it brings in the right players in the summer transfer window.

Free Kicks

  • Former Lion Miguel Gallardo spoke with the folks over at The Blazing Musket about the New England Revolution and the art of goalkeeping.
  • Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Derek Sanderson, who played for many teams across many leagues back in the 1980s, including the American Soccer League’s Orlando Lions.

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

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/16/24

Orlando City draws with Inter Miami, Orlando City B loses in Ohio, Austin awarded 2025 MLS All-Star Game, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

I hope you’re all having a nice and easy start to your Thursday morning. Orlando City’s match Wednesday night could’ve gone worse, but could’ve gone better as well. As far as rivalry games go, it probably won’t be all too memorable, but I still hope you enjoyed yourself if you went to the game. Let’s dive into today’s links!

Orlando City Draws Inter Miami at Home

The Lions hosted rival Inter Miami and had to settle for a scoreless draw that featured solid chances for both sides. Orlando remains shorthanded defensively, but Pedro Gallese and the back line of Rodrigo Schlegel, Wilder Cartagena, and David Brekalo did well to get a clean sheet against a Miami side that leads the league in goals by a wide margin. Familiar attacking struggles plagued the Lions though with many chances going unfinished. The Lions will now turn their attention to a trip across the country for a match with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Orlando City B Falls On the Road

After earning its first home win last week, Orlando City B was handed its first road defeat of the season in a 4-3 loss against Columbus Crew 2. OCB was without Yutaro Tsukada, who made his debut with the first team, but the team still did well generating chances on offense. The Young Lions took the lead on two different occasions in the match, but they ultimately couldn’t hold on for a result in a rollercoaster of a match. There’s plenty of time for Head Coach Manuel Goldberg to get his team ready for its next match, which is set to take place at Osceola County Stadium on May 26 against Huntsville City FC.

Orlando City Fined After Match in Philadelphia

Following Orlando City’s win over the Philadelphia Union, the club and Head Coach Oscar Pareja have been issued fines by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for the team violating the mass confrontation policy for the second time this season. The violation took place in the 86th minute at Philadelphia, when the Union were awarded their second penalty of the game. Gallese, Nicolas Lodeiro, Ivan Angulo, and Duncan McGuire were issued fines for their role in things as well.

Luis Muriel was also fined an undisclosed amount for embellishment during an incident with Damion Lowe in the 81st minute of the match. You can judge for yourself if the MLS Disciplinary Committee got it right, but what’s not up for debate is that the Lions got the job done on the road and survived an obscene amount of stoppage time.

Austin Will Host 2025 MLS All-Star Game

MLS announced that next year’s MLS All-Star Game will take place at Q2 Stadium in Austin. It will be the first time the event is held there and the first time Texas has hosted it since Houston had it back in 2010. The official date, along with what team the MLS All-Stars will play against, will be announced at a later time. Austin FC entered the league in 2021 and every game played at Q2 Stadium has sold out. There is a strong soccer community there, and I’m glad it will get a chance to show the league what it is all about. I also really like the graphic promoting the event and feel it captures Austin fairly well.

Free Kicks


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

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/15/24

Tropic Thunder is tonight, OCB plays away today, Americans playing abroad, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to Wednesday Mane Landers. The next installment of the Tropic Thunder rivalry between the good guys (Orlando City) and the bad guys (Inter Miami) is tonight. I hope you can make it out to the match since there will probably be a bunch of Lionel Messi fans there and more purple in the stands is needed. To get ready for the match, you can listen to the latest edition of The Mane Land PawedCast, and check out our match preview later today . For now, let’s get to the links.

Lions Host Tropic Thunder Tonight

I don’t know why others insist on calling matches between Orlando City and Inter Miami the “Florida Derby.” Our name for the match — Tropic Thunder — is just so much better. Regardless, the Lions host the Herons tonight at Inter&Co Stadium looking to avenge the 5-0 loss from earlier in the season. The spotlight might be on Miami, but the pressure is on Orlando City. The Lions surprised me with their win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Let’s hope the club can keep the momentum going.

Miami May Be Without Messi Today

While I never want anyone to get seriously injured, I’m not sorry to hear that there is a chance Messi will be unavailable for tonight’s match. It seems that Miami’s magician picked up a minor knee injury in the match against CF Montreal on Saturday. Say what you want, but he is a competitor and could still take the field tonight. Hopefully, he remembers the welcome Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena gave him when he joined the league and decides it’s not worth aggravating the knee.

OCB Back in Action On the Road

The senior squad isn’t the only team playing today as Orlando City B is in Ohio to take on Columbus Crew II at Lower.com Field. You’ll need to take a long lunch to watch this one because kickoff is set for noon. There will be plenty to watch since the two clubs are only separated by one point in the standings, with OCB sitting in sixth place (3-2-3, 13 points) and Crew II in eighth place (3-3-2, 12 points).

Keeping Up With Americans Abroad

Most of us know that Christian Pulisic had a great season with AC Milan after moving to the Serie A club from Chelsea. What I did not know is that Pulisic is the first AC Milan midfielder to score more than 10 goals in a season since former Orlando City star Kaká did it when he was there.

Things are not as bright for Giovanni Reyna at Nottingham Forest. He hasn’t played a ton of minutes for the Premier League side and hasn’t done much when he has played. It was a loan without a purchase option, but Forest is reportedly not interested in making an offer for him regardless.

Free Kicks

  • Let’s all give a big congratulations to Orlando City Vice President of Soccer Operations and Technical Director Ricardo Moreira. He was accepted into the third edition of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management.
  • We believe once a Lion, always a Lion, but I didn’t know MLS thought the same thing. Richie Laryea getting the biggest suspension is on brand for anyone related to Orlando City.

That will do it for today. Let’s hope that the Lions can get a second win in a row. Vamos Orlando!

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