Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope the week is treating you well as we inch closer and closer to a holiday break. Let’s go ahead and jump right into today’s links to get your Thursday morning started off on the right foot.
Orlando City is Close to Signing Antônio Carlos
The Mane Land’s sources confirmed reports out of Brazil that OCSC is close to signing Brazilian center back Antônio Carlos from Palmeiras. Although the finishing touches are still being worked on, if all goes well Carlos will join the Lions on a one-year loan with the option to make the move permanent at the end of the loan period. After losing Lamine Sané this off-season, the club needs a replacement center back to play alongside Robin Jansson on the back line. The 26-year-old could potentially be a Lion for years if he adapts to MLS and Oscar Pareja’s plans moving forward.
Orlando City B Announces Opener, Home Opener
Orlando City B will play its first game at its new home on Saturday, April 11 against the Chattanooga Red Wolves. The home opener will come after a two-game road trip as the Young Lions’ first match of the year is on the road on March 28 against New England Revolution II. Then they will continue the road trip on April 4 to take on North Texas FC.
A week after that is OCB’s first game at home in the 5,400-seat Osceola County Stadium. The Young Lions will also become the opponent for Union Omaha’s home opener on Saturday, April 25. The start to the season is difficult and will be a tough test right out of the gate in the team’s second season in the USL League One.
Cristian Higuita Signs with Atletico Junior
Atletico Junior signed former Lions midfielder Cristian Higuita and took to social media to welcome former Orlando City’s Cristian Higuita.
Higuita arrived in Barranquilla and is excited for the change in scenery and the next step in his career.
“I am very happy to get to this club, I hope I get everything to get ready. We all know what Junior means and what is going to be played next year, we know the quality of players he has. Now I need time to mate and so being fit.”
It’s Official: Charlotte Awarded MLS Expansion Team
MLS officially announced Charlotte as the city for the league’s 30th team, and the future side will begin play in 2021. The billionaire owner of the Carolina Panthers, David Tepper, led the expansion bid and it will be exciting to see such a soccer-rich area finally represented at the professional level in MLS.
“The awarding of an expansion team for Charlotte by Major League Soccer is a proud moment and significant for Charlotte and everyone in our community,” Tepper said. “I’ve made clear for a long time that I have two goals as a team owner: sustained winning on the field and making a difference in the community. These will be our goals with Charlotte’s MLS team, and the work begins today.”
- New York City FC announced that four games will be moved to Citi Field for the 2020 MLS season.
- OL Groupe, the same company that owns Olympique Lyonnais, completed the purchase of Reign FC and an official announcement will come tomorrow.
- Sky Blue FC named Freya Coombe as the team’s official head coach. Coombe served as coach on an interim basis for the team in 2019 after the departure of Denise Reddy this past summer.
- MLS suggests that Charlotte could be Atlanta United’s new rival team, even though the team won’t play until 2021 and all signs have pointed towards rivalry between Atlanta and Nashville SC.
- Carlo Ancelotti agrees to be be the next manager of Everton as the club free falls in the English Premier League.
- United States Men’s National Team midfielder Weston McKennie’s shoulder injury will be treated conservatively to avoid surgery.
- MLS transfer fee spending is on the rise and only time will tell if Orlando City is willing to keep up.
Transfer fee spend in MLS by year:— 25 Stories That Made MLS (@25_stories) December 17, 2019
2015 - $28m
2016 - $31m
2017 - $59m
2018 - $60m
2019 - $132m
Quite the jump as MLS clubs are playing catch up.
To listen to MLS's first big transfer saga - listen to Ep 7 here. https://t.co/uDJv5yZ97V
That’ll do it for me today, Mane Landers. Have a great Wednesday and stay safe!