Lion Links: 4/6/21 – The land of manes

Happy Tuesday everyone! We are a few days away from Orlando Pride‘s first game of 2021, and Orlando City will be on their heels, so life is good. There is a lot to discuss today, so let’s go.

Lions make Raul Aguilera Club’s 10th home signing

City of Orlando announced the signing of Raul Aguilera as a local player on Monday. The 21-year-old becomes Orlando’s 10th signing for Homegrown, and second this year, after Wilfredo Rivera signed his contract a few weeks ago. Aguilera has signed a one-year contract with options for the 2022-2024 seasons. The youngster played his college football at the University of North Carolina and appeared for Orlando City B in USL League One last year. Rivera probably won’t record too many minutes this year, but he will have the opportunity to learn from the best, and it’s always good to see local youngsters making the senior squad.

Leroux reveals his family’s recent struggles with COVID

Sydney Leroux shared that her children had and subsequently recovered to contract COVID-19.

Leroux said she woke up several weeks ago to the sound of Cassius screaming from her bedroom. When she held it, she said her son felt like he was “burning from the inside”.

Cassius tested positive for COVID-19 the next morning. Roux tested positive three days later. Leroux said their two symptoms were severe – a high fever, vomiting, exhaustion and “a terrible cough.”

Leroux took several weeks off with Pride to care for the two children alongside her husband, former Orlando City striker Dom Dwyer. She resumed training on Monday and will be back with the squad this week ahead of the Pride Challenge Cup opener against Louisville on Monday.

Leroux, who said on Instagram that she has remained healthy throughout the recent ordeal, urged people to continue to take the pandemic seriously and get vaccinated.

Pride announces the composition of the NWSL Challenge Cup

Orlando pride has announced the updated team roster before you start playing in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup. With the team playing their first game of the year in the tournament on Saturday at Racing Louisville, the time had come to determine who can participate. Truth be told, there aren’t really any surprises on the list, with all the usual suspects present and taken care of. A notable addition is that the team have signed goalkeeper Gabby English as a substitute for the national team. A native of Winter Park who played college at Mississippi State, English had trained with Pride in recent weeks. His presence was deemed necessary when Erin McLeod was called up to the Canadian national team. Other than that, the list has who you’d expect, with Marta, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris being the names that jump off the page.

MLS, NWSL, USL implement concussion subs

The American Football Federation announced Monday that all professional leagues in the United States will participate in the FIFA pilot program for concussion substitutes in the 2021 season. The National Women’s Soccer League, Major League Soccer and United Soccer Leagues have all announced their participation in the program. The initiative allows for up to two substitutions per game to replace players diagnosed or suspected of having suffered a concussion, regardless of the number of substitutes already used. MLS will continue to allow the use of five “normal substitutions” no more than three times in a game, with up to two additional “concussion substitutions” not counting toward these numbers. I cannot stress enough how important this matter is and how wonderful it is to see head injuries taken seriously in the context of the laws of the game.

The dike continues its hot sequence

Daryl digue continued his run of absolutely scorching form, scoring both goals in Barnsley FC’s 2-1 win over Luton Town yesterday. His first count showed all of the great youngster’s best qualities – fierce running, physical play and a knack for finishing.

His second was a much more predatory ‘fox in the box’ type finish as he got the end of a rebound and put it in the back of the net. Dike actually got a chance to finish his hat trick from the penalty late in the game, but his shot wasn’t the best and was saved. Regardless, it was another solid performance from the Lion on loan and he now has seven goals in 13 games while leading Barnsley on a charge for promotion spots in the playoffs.

Free kicks
  • Orlando Pride and Orlando City players received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. That would put them in line for a second shot at the start of the week with no midweek games, minimizing the impact some have suffered after receiving their second dose.
  • Chris Mueller made a good point about what seems to happen every time Benji Michel scores.
  • I guess most, if not all, of you reading this are Orlando City fans, which makes this flowchart unnecessary, but I still found it amusing.
  • UNC has the highest number of alumni on the NWSL rosters.

It’ll do it for me today. You all stay safe there.


About Timothy Cheatham

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