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Lion Links: 12/3/19

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MLS conference alignment, transfer happenings, possible league expansions, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. Another week means we’re that much closer to the start of the new MLS season and you can’t say fairer than that. There’s a lot to discuss today so we’ll jump straight into it.

MLS Conference Alignments Announced

Major League Soccer has announced its conference alignments for the upcoming 2020 season. With two expansion teams joining the league in the 2020 season it needed to be determined which conferences they would be joining. Inter Miami CF was slotted into the Eastern Conference but in a bit of a surprise, Nashville SC will join the Western Conference. This means that each conference will now have 13 teams, with Nashville likely moving to the East in 2021, and for the first time every team will not play one another. The Mane Land’s own Michael Citro took a deeper look into what the new conference alignment and scheduling will mean for Orlando City.

MLS Transfer Happenings

As is always the case with this time of year, the MLS transfer wheel continues to turn. Inter Miami announced the signing of former New York Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles, who had become a free agent after the end of the 2019 MLS season. The signing bodes well for the club’s immediate goalkeeping fortunes, as Robles is an eight-year veteran of MLS. But with Robles turning 36 in May, it’s unclear how long he’ll continue to perform well at the highest level, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Miami isn’t done with business in that area. Additionally, FC Dallas traded Dominique Badji to Nashville SC. Badji is a forward who bagged eight goals and four assists in 38 appearances for FC Dallas. In exchange, Nashville is sending up to $400,000 in combined allocation money to Dallas.

Possible Expansions

It’s been announced that the city of Las Vegas will have at least two months to be able to reach a deal to bring a Major League Soccer to the city. The deadline on the current negotiating agreement to come to a consensus regarding the construction of a stadium is set to expire on Feb. 5 of next year. The Vegas mayor said that she feels “...very comfortable that we’re moving in the right direction.” Additionally, it’s being reported that MLS will award an expansion franchise to the city of Charlotte, NC in an announcement this Friday. Apparently the MLS Board of Governors will have talks on Thursday regarding possible expansion markets, with Charlotte being one of those possibilities.

Lottery Winner Buys Club

Colin Weir won the EuroMillions lottery back in 2011 and he just completed his takeover of Scottish Championship side Partick Thistle. Weir has bought both a majority share as well as a holding in Firhill Stadium, where the team plays, but plans to give the land back to the club. Furthermore, he will give his 55% shareholding to a fan group that is currently in development, thereby giving supporters ownership of the club. The transfer will take place by the end of March of next year, and there will also be an announcement at some point regarding the funding of the club’s youth academy. Weir has been a lifelong fan of the club and has already invested around £2.5 million into the team.

Free Kicks
  • L’Equipe did exactly the right thing when awarding the Fan of the Year 2019.

That’ll be all for me today. As always, keep it here for all your Orlando soccer news and keep your eyes peeled in case there’s any movement in today’s second stage of the Re-Entry Draft.