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Lion Links: 12/29/18

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City officially adds two new Lions, #SavedTheCrew, SeaWolves set for Indoor Florida Derby, and more.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the final weekend of 2018, everyone! The calendar year has not been kind to fans of Orlando City or the Orlando Pride, so the quicker we can flip that page to 1/1/19, the better, I say.

You’ve probably got big plans to prepare for with regards to the upcoming New Year’s holiday, so I’ll dive right into today’s news after I wish a happy birthday to former Orlando City coach Jason Kreis, who turns 46 today. Although he didn’t get the Lions to the promised land, I enjoyed his candor in post-game press conferences and I could see on his face how much the losses bothered him and how much he appreciated the wins.

Orlando City Adds Two New Lions

Thursday was a busy day for Orlando City with two trades that saw Joe Bendik’s rights and Yoshimar Yotún both exiting the City Beautiful, while two new rumors surfaced of impending moves. Both of those rumors came to pass on Friday, with the Lions acquiring defender Danilo Acosta on loan from Real Salt Lake and signing Sebas Méndez out of Ecuador. Both are 21-year-olds and yet could see important minutes in 2019.

Crew Officially Saved

What seemed unthinkable in late 2017 has come to pass and the Columbus Crew will officially be staying in Columbus. Major League Soccer announced yesterday that the league reached an agreement in principle with the Haslam and Edwards families to become MLS team owners. They will begin operating the Crew in January.

“After several months of discussions, we are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement in principle with the Haslam and Edwards families for them to assume an ownership position in Major League Soccer and operate Columbus Crew SC starting in January, 2019,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement.

”While we work to finalize the deal promptly, we want to state publicly the tremendous collaboration and community support for Crew SC, which has set the stage for a powerful plan that includes a world-class soccer stadium – a critical step that will help ensure the club’s success on and off the field,” Garber continued.

As a result of yesterday’s developments, the city of Columbus has dropped its lawsuit against MLS and Precourt Sports Ventures.

SeaWolves Set for Indoor Florida Derby Tonight

The Orlando SeaWolves and Florida Tropics will hook up tonight in Lakeland at 7:05 p.m. in the first Indoor Florida Derby. It’s the first of six such match-ups on the schedule for the 2018-2019 MASL season and you can either drive over to Lakeland to see it live or you can catch it on MASL.TV. The SeaWolves are coming off their first win of the year and will be looking to improve to 2-3 on the year. The link above takes you to the match preview and here’s what the coach had to say about tonight’s game:

“This is a team that can score goals, they’ve proven that,” Head Coach Tom Traxler said after training on Wednesday. “Now, they had a tough outing against a very good Milwaukee Wave team, probably one of the best teams in the league at keeping possession. So, possession for us is going to be very important. We’re going to have to be good defensively, but we’re also going to have to continue the work that we did going forward and keep finding that goalscoring form that we’ve established against Mississauga.”

Join the SeaWolves’ Road Trip

Although it won’t help you for tonight’s game, you can join up with other fans and take a bus trip over to Lakeland to see the Orlando SeaWolves take on the Florida Tropics in the second Indoor Florida Derby of the season on Saturday, Jan. 12. For just $25 you can have someone else take you to the game (from Hunter’s Creek) and you also get a ticket to the game. I’d pay that just to have someone chauffeur me over there, honestly. Click the link above for details.

Pulisic to Chelsea Done?

Per a report, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea have agreed to a deal that would transfer USMNT star Christian Pulisic to the Premier League side. The reported transfer would cost Chelsea £45 million and wouldn’t take place until the summer. But Pulisic rumors are good business for media outlets right now, so who knows how this will play out?

Free Kicks
  • If you want to check out some outstanding U-17 and U-19 boys soccer, and if you’ve got nothing pressing to do Jan. 16-19, you can head over to Montverde Academy for their annual soccer tournament.
  • Those born on this date (other than Jason Kreis) include Mary Tyler Moore (1936), former Florida Panthers, Miami Dolphins, and Florida Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga (1937), Jon Voight (1938), The Good Place star Ted Danson (1947), New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton (1963), The Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz (1964), Jude Law (1972), Community, GLOW, and Bojack Horseman actress Alison Brie (1982), and USWNT / Utah Royals striker Christen Press (1988).

That is the entirety of what I have for you today. Enjoy your Saturday and check back later for our coverage of the Orlando SeaWolves’ first ever road game.