Two games down, one to go for Orlando's contribution to the Copa América Centenario, and with Brazil vs. Haiti still to come, expect a significantly larger crowd to be in attendance unless weather once again plays a factor when the Copa action goes down at Camping World Stadium. There is more Copa news below, so let's dive head-first into today's Lion Links.
Orlando City Stadium News
The stadium is slowly rising out of the ground over at West Church and Terry and, just like the stands, anticipation is rising for our opening game of the 2017 MLS season in the yet unsponsored stadium. One thing that has been announced is that Comcast Spectacor will be the new venue provider of food and beverage under their Spectra program at the Lions' new home. Fingers crossed that concession prices will be more in line with the MLS standard rather than the current exorbitant rates of CWS.
U.S. Open Cup Fixture Announcement
It was officially confirmed yesterday that the Orlando City Lions will take on the Jacksonville Armada of the North American Soccer League in their fourth-round U.S. Open Cup game on June 15 at 7 p.m. at Southern Oak Stadium of Jacksonville University. The university venue isn't the current home ground of the Armada, however, since they ground share with the Jacksonville Suns, alternate arrangements had to be made due to a Double-A baseball game scheduled for that night. Tickets for the game will go on sale at noon on Thursday.
Copa América + Gold Cup = ?
A report on ESPN Deportes (in Spanish, hit the translate button if bilingual isn't your thing) says that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF are in negotiations to merge the Copa América and Gold Cup into one tournament. While that decision may make financial sense in terms of TV, tickets and infrastructure, the Copa América Centenario hasn't been the greatest success so far as a tournament in the eyes of many, and with the majority of nations participating being from South America, a permanent placement in the U.S. might be a step too far for some. Any changes would have to be ratified at the conventions for the participating confederations, so this is not yet a done deal. But with this much chatter, expect it to be confirmed sooner rather than later.
Pride Ready to Roar
After having the past weekend off, the Orlando Pride return to action this weekend taking on the Western New York Flash. Head Coach Tom Sermanni highlighted that the break has been productive and that he is looking forward to welcoming the players on international duty back into the lineup. Those players couldn't be returning at a better time as the Flash have scored nine goals since the Pride won the last meeting between these two teams and are currently top dog in this week's NWSL power rankings.
That's it for today, Mane Landers. Stay tuned for our continuous Copa América coverage (you can hear me talk about the Copa on local NPR station WMFE) and I will also be on WMFE again this morning for their local news program, Intersection, starting at 9 a.m. ET, which will be covering the Orlando City visa investment program and a few other things relating to soccer in the City Beautiful. So make sure to tune in and make sure you like The Mane Land on Facebook to keep up with everything you need to know about soccer.