Lion Links

Lion Links: 2/7/24

Lion Links: Orlando City signs Robin Jansson to new contract, Lions reportedly reach deal for Luis Muriel, Duncan McGuire transfer saga update, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. Not much is going on up here with me in Chicago. I’ve just been busy covering high school playoff basketball. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Lions Sign Robin Jansson to New Contract

Orlando City announced on Tuesday that the club has signed center back Robin Jansson to a new contract through the 2025 season, with an option for 2026. The Lions picked up his option after a stellar 2023 season for the Swedish defender. Jansson made 34 MLS regular-season appearances, starting in 31 matches and playing 2,880 minutes. Jansson also played in all three of Orlando’s playoff matches, all three Leagues Cup matches, both Concacaf Champions League games against Tigres, and the U.S. Open Cup match against Charlotte FC. This new contract brings more stability to the back line after the departure of Antonio Carlos this off-season. Jansson also provides leadership and could be in line to succeed Mauricio Pereyra as team captain.

Orlando City Reportedly Reach Agreement for Luis Muriel

According to Tom Bogert of The Athletic, Orlando City has reportedly reached a deal with Serie A side Atalanta to sign forward Luis Muriel and make him their third Designated Player.

Muriel’s contract with Atalanta was to expire this summer, but Orlando will reportedly pay the club $1 million for an immediate and permanent transfer. This move will give the Lions another attacking option, and now opposing teams will have to handle him alongside Facundo Torres and Martin Ojeda. It remains to be seen how Orlando City will become roster compliant without a current DP slot available.

Duncan McGuire Transfer Saga Continues

We’re still waiting for a resolution on Orlando City forward Duncan McGuire’s loan to Blackburn Rovers last week. The English club released the following statement addressing how the registration documents were not submitted by the transfer deadline.

The EFL Board will reportedly make a decision tomorrow. If Blackburn’s appeal gets denied, then McGuire will return to Orlando, and Blackburn plans to attempt a pre-contract agreement with Orlando for McGuire to join in the summer. The Athletic ($) also gave a nice recap on the McGuire transfer saga that details how we reached this point.

Latest MLS Transfer Moves Roundup

Tuesday was another busy day of transfer news in Major League Soccer, with notable moves across the league. CF Montreal added more firepower to its attack by officially signing forward Josef Martinez for the 2024 season, with an option in 2025. Martinez has scored 105 goals across 161 matches in his MLS career. The Chicago Fire signed a new Designated Player by acquiring Hugo Cuypers from Belgian side Gent for a club-record transfer fee. The deal is for three years, with an option for the 2027 season as well. New York City FC signed goalkeeper Tomas Romero through the 2024 season, with options for 2025 and 2026. Finally, Charlotte FC transferred forward Vinicius Mello to FK Cukaricki in Serbia, while FC Dallas has mutually agreed to part ways with forward Jesus Jimenez.

Free Kicks

  • Former MLS player Jonathan Bornstein was named as an assistant coach for Florida State’s women’s soccer team.
  • The U-17 USWNT cruised past Canada 5-0 to win its group in the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.
  • Bayer Leverkusen won a thriller, defeating VfB Stuttgart 3-2 in the DFB Pokal quarterfinals, to remain unbeaten in 30 matches across all competitions.
  • South Korea lost 2-0 to Jordan in the AFC Asian Cup semifinals on Tuesday. Despite taking responsibility for the defeat, former USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has no plans to step down as South Korea’s manager.

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


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