It's an interesting time of year to be an American soccer fan.
The MLS off-season is wrapping up, just as teams across the rest of the world are preparing for their stretch run or fighting to avoid relegation. In Orlando, the Lions appear to be just about done shaping the roster for their inaugural MLS campaign. There are still position battles to be waged once preseason training begins, but the players who Orlando City fans can expect to be major contributors this season are (most likely) already in camp.
While the smoke may be clearing around MLS, there's still plenty to get to in this morning's Lion Links. So let's jump in...
MLS Toronto FC Making Moves
Toronto FC's busy offseason has been water cooler conversation for MLS fans in recent weeks, but all the Reds' wheeling and dealing has not been without controversy. Just days after bringing home U.S. Men's National Team hero and struggling striker Jozy Altidore, TFC confirmed the signing of Sebastian Giovincio today on a loaded DP deal that should strengthen their offensive attack.
The Juventus striker will join the team in July and gives Toronto a proven commodity to pair with Altidore up front. The "formica atomica," as he's known in Italy, becomes the second-highest MLS player behind Kaká, with a five-year deal reportedly worth $7 million a year.
Some have accused MLS of stocking Toronto with superstars in order to create another prestigious club after the departures of Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry from the league. This could certainly be an interesting controversy to follow moving forward.
Larin and Canada U-20s fall to Cuba
The first pick in last week's MLS SuperDraft had the best chance of the game for the Canadians in the 25th minute, but sent an open header over the bar from just outside the penalty area. The loss means Canada will need to win its final group stage game against Honduras and get some help in order to have any chance of making it to next year's U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Brook Lopez...Orlando City fan?
The Brooklyn Nets All-Star was spotted wearing an Orlando City shirt while posing with fans after a game earlier this week.
While it's exciting to see an athlete from across the country rocking some Lions gear, I can't say for sure whether Lopez is actually a fan or not. If anyone knows, drop us a tip in the comments section.
It looks like the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew SC are aiming to get in on the offseason MLS transfer action. It's all but confirmed that the Fire will grab Wigan Athletic fullback Shaun Maloney, though they may have to wait until July to get him. A few hundred miles to the east, the Crew look to be making eyes at Argentine right back Hernán Grana.
Beckham Moving the Galaxy to Miami?
Wait...what? In perhaps the most ridiculous claim in the history of American soccer, an actual website posted an actual article actually claiming that David Beckham would somehow buy the LA Galaxy and move them to Miami.
That's it for today. Remember, Media Day is on Friday and The Mane Land crew will be in the building to provide you coverage of this exciting event.