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Lion Links: 1/29/19

A new off-field hire for Orlando, a USMNT attendance problem, a training site proposal, a youngster with potential, and more.

Panama v United States Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. Another week has brought us that much closer to the start of the new MLS season. We got to see some new USMNT faces make their debuts in a pretty good overall performance, and Orlando City is in its second week of preseason training camp. As always, there’s plenty to talk about so lets jump right in.

New Orlando City Hiring

It was announced yesterday that Orlando City hired Pedro Franklin de Araujo as the club’s senior vice president of marketing and brand. His responsibilities will be to oversee all things involving the brand and marketing of the club from top to bottom. Continuing a recent trend regarding new hirings, de Araujo is a native Brazilian and comes to Orlando by way of Octagon, a large sports and entertainment agency. His resume includes two FIFA World Cups as well as two Olympics, and he’s also worked alongside MLS and the USSF. Welcome to Orlando, Pedro.

U.S. Soccer’s Attendance Problem

The U.S. Men’s National Team won its first game under Gregg Berhalter on Sunday, defeating a Panama side 3-0 that was admittedly not at full strength (nor was the USMNT, for that matter). Unfortunately the attendance was lacking, to say the very least. The game, which was played at the 63,000-seat State Farm Stadium, only had an announced attendance of 9,040, and while only a small part of the Arizona Cardinals’ home stadium was made available to purchase tickets, the fact that the entire stadium wasn’t open is a problem in and of itself. From tickets being pricey to a young team unlikely to draw a big crowd, the U.S. Soccer Federation needs to re-examine the current state of soccer in the country and adjust its strategies for selling tickets accordingly.

Inter Miami Training Site Proposal

Inter Miami has submitted a proposal to Fort Lauderdale for the construction of a new training facility and multipurpose stadium on the ground where the old Lockhart Stadium stood. The training facilities would be used for the soon-to-be Inter Miami MLS team, as well as being the home for the same team’s youth academy and USL team, should there be one. The proposed multipurpose stadium would be capable of hosting soccer matches at the professional and international levels, as well as youth tournaments and high school events. The full proposal can be found here.

Josh Sargent’s Potential

As things currently stand, some of the more well-known young American soccer names are guys like Tim Weah, Weston McKennie, and of course, Christian Pulisic. Perhaps less familiar to the general public is the name of Josh Sargent, although that may not be the case for too long. Sargent has two goals in his first five appearances for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga, and has played very well since breaking into the first team. He’s got the fundamental skills necessary to succeed at the highest level, what’s needed now is regular game time to foster the continued development of those skills. It’s tough to say how high his ceiling is, but there are certainly plenty of reasons for optimism.

Free Kicks

Don’t forget that the USMNT will face Costa Rica this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET — a game that can be seen on FOX. Additionally, Orlando City will play a closed-door friendly against the New York Red Bulls on the same day to close out the team’s time at IMG Academy. That’ll do it for me today, y’all stay safe out there. Ciao.