Happy Tuesday, Orlando.
If you’re reading this, you managed to survive another mundane Monday. Congratulations, and welcome back. Now that the ball is rolling on your week, let’s kick Tuesday off with another batch of Lion Links.
Away we go.
Why Molino Was Worth So Much to Minnesota
FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio provided some insight into the Kevin Molino-to-Minnesota deal that went down last week, explaining why Minnesota United valued Molino’s services enough to shell out $650,000 of allocation money. Both clubs feel happy with what they received in the transaction, with Orlando City’s happiness stemming from its newfound flexibility.
Said Orlando GM Niki Budalic: “I don’t think this is a new [league] standard. It’s a unique situation ... I have no doubt Kevin will be a success in Minnesota. I expect him to do well and be a good foundation piece for them. On the flip side, from our perspective, we’ll move on and have the flexibility to add pieces now if need be. It’s a win-win situation.”
As an expansion team, Minnesota had more assets to work with than most other teams in the running for Molino (Tenorio reports that Orlando received comparable offers from other clubs), which gave it the flexibility to spend more on acquiring Molino. The Lions, who tried but failed in their attempts to placate Molino, now have a boatload of allocation money and the freedom to use it as they see fit post-Molino.
Molino turned his lone season of success at the MLS level into a big pay raise, and Orlando City cashed in. Win-win, indeed, although it’s still sad to see The Original go.
MLS Players Union Responds to President Trump’s Travel Ban
On Friday, President Donald Trump issued a 90-day travel ban preventing citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. On Monday, the MLS Players Union issued a statement expressing its disappointment with the executive order.
MLS Players Union Statement regarding the travel ban by the White House pic.twitter.com/h6Hwy5wmKf— MLS Players Union (@MLSPlayersUnion) January 30, 2017
"We are deeply concerned, both specifically for our players who may be impacted, and more broadly for all people who will suffer as a result of the travel ban implemented on Friday," the statement begins. "Details on the practical impact of the ban are still emerging, and we are still sorting through the potential impact on our players and their families.”
Sertic Signs with Marseille
The Gregory Sértic saga has ended, with the defender signing with Olympique Marseille on Monday. We’ve known for a while now that Orlando City wouldn’t be acquiring his services, but it’s always fun to see where the old crush winds up after the flirtation we saw between he and OCSC last month. These are busy times for OM, which also just signed Dimitri Payet from West Ham for £25 million.
How the Chinese Super League Could Affect MLS
The Chinese Super League has made many headlines in recent months by throwing around huge sums of money and vacuuming up star players from the world’s biggest leagues in Europe. The Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A have all been affected by the seemingly endless pockets of the Chinese clubs, and MLS will also be affected as the type of European stars who used to turn their eyes to America after their peak days were over could now look to China for lucrative victory laps on their careers.
The Guardian argues that many of these signings — Didier Drogba, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, Kaká, the list goes on — haven’t amounted to dominance on the pitch, however expensive they are, and that this Chinese movement could force MLS to focus on its youth ahead of big-name European stars. It’s an interesting read for fans of a financially limited league.
Rowdies Owner Slapped with Lawsuit
Bill Edwards, businessman and owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, has recently announced a campaign to get the Rowdies to MLS one day. The road to MLS is a long one on its own, but now Edwards may have bigger problems to deal with as he’s now the subject of a lawsuit.
In a case filed in federal court in Atlanta, two whistleblowers who accuse Edwards of "looting" millions from his defunct mortgage company are asking the judge to freeze his assets or order him to post a sizable bond.
The lawsuit alleges that Edwards’ company cheated veterans and U.S. taxpayers in refinancing VA loans. While no public money is supposed to be needed in the plan to upgrade Al Lang Stadium for the Rowdies’ MLS hopes, but there is concern over what could happen is Edwards was hit with a judgement in the middle of construction.
That’s it for today, Mane Landers. Have a great Tuesday and we will be back in this space tomorrow to help you kick off Hump Day in style.