Lion Links

Lion Links: 1/27/23



How’s it going, Mane Landers? I knocked out my fifth book of January this week, finishing up The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake. Next month I plan on tackling Stephen King’s Fairy Tale, along with some romance books still left on my reading list. Reading always makes time fly by for me, which is nice while waiting for the MLS and NWSL seasons to start. I don’t have many weekend plans beyond working, so I’m hoping to kick back and relax a bit. For now, let’s enjoy these links from around the soccer world.

Ramiro Enrique Officially Joins Orlando City

In a move that’s been reported on throughout this month, Orlando City officially signed Argentine forward Ramiro Enrique to a three-year deal, with options for 2026 and 2027 as well. The 21-year-old is now the club’s third U22 Initiative player, filling the vacancy left after Andres Perea was traded to the Philadelphia Union. Enrique joins Orlando from Club Atlético Banfield in Argentina’s top flight, contributing 12 goals and three assists in 73 appearances across all competitions. Able to play as a center forward or as a winger, his versatility should help during the congested parts of Orlando’s schedule. I’m excited to see him and the rest of the offense in action this season. Multiple players are capable of playing at different positions, which should lead to a dynamic attack that can break down defenses.

Cory Price Named Pride’s Director of Medical and Performance

The Orlando Pride announced that Cory Price will become the director of medical and performance. Price worked as a contract physical therapist for the Pride over the past three seasons and was also a sports rehabilitation clinical specialist for Orlando Health. In this new position, he will now lead the Pride’s operations regarding nutrition, sports science, and other areas.

“I am excited for the opportunity to be part of building a winning culture with the Orlando Pride, and thank the club for choosing me to be a part of this project. I’ve enjoyed my time working with the players and staff over the last few years and am looking forward to having a larger, more impactful opportunity in this new position,” Price said. “My goal is to provide a safe environment where player health and safety is at the forefront. I believe if we can accomplish that, then everything else will fall into place. I can’t wait to get started.”

Earnie Stewart Steps Down as USSF Sporting Director

The shakeup within the United States Soccer Federation continues as Earnie Stewart will no longer serve as its sporting director. Stewart will remain at his post until Feb. 15 before heading to the Netherlands to join PSV Eindhoven. The former USMNT player was named general manager of the USMNT back in 2018 and was promoted to sporting director the following year. With Brian McBride also departing, the USSF is now without a sporting director, a USMNT general manager, or a USMNT head coach. A search will now begin for a new sporting director and that eventual hire will oversee the hiring of the new head coach, with Anthony Hudson serving as the interim head coach in the meantime. There is plenty of change happening, but it’s also an opportunity to bring in the right people for the right positions before the 2024 Olympics and 2026 World Cup.

Analyzing Colombia Ahead of Friendly

After losing to Serbia earlier this week, the United States Men’s National Team will take on Colombia tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in Carson, CA. Like the U.S., Colombia’s roster features many players who are rather new to the international scene. Of the 20 players called up, veteran left back Frank Fabra is the only one with more than five appearances for the senior team. There are six MLS players on Colombia’s roster as well, including LAFC forward Cristian Arango, Columbus Crew forward Cucho Hernandez, and New York Red Bulls center back Andres Reyes. This match will test the USMNT’s fullbacks as Colombia likes to play out wide and isn’t hesitant to switch the point of attack.

Free Kicks

  • Jack Lynn used a nice flick in front of goal to get the best of Mason Stajduhar in training. The goal was nice, but I might enjoy Head Coach Oscar Pareja’s celebration a bit more.
  • According to FIFA’s 2022 global transfer report, Orlando City spent the third-most of any Concacaf club. Orlando’s first Concacaf Champions League opponent, Tigres UANL, spent the most of any Liga MX club.
  • The Philadelphia Union traded away $250,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money (GAM) and $250,000 in 2024 GAM to CF Montreal in exchange for midfielder Joaquin Torres. An additional $300,000 of GAM could head Montreal’s way if certain conditions are met.
  • The United States Postal Service created a stamp to commemorate next month’s SheBelieves Cup. The tournament gets started at Exploria Stadium on Feb. 16.
  • Claudio Reyna resigned as Austin FC’s sporting director, but will still serve as a technical advisor at the club. Austin Head Coach Josh Wolff will also fill in as chief soccer officer on an interim basis.
  • We end our links with a big smile from Kaká. The former Lion was in the City Beautiful for the Orlando Magic’s Brazilian night,

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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