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Lion Links: 12/18/19

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Orlando City transfer news, OCB’s early schedule drops, Higuita’s new club, and more.

Colo Colo v Palmeiras - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

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.”

Free Kicks

That’ll do it for me today, Mane Landers. Have a great Wednesday and stay safe!