Lion Links

Lion Links: 8/2/23

Orlando City takes on Inter Miami tonight, Duncan McGuire speaks on his rookie season, Bruce Arena put on administrative leave, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Hello, Mane Landers. How is everyone doing so far this week? I’m doing well and staying busy and excited for tonight’s Leagues Cup Round of 32 matchup against Inter Miami. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Takes On Inter Miami Tonight in Leagues Cup

Orlando City will be on the road tonight as it takes on rival Inter Miami at DRV PNK Stadium in the Round of 32 of the Leagues Cup. Both teams won their respective groups to reach the knockout stages. Duncan McGuire has been in stellar form, scoring in his third straight match for the Lions against Santos Laguna last Saturday in a 3-2 victory. The Lions have gone unbeaten against Miami in six of the last seven matches across all competitions. The last time these two sides met was back on May 20, when the Lions defeated Miami 3-1 on the road. Inter Miami’s roster has changed since then, with the recent additions of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba. If Facundo Torres scores another goal he’ll be tied with Tesho Akindele for sixth on Orlando’s all-time scoring list. The winner of tonight’s match will move on to the Round of 16 to face either FC Dallas or Mazatlan.

Duncan McGuire Discusses His Rookie Season

Orlando City has a knack for selecting great forwards in the MLS SuperDraft, with McGuire as the latest example. The 22-year-old leads Orlando’s talented offense with 10 goals across all competitions and shows no signs of slowing down in his first year as a professional.

“I wasn’t thinking it was going to be some huge season. I was obviously hoping I’d get my chance, maybe score a goal or two, play in some games. But my teammates did a good job at helping me transition from the college game, teaching me the ropes about strategy, tactics. They worked with me from day one, helping me out and helped me feel like one of the guys from day one, so that was helpful on their part.

McGuire’s style of play is centered around keeping defenders busy to create space for himself and his teammates, and he’s still developing as the year goes on. He also spoke on his aspiration to play for the United States Men’s National Team to take part in the World Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup.

MLS Transfer Roundup

There was quite a bit of notable transfer news, as the MLS summer transfer window is set to close tonight. The LA Galaxy acquired veteran midfielder Diego Fagundez from Austin FC in exchange for midfielder Memo Rodriguez and up to $900,000 in General Allocation Money. The Columbus Crew are reportedly close to finalizing a deal to bring in former LAFC star Diego Rossi from Fenerbahce in Turkey. Atlanta United signed forward Jamal Thiare to a contract through the 2024 season. Thiare had previously played in Ligue 2 with Le Havre. The Houston Dynamo also made a move, signing attacking midfielder Sebastian Kowalczyk from Polish side Pogon Szczecin. Kowalczyk’s deal is through the 2024 season, with club options for 2025 and 2026. New York City FC added forward Julian Fernandez from Argentinian side Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Inter Miami also signed 19-year-old center back Tomas Aviles.

Bruce Arena Placed On Administrative Leave

Major League Soccer released a statement on Tuesday that New England Revolution Head Coach and Sporting Director Bruce Arena has been put on administrative leave while an investigation into alleged insensitive and inappropriate remarks takes place.

The New England Revolution are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points. The club also released a statement that it takes these allegations seriously and will cooperate with the league throughout the investigation. The players were reportedly told this past Sunday that Arena would be absent from the club, but no reason was given. Curt Onalfo will reportedly serve as the interim sporting director, with Richie Williams as interim head coach while the investigation is ongoing.

England and Denmark Advance to Round of 16

On the final day of Group D action in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, England defeated China, 6-1, to reach the knockout stage. Lauren James scored twice to help the Lionesses win all three of their group games. In the other match, Denmark shut out Haiti, 2-0, to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time since 1995, finishing second in the group. In the next round, England will face Nigeria, while Denmark will take on Australia, and both matches will be played on Monday.

Free Kicks

  • Check out this training highlight video from Tuesday as the Lions get ready for tonight’s matchup in Fort Lauderdale.
  • If you can’t make the trip to Fort Lauderdale but still want to watch the match alongside fans, you can check out the club’s list of watch parties around the Orlando area.
  • Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are in negotiations on a transfer fee for forward Ousmane Dembele after he recently requested that he wants to leave the La Liga champions.
  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called on UEFA and FIFA to act on closing the transfer window sooner for the Saudi Pro League, which can sign players until Sept. 20.

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


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