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Lion Links: 1/2/18

Orlando’s chances of hosting a World Cup match, MLS jersey reveals, Liverpool set to sue Nike, and more.

NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Happy New Year, everybody! Now while a new year might mean some things change, one thing that remains the same is me being here every Tuesday to give you your daily dose of soccer-related news. With that in mind, let’s get into today’s Links.

“Small City” Status May Help Hosting Chances

While the 2026 World Cup has yet to be officially awarded, there’s already speculation about which cities would host matches if the tournament was (partially) held on U.S. soil. Compared to major U.S. cities like Los Angeles and New York, Orlando falls on the small side. That may end up playing into the city’s favor, though, at least if a quote from Sunil Gulati last month is to be believed.

Is it natural to think that places like Los Angeles and New York have an edge? The answer is, of course...but after two or three or four of those big cities, then it’s wide open.

While there are 60 cities in competition for only 25 hosting spots, Orlando might have a better chance at landing a hosting gig than one might think. Orlando City joining MLS has certainly raised the city’s soccer profile, not to mention Orlando City Stadium hosting a USMNT World Cup qualifier this past fall. Only time will tell whether or not that will be enough, though, and the U.S. doesn’t even have the bid locked up yet, as Morocco is also competing for the right to host the 2026 tournament.

Jersey Reveals Galore

A new year brings new jerseys for the teams of MLS, and there have already been plenty of jersey reveals.

Here’s one from the New York Red Bulls:

And another from the New England Revolution:

And while this isn’t a full reveal, the Portland Timbers have given fans a little tease of what’s to come:

A...Different Kind of Jersey Reveal

Last Saturday, Nike ran an ad on its official online store encouraging shoppers to buy a Barcelona jersey with Philipe Coutinho’s name on the back of it. The only problem? Coutinho hasn’t been signed by Barcelona, meaning that Nike wrongly announced a transfer that hasn’t happened. And it could end up costing the sportswear company big, with reports that Liverpool will sue Nike, which is the Catalan club’s kit supplier and also sponsors Coutinho himself. The club is said to be furious over the sportswear supplier’s “carelessness” and intends to make the company pay for it. The ad itself can be seen below:

The 2018 Soccer Calendar

2018 is another soccer-packed year, and is here to make sure that you have the full rundown of all the important North American soccer dates you could ever ask for. A quick look at the first half of the list includes the MLS schedule dropping in early January, the NWSL and MLS drafts on Jan. 18 and 19, respectively, the USSF general meeting on Feb. 8, MLS opening day on March 3, CONCACAF Champions League final from April 18-25, and of course the 2018 FIFA World Cup beginning on June 14. Obviously there’s plenty more going on than the things touched on above, with the second half of the year not even included, so feel free to check out the list yourself and perhaps bookmark it for easy access. We wouldn’t want you to miss anything.

Free Kicks
  • Two former NWSL players are on their way to France.
  • This compilation of Phil Jones is not relevant in any way whatsoever. But it sure is horrifying.
  • Today’s birthdays include Cuba Gooding Jr., Dax Shepard, Taye Diggs, and Kate Bosworth.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Y’all come back now ya hear?