Lion Links

Lion Links: 12/1/22



Welcome to December, Mane Landers! November is done and dusted and now we’re just a month away from 2023. It’s still weird having a World Cup in the winter, but it still feels nice that the U.S. is into the knockout stage. Let’s dive right into today’s links from around the soccer world!

Joao Moutinho Bids Farewell to Orlando

Although his exit is not yet official, left back Joao Moutinho posted a heartfelt goodbye on Instagram expressing his gratitude to Orlando City after four years.

Moutinho’s contract ended after this past season and it doesn’t seem like he will be back in Orlando next year. The Portuguese defender attracted interest from European clubs over the course of this past season and now is a good time in his career to return to Europe. Orlando traded for Moutinho in late 2018 and it’s not an exaggeration to say he’s been the best left back in club history. Although injuries have limited him at times, Moutinho’s been a key part of Orlando City’s success in recent years. We wish him the best of luck wherever he ends up playing next, and reports indicate that will be in Italy. Luca Gotti, the manager of Serie A’s Spezia, stated that Moutinho will be headed to the Italian club and will officially join once his contract with Orlando expires on Dec. 31.

Orlando City Re-Signs Adam Grinwis

Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis will be in Orlando next season after the club re-signed him to a one-year deal. The 30-year-old will continue to provide depth to Orlando’s goalkeeping unit alongside Mason Stajduhar while the club works on re-signing starting goalkeeper Pedro Gallese. Grinwis first joined Orlando in early 2018 and then returned to Orlando later in 2021 following some time with the Sacramento Republic. His most memorable moment for the Lions was his stellar performance in a penalty shootout against New York City FC in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup, with the Orlando faithful behind him after the “Running of the Wall.”

Mexico Eliminated From World Cup

Although Mexico beat Saudi Arabia 2-1, it was eliminated from the World Cup due to a worse goal difference than Poland. It was an exciting end to Group C as Mexico hunted for a third goal at the same time Poland was desperately fending off Argentina. It was a disappointing campaign from Mexico and Gerald “Tata” Martino left his role as head coach after the result. Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny made plenty of big stops, including a penalty save against Lionel Messi, to secure his team’s spot in the next round after a 2-0 loss.

Australia also reached the Round of 16, beating Denmark, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Mathew Leckie. Australia will take on Argentina on Saturday, with the winner of that match set to face the winner between the U.S. and the Netherlands. France rested many starters and fell 1-0 to Tunisia, but still finishes atop Group D and will take on Poland on Sunday.

Atlanta United Adds Derrick Etienne Jr.

Former Columbus Crew winger Derrick Etienne Jr. was signed as a free agent by Atlanta United. The 26-year-old joins the Five Stripes after three years with the Crew, recording nine goals and six assists last season. Etienne was one of the top free agents this off-season and should improve Atlanta’s offense heading into next season. Great at playing out wide, he should also help create space for Luiz Araujo when Atlanta goes on the attack.

Free Kicks

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


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