Lion Links

Lion Links: 11/16/23

Learn more about Pedro Gallese, Orlando Pride trade Mikayla Cluff to Utah, U.S. U-17 team qualifies for World Cup round of 16, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s hard to believe November is already halfway over. I’m on my third trial of perfecting pull-apart bread for my Thanksgiving contribution, but stuffing a boule with brie and cranberry sauce has been more difficult than I expected. I’m not crazy enough to try making the bread from scratch though, so at least the failures haven’t been too much of a waste of time. But enough about my inability to bake for now, let’s get to today’s links!

Getting to Know Pedro Gallese

Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was the latest Lion featured in the club’s video series aimed at helping fans learn more about the players. He spoke about his journey from playing in his neighborhood in Peru to holding things down in goal for Orlando. The 33-year-old stated that winning the U.S. Open Cup with Orlando last year was the most memorable moment of his career. Gallese also detailed how he prepares for matches, the importance of training, and the kind of leadership he provides the Lions from the back. When asked who he’d invite to dinner, he selected goalkeeping legends Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, and Manuel Neuer. I definitely suggest checking out the full video, as it also includes pictures of him from when he was younger.

Orlando Pride Trade Mikayla Cluff to Utah Royals FC

The Orlando Pride made another trade this week, sending midfielder Mikayla Cluff and the No. 26 overall selection in the 2024 NWSL Draft to the Utah Royals in exchange for $90,000 in Allocation Money and protection during the upcoming expansion draft. The Pride selected Cluff with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft and she has made 51 appearances for the club across all competitions. Cluff is now the Royals’ first player and returns to her native state of Utah, where she also played for BYU and helped her school reach the 2021 National Championship final. The Pride also traded away the eighth overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft to Bay FC earlier this week. Although Orlando has fewer draft picks, the sum of $140,000 in Allocation Money from the pair of trades is nothing to sneeze at. The Pride also now have complete protection in the NWSL Expansion Draft next month, which should give some peace of mind while the club gets ready for next season.

Tahir Reid-Brown Starts in U.S. U-17 World Cup Win

The United States U-17 Men’s National Team clinched a spot in the U-17 World Cup’s round of 16 after beating Burkina Faso 2-1 thanks to a pair of goals right before halftime. Orlando City academy and OCB player Tahir Reid-Brown started and helped contribute towards giving the U.S. a lead. A late goal gave Burkina Faso life, but the U.S. held on to secure its second win of the tournament. The U.S. will take on France on Saturday at 7 a.m. to determine which team will top the group.

Alan Pulido Named MLS Comeback Player of the Year

Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido received this year’s MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award. After missing the entirety of the 2022 season due to a knee injury, Pulido scored a career-high 14 goals this year and helped his team reach the playoffs. It’s always nice to see a player come back even stronger following an injury. Pulido beat out Atlanta United’s Miles Robinson and Seattle Sounders midfielder Joao Paulo to win the award.

USMNT Takes On Trinidad & Tobago Tonight

The United States Men’s National Team will play Trinidad & Tobago tonight at 9 p.m. in the first of two matches in the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals. These two teams last squared off in the group stage of the 2023 Gold Cup, with the U.S. cruising to a 6-0 win in Charlotte. Trinidad & Tobago enters this match following a 5-3 loss to Curaçao, while the USMNT lost to Germany and beat Ghana in friendlies last month. Tonight’s match will take place at Q2 Stadium in Austin, with the second leg taking place in Trinidad on Monday.

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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