Happy Friday to all our friends, family members, acquaintances, readers (a.k.a. our friends), and comrades out there. OCB played Louisville City FC last night, losing 3-1. We wish the best to the young lads in purple to move past this and good luck to the older lads in purple, who play against Columbus Crew SC tomorrow afternoon. But before that exciting away match, we have some Lion Links.
Luis Gil Deal Reportedly Stalled
The deal that would permit Orlando City to acquire 23-year-old midfielder Luis Gil has stalled, per two sources involved with the transfer. Orlando was close to signing the American on loan from Mexican club Querétaro FC, but both parties couldn’t settle on financial agreements.
Gil hasn’t been used much in Mexico, only making 10 league appearances in a little over a year. However, in the past he has been instrumental in MLS play, especially under Jason Kreis, who was his head coach during their time together at Real Salt Lake. Under Kreis from 2010-2013, Gil appeared in 84 regular season matches, scoring eight goals whilst adding six assists. The American added 50 more appearances for RSL under new management before signing a three-year deal that would send him to Mexico in 2015.
If the deal doesn’t fall through, Gil would play for the Lions on a loan that would last the remainder of the year. Another source says that if the move were to happen, OCSC would pay RSL $50,000 in 2018 Target Allocation Money in exchange for his playing rights. If Gil was to sign a permanent deal to play in Orlando, the club would ship an addition $50,000 in TAM to Utah.
Jason Kreis Responds to Cyle Larin Transfer Rumors
Head Coach Jason Kreis responded to the rumors mulling around Cyle Larin, who is attracting interest from European clubs such as Everton, Nottingham Forest, and Brighton in England, Turkish club Besiktas, Scottish side Celtic, and Belgian club Anderlecht. Kreis commented on the subject, saying that the entire situation is “interesting.”
"From my point of view it is interesting," Kreis told reporters. "I have the inside information, which tells you that it is clearly just speculation. There has been nobody who's come to us with any offers, there's been nothing formal, and so for us it is clearly just that, a lot of talk."
Orlando City B 1-3 Louisville City FC
Orlando City B lost to Louisville City FC last night, with the final score finishing 3-1 in favor of the bad guys. The match welcomed 2,741 fans in Orlando, a record home crowd for the young Lions. OCB failed to score a goal for themselves for the second straight game, with the only goal on the Lions’ home scoreboard an own-goal in the first half. The first 45 minutes ended 1-1, but Louisville would go on to score twice in the second half. Our Michael Citro was on hand and has the full recap for you at the link above.
OCB plays its next game on April 4 in Orlando City Stadium as the Lions welcome Toronto FC II.
USL Introducing Third-Tier League in 2019
The USL is looking to create a new third division league, set to be launched in 2019. The new league will spotlight the creation of new third-division clubs, with the hope that these clubs will blossom into what fans want and love. The USL believes some regions’ lack of a professional soccer club is one reason expansion is taking place, with the league targeting large communities that have a market for soccer.
Plans for creating a third-division league have been in the making for more than 18 months now. Discussions with experienced owners in the professional sports business have been underway. Inaugural teams, branding, and competition format will be released this summer.
The End of the Hexagonal?
48 teams will now participate in upcoming World Cups, starting in 2026. The addition of more slots to qualify brings numerous changes to the setup of the Cup.
With the number of new teams added, more teams will advance out of the CONCACAF region. The number of CONCACAF teams guaranteed entry will double to six instead of the regular three.
This will likely end the Hexagonal qualifying tournament, with the replacement being constructed by the FIFA Council, who are meeting on May 9 to discuss and ratify the format for the 2026 World Cup.
That’s all for now, comrades. Have a good one today, and have a good one tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Don’t forget to cheer on our Lions tomorrow as they play Columbus Crew SC, which will be Orlando’s first away match of the 2017 season. When watching, be on the lookout for a guy with a cool shirt, dope shorts, nice shoes, and a whistle and some cards. That will probably be the referee.