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Lion Links: 12/24/19

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Orlando City’s newest signing, MLS transfer roundup, U.S. youngster may join Jurgen Klinsmann, and more.

Racing Club v Corinthians - Copa CONMEBOL Sudamericana Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday Mane Landers, and happy Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate the holiday. I’ve been feeling very under the weather and there’s some signing news today, so let’s not waste any more time.

Orlando City Signs Schlegel

Yesterday Orlando City announced the signing of 22-year-old Argentine center back Rodrigo Schlegel on loan. Schlegel joins the club on a one-year loan from Argentina’s Racing Club, and the year-long deal includes an option to buy him at the end of the 2020 MLS season. Schlegel’s arrival provides some much-needed depth in the center of defense after a number of off-season departures. While his first team experience at Racing seems to have been rather limited, Orlando has continued its recent trend of signing young players to short loan deals with an option to buy, making Schlegel’s acquisition another relatively low-risk affair. Welcome to Orlando!

MLS Transfer Roundup

There have been a number of signings by MLS clubs in recent days, and as usual, I’ll bring you a quick summary of some of the more notable ones. First, the New England Revolution signed Samba Camara from Ligue 2 side Le Havre. The 27-year-old Frenchman is a center back who will be added using the all-magical Targeted Allocation Money. Next up, the Philadelphia Union have acquired Jose Andres Martinez from Zulia FC in Venezuela. Martinez is a 25-year-old defensive midfielder and is Philadelphia’s first off-season signing. Finally, while this isn’t a transfer, there are now reports that Edinson Cavani may be headed to Atletico Madrid rather than Inter Miami CF as has been widely reported over the last several months.

U.S. Youth May Join Jurgen Klinsmann

U.S. youth player Konrad De La Fuente may be on his way out of Barcelona. There are reports that talks over a new deal for the 18-year-old have stalled, and that he wishes to join Jurgen Klinsmann at Hertha Berlin in the German top flight. De La Fuente has been with Barcelona in its youth system since 2014, and has represented the the United States at varying youth levels since 2016. He played for the U-20 team in the U-20 World Cup earlier in the year, and Hertha reportedly is very eager to sign him. While his parents would apparently prefer for him to stay in Spain, he is said to understandably have been excited by the prospect of playing first-team football, especially in a league where a number of young Americans have made recent breakthroughs.

Qatar’s Hosting Ability in Question

It’s an understatement to say that there are a litany of questions surrounding Qatar’s ability to host the 2022 World Cup. The recently completed 2019 Club World Cup was a very, very small dry run of the nation’s hosting abilities, and the final had to be moved from Education City Stadium to Khalifa Stadium because the former wasn’t actually ready to host matches yet. One of the biggest concerns is where on earth people will stay. The nation aims to have 70,000 hotel rooms ready by 2022, but the 2018 World Cup saw a staggering 3 million people attend the tournament in Russia. Plans are being made to use cruise ships as floating hotels and the World Cup organizing committee has spoken to organizers of the Glastonbury and Coachella music festivals to get advice on how to accommodate so many people, but only time will tell if Qatar is ready for the hosting duties that are fast approaching.

Free Kicks
  • There’s a lot of silverware between these four managers in the Premier League.

That’ll be all for me today. Happy holidays, everyone!