Lion Links

Lion Links: 6/4/24

Atlanta United fires coach, San Diego nears marquee signing, Real Madrid announces Kylian Mbappe signing, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Orlando City has a brief break, as the Lions’ next game won’t be until June 15 against LAFC. We still have a busy week ahead of us though, with both the Orlando Pride and Orlando City B in action on Friday. As usual, we have plenty to discuss, so let’s take a look at today’s links.

Atlanta United Parts Ways with Gonzalo Pineda

Atlanta United announced on Monday that the club has parted ways with its head coach, Gonzalo Pineda. He had joined the team in August of 2021, and accumulated a record of 38-40-29 in his time with the club. With Atlanta currently 13th in the Eastern Conference on 16 points, the Five Stripes made the decision to move on. The team has lost five straight games at home, star striker Giorgios Giakoumakis has been linked with a move to Liga MX, and it’s generally been a tumultuous start to the season. Rob Valentino, who was an assistant coach for OCB in 2015 and played for the Lions during their USL days, has once again stepped in as Atlanta’s interim manager while the club begins its search for a new head coach.

San Diego Reportedly Set to Sign Chucky Lozano

San Diego FC has been linked with Hirving “Chucky” Lozano throughout this year and the 2025 MLS expansion side is on the verge of signing him as a Designated Player. Currently a PSV Eindhoven player, the Mexican winger will remain with the Dutch club for the next six months before joining the newest MLS team at the start of 2025. The announcement of his signing is reportedly imminent and he would be one of the highest-paid players in the league in terms of guaranteed compensation. San Diego has only signed three players to date, and Lozano would certainly be the most high profile of the team’s signings. A head coach and sporting director have also yet to be announced, so the team has plenty of work ahead of it before beginning play in 2025.

Kylian Mbappe Officially Signs for Real Madrid

In perhaps the most foregone piece of transfer business in recent memory, Kylian Mbappe has been officially announced as a Real Madrid player. Just two days after winning a 15th UEFA Champions League title, the Spanish team announced Mbappe’s signing for the team on a free transfer. Joining on a five-year deal, Mbappe has been in negotiations with Madrid since at least February, and also came close to joining the club in the summer of 2022, before signing a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea Appoints New Head Coach

Chelsea has officially appointed Enzo Maresca as the team’s newest head coach. While the appointment had been slowly taking shape since the end of the Premier League season, the hire was officially announced yesterday, with Maresca set to take charge of the team on July 1. The Italian leaves Leicester City after one season in charge, bringing the Foxes back to the English Premier League by winning the EFL Championship. Chelsea will likely hope that Maresca can reverse the Blues’ fortunes after two seasons in which the team has struggled following Roman Abramovich’s sale of the team back in the spring of 2022.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City dropped several spots to 20th in ESPN‘s MLS power rankings.
  • Orlando Pride midfielder Ally Lemos started in the United States Women’s U-20 National Team’s friendly against South Korea.

That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!


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