Let's skip the chit-chat this morning and get right to your morning Lion Links. Because we got news...
Guess what everybody?
When Orlando City SC takes on New York City FC this Sunday, it will do so in front of over 60,000 fans, as the Lions' announced on Monday that the home opener is officially a sellout.
This really shouldn't come as a surprise to those of you who've been following Orlando's #FillTheBowl campaign, but the club made it official on Monday with an announcement on the team website. The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN2, giving Orlando a chance to make a good first impression on soccer fans across the country.
As far as making a little attendance history goes, the Citrus Bowl seats approximately 65,000 people, so Orlando will most likely fall short of the all-time mark of 69,225 set by LA and New York in a 1996 match at the Rose Bowl. However, the Lions still have a chance to do something pretty impressive.
When 65,000 Orlando City fans fill the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, it will be the largest crowd to watch an MLS game, outside of Seattle, in almost eight years.
Parade, meet rain.
Unfortunately, all the good news you've just read about comes with an asterisk attached, as players and owners continue to negotiate over CBA details and put the start of the 2015 MLS season in jeopardy. While there's nothing groundbreaking to report on this front today, we do know a little bit more about the current situation.
Phil Rawlins continued to express faith that a deal will get done before Sunday, while also acknowledging that no one from the club's front office is currently representing the Lions in Washington, where negotiations are taking place. Amobi Okugo and Tally Hall are in D.C. on behalf of the players.
Also, should a work stoppage take place, Orlando City players would not be able to play on loan with Louisville City FC, despite the fact that the USL is not involved in negotiations.
Interesting MLS/CBA conundrum. I'm told even if OCSC loans players to Louisville tomorrow, those players cant play if on strike/in MLSPU.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) March 2, 2015
Rivas faces possible suspension
Orlando may be down a man when NYCFC comes to town on Sunday, and it could be a big loss.
Midfielder Carlos Rivas is facing the possibility of a suspension following his elbow to the face of Luis Garrido in the Lions 3-0 preseason loss to the Dynamo on Saturday. Rivas was sent off following the incident, but more disciplinary action could be forthcoming.
It's been a frustrating couple of weeks for Rivas, who was appearing in his first action since the preseason opener against D.C. United, where he sustained a mild shoulder injury.
Nothing is official yet, but Orlando would hate to lose a guy like Rivas for any amount of time.
Lions open community futsal court
Orlando unveiled a futsal court at the John H. Jackson Community Center in Parramore.
photo credit: OrlandoCitySC.com
Futsal is basically a version of soccer played on a small court, making it an ideal complement to a playground or community center.
Brek Shea was on hand for the unveiling, along with Orlando City Foundation President and Director of Community Relations Kay Rawlins. The community center is located nearby where the team's new stadium will be built next year.
That's all the Lion Links for today. Remember, great moments are born from great opportunity.