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Lion Links: 11/27/17

Stadium area business is booming, MLS playoffs, RSL women look for support, and more!

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. Well, November is winding down, and so is the MLS season. It might not have been a very busy soccer weekend, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have stuff to keep you entertained as you start your week. Let’s get to the Links!

Orlando Businesses get an OCSC bump

Orlando City’s new stadium wasn’t just a lovely new addition for the team and the fans, it was an economic boon for nearby businesses. Simply having over 25,000 more people in the area on game days is going to increase business, though that isn’t the only benefit. There are new businesses popping up to cater to the soccer crowd, and other events that are taking place in the Purple Palace, adding to the potential customer base. So far, it’s been a win-win for both Orlando City and the Parramore district.

MLS Playoffs’ Second Leg

Later this week, Toronto FC takes on the Columbus Crew (Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET), and the Seattle Sounders take on the Houston Dynamo (Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET). Toronto will get both Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore back in its lineup for this important match. Given that the two make up a large portion of Toronto’s offense, it should make for an interesting match. Both matches will also feature the “Icelandic Clap,” as supporters for Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders utilize the cheer during their games. The history is a little fuzzy on how it got started, but keep an ear out for it all the same.

RSL Women’s Team Looking for Increased Support

NWSL franchise FC Kansas City has become the new women’s side at Real Salt Lake. In doing so, the team hopes to increase the number of supporters next season. When in Kansas City, the club averaged 1,788 fans. Compare that to the top two NWSL clubs in terms of attendance during the 2017 season: the Portland Thorns with an average 17,678 fans, and the Orlando Pride with an average 6,187 fans. The new RSL women’s team is hoping it can duplicate that kind of success by keeping ticket prices low and tapping into the current women’s college soccer fan base.

English Premier League Tops in Average Pay

The average player in the EPL earns £2,642,508 (approximately $3,524,180) per year. That works out to £50,817 (approximately $67,772) per week. That figure is good enough to top every league in the world. For comparison, the average MLS salary is $226,454 per year, or less than a 10th of the EPL. Truly gives some perspective on how far MLS has to grow.

Free Kicks
  • Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski could be headed to Los Angeles. Eventually. It seems his wife, Anna, has some health-food-related businesses and dreams of moving to L.A. to expand her brands. Unfortunately for the L.A. clubs, Robert is on contract at Bayern Munich until 2021. So don’t hold your breath.
  • Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos may have given us the best flop of the year in the match against Schalke on Saturday. Check it out.
  • Just in case you’re following the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, here is a bracket (as of Sunday morning), to see what’s going on.
  • Famous birthdays include the indomitable Bruce Lee (1940-1973), Bill Nye the Science Guy (61), rock legend Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), Jaleel “Did I do that?” White (40), actor James Avery (1945-2013), politician Caroline Kennedy (59), actor William Fitchner (61), and director Kathryn Bigelow (66).

That’s going to do it for today, folks. Keep checking back for more soccer news from The Mane Land.