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Lion Links: 3/3/18

Pierre Da Silva suspended, D.C. United travel troubles for the opener, Pride players shine in Algarve Cup, and more.

Portugal v Australia - Algarve Cup Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Happy weekend, Mane Landers! It’s a beautiful weekend with some great weather so be sure to enjoy it. Today is a great day as Orlando City will kick off the 2018 season against D.C. United tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Hope to see you all there at the stadium. It’s going to be a rocking place! Friday was a busy day for news so let’s get to the links.

Pierre Da Silva Suspended for Three Games

Last night, Major League Soccer suspended Orlando City midfielder Pierre Da Silva and Philadelphia Union midfielder Fafa Picacult for three games due to use of offensive language. Both players will also be fined an undisclosed amount. Due to the suspension, Da Silva will miss matches against D.C. United tonight, Minnesota United on March 10, and New York City FC on March 17. This isn’t ideal considering how many other players are missing from Jason Kreis’ lineup.

D.C. United with Travel Issues for Tonight’s Match

As Orlando City players were preparing for the season opener, D.C. United players were having a heck of a time getting to Florida. D.C. United was expected to arrive in Florida on Friday afternoon but due to the weather (high winds and a deluge of rain), the team was unable to travel due to flight cancellations. According to Steven Goff, the team will travel to Orlando this morning via private charter. This is not an ideal start for D.C. United but unfortunately we can’t control the weather.

Pride Players’ Algarve Cup Update

There were a handful of Orlando Pride players in action on Friday as the Algarve Cup continued. Australia drew Portugal, 0-0, in a match that featured Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond in the starting lineup for the Matildas, while Nadia Gomes received her first senior team cap with a substitute appearance for Portugal. Kennedy and Van Egmond started the game with Gomes coming on in the 66th minute. The Pride also had defender Shelina Zadorsky in action for the Canadian Women’s National team’s 1-0 win over Russia. Zadorsky played the entire game for Canada and helped her side get the clean sheet.

Orlando City and Fanatics Strike Up Partnership

Orlando City has entered into a long-term retail agreement with Fanatics, creating what they’re calling a better omnichannel experience. Fanatics, which has operated the e-commerce for the team since it joined the league in 2015, will now take over in-venue operations for fans when they shop in the stadium and online. This will include a completely renovated main team store and new concourse kiosks with an expanded line of gear. Fanatics will also do the same for the Orlando Pride providing great service for both teams.

Orlando City Extends Relationship with Central Florida Audi Dealers

Orlando City also extended its relationship with Central Florida Audi dealers. Central Florida Audi dealers will continue to be the official luxury automobile partner of Orlando City but will also expand their support to the Orlando Pride as well.

“The Central Florida Audi Dealers have been a great partner of ours and are always looking for ways to get more involved with our organization,” said Chris Gallagher, Orlando City’s Chief Revenue Officer in an official press release. “Bringing Orlando Pride under Audi is a testament to the value the team brings to our partners. We look forward to this continued relationship with the Central Florida Audi Dealers.”

This deal will run through 2020.

How to Watch Out-of-Market MLS Matches

As many of you know (or may not know), MLS Live is going away this year MLS streaming moving to ESPN +. Since ESPN’s new service has not yet launched, will be streaming all matches in the MLS Live section for free until the new ESPN+ service launches. This website will explain how to get set up so that you have no issues on game day. Be sure to check it out!

Red Bulls, Whitecaps Complete Massive Trade

The New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps completed a major trade Friday afternoon. The Red Bulls acquired Tim Parker from Vancouver and the Caps landed midfielder Felipe, $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money split over two years, and an international roster spot for 2018. The Red Bulls have looked for another center back to complete their defense. A few weeks ago Parker voiced his concern with staying in Vancouver, which most likely led to the trade. This is a big move for both teams as they look to bolster their squads before the season begins.

Free Kicks
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be allowed to choose his future according to his manager, Jose Mourinho. According to the manager “We all think it is his last season at Manchester United”. If this is the case, we could see Zlatan move to MLS as there have been a few teams such as LA Galaxy who have been linked to the Swedish player.
  • Former USMNT player Charlie Davies announced on Friday that he will be hanging up his cleats.

It’s time to end on a positive, as well as exciting, note. Today is the big day — the season opener. It feels like last season ended so a long time ago but we’ve made it. Today I share a video put out by the club that should get you excited, so let’s get pumped. It’s game day! Go City!