After taking MLS fans to the brink of worries, with travel plans, tailgates, and opening days hanging in the balance, the news out of K Street is that the Player's Union and MLS have come to terms on a new deal. Since we know you spent most of the day refreshing your Twitter feed and searching the internet for positive signs of progress in the CBA talks, here are all the soccer links you missed.
Starting with the obvious, Major League Soccer and the Players' Union have reached a deal. All signs (finally) point to the season starting right on time and Orlando is ready for one gigantic soccer party on Sunday. The Mane Land will be at the Citrus Bowl on Sunday to bring you all of the excitement of the club's first-ever MLS match.
#FillTheBowl Just Got Fuller!
Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 4, 2015
Showing the eternal optimism Orlando City SC is known for, the club hasn't missed a beat in the run up to this Sunday's inaugural game. Today the Lions announced 2,000 standing room only tickets would be made available for the North Terrace of the Citrus Bowl.
The other big news out of City's Media Day was the link up with Walt Disney World Resorts as a new multi-year sponsor. If you are one of the 62,000 fans making their way to the stadium this weekend, the club has put together this handy transportation guide to help ease your travels.
MLS Manifest Destiny
Now that Orlando can safely watch the expansion game from inside the party, the speculation continues. The Guardian is the latest to shine the crystal ball and look into Major League Soccer's future. Spoiler alert: it's not Las Vegas! There's some good coverage of Orlando City here between the lines as well.
We're Number Two!
Also over at The Guardian, a look at how USL and NASL are battling it out for the second division ranking in the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NASL has been considered the number two league, but USL's rebranding and close relationship with Major League Soccer seems to be challenging that notion.
U.S. Women Come From Behind In Algarve Cup
Carli Lloyd put the national team on her back yesterday, scoring two goals in the second half to come from behind against Norway. After the 2-1 win, the U.S. Women are back in action Friday against Switzerland. It was nice to get a win after the last Algarve Cup fiasco and the USWNT's recent run of form. Maybe it's the first step toward a Women's World Cup title in 2015.
Storybook stuff out of Canada the other night. The Montreal Impact, one of the worst clubs in MLS last year, used a goal from a rookie striker to break a 3-3 aggregate draw against Pachuca in the 94th minute. It was an absolutely beautiful desperation goal, too. The Impact are on to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, amazingly enough. That's how heroes are made, right there.
There are your Lion Links for March 5. It's time to get those tailgate plans in order, buy up all the purple streamers you can find, and make sure those Orlando City jerseys are washed and ready to go for Sunday.
Three days to go until its time to hang out with 62,000 of your closest friends. Go City!