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Lion Links: 2/28/17

Kreis on the hot seat already? Will Earl Edwards Jr. see the field in MLS this season? What was the Shea-Barnes trade all about? All this and more in today’s Lion Links.

Germany U20 v USA U20 - International Match Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Morning Lions! Today is the last day of the shortest month of the year, just a few days away from the season's opening match, and the news just keeps flying around out there. It will be an electrifying year for us Mane Landers! Before we get started, don’t forget you can stream today’s OCB friendly against OKC Energy FC here. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. and it’s part of the MLS Video Assistant Referee test.

Now, on to today’s Lion Links.

Jason Kreis Makes the Hot Seat List

This new MLS season brings fresh faces on the pitch and outside of it. As well now soccer managers are the ones held responsible for the team’s results. With that being said here is FourFourTwo’s list of the league’s most "under pressure" managers. Orlando City’s boss is on it.

Earl Edwards Jr. Hoping to Make First-Team Debut this Season

Entering his third year with the club, goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. is itching to get first-team action this season. This year, Orlando City added veteran goalkeeper Josh Saunders, which pushes Edwards' dream a little further away. Still, the youngster, who has been praised for his talent and potential, said he takes everything as a learning experience.

“Since day one, since I’ve been here, I’ve had that urge about me. . . . But I understand the position and you just have to keep your head down and when your chance comes, take advantage of it.”

There’s More than Meets the Eye to the Barnes-Shea Swap
Uruguay v Jamaica: Group C - Copa America Centenario
Giles Barnes
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As we all know, the surprising swap of Brek Shea to Vancouver for Giles Barnes took place Saturday. A Lions favorite like Shea headed to a new adventure and joined the Whitecaps while the same deal saw Jamaican international Barnes become a Lion. What was the reason for the swap? Economic or tactical purposes? Charles Boehm from dives into that here.

Orlando City Tickets go Paperless as LionNation Mobile App Launched

Orlando City has launched a new app for both members and non-members of the club's membership program. The app, found on both the Apple Store and Google Play store, is set to enhance the fans' experience, with the most important feature being paperless electronic ticketing. Teresa Tatlonghari, the club’s vice president of marketing, discussed the app’s benefits.

“The mobile app is designed for all fans of the club, not just those who purchased LionNation memberships. It will be the preferred method for all fans to access electronic tickets on gameday. There will be two different interfaces allowing our members to access their enhanced accounts, while allowing non-members the opportunity to purchase tickets and manage them through the app directly.”

U-20 USMNT Beats Mexico

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team won 1-0 over rival Mexico, thanks to a 29th-minute header from captain Erik Palmer-Brown. Orlando City center back Tommy Redding and the rest of the U-20 national team is one step away from World Cup qualification with a date against El Salvador ahead on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Immigration Ban Might Affect U.S. World Cup Bid

It is no secret that the U.S. is a clear favorite to host the 2026 World Cup. But President Trump's new immigration policies might just cut that dream short. Aleksander Ceferin, who is FIFA's vice president, had this to say about the issue:

"It is the World Cup. They should be able to attend the event, whatever their nationality is. But let’s hope that it does not happen.”

Diskerud Finally on His Way Out of NYCFC?

Mix Diskerud has suggested in a poem on Instagram that his future lies away from New York City. Diskerud hasn't played since July and was not included in the club's preseason camp.

Zlatan Says He's a Lion

Maybe this will be taken a little out of context by some of us, but hey, who wouldn't love seeing the giant Swede wearing the purple colors? It costs nothing to dream. This is what Ibrahimovic said after winning the EFL Cup:

"I'm an animal. I feel like a lion. The lion is born a lion."

There you have it, Mane Landers. We are all excited for this weekend's opener against NYCFC. May we have a right foot start and a successful season ahead of us. And good luck to Orlando City B in today’s preseason friendly against Oklahoma City Energy FC over at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. See you guys next week!