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Lion Links: 12/5/19

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Oscar Pareja officially named Orlando City’s head coach, key MLS dates, SeaWolves news, and more.

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Happy Thursday, Mane Landers! I do hope the week finds you doing well, and ready to enjoy the weekend. Let’s go ahead and jump into the links.

Orlando City Names Oscar Pareja Head Coach

It had been rumored for weeks, but it has been officially announced that former FC Dallas coach, Oscar Pareja has signed on for the role with Orlando City.

“I’m very excited to be returning to Major League Soccer and to be joining the Orlando City organization,” Pareja said in the club release. “The future of this club is extremely bright, with so many opportunities to grow and succeed at all levels of the club — from the new training facility to the world-class stadium and from the Development Academy all the way to the MLS side. Orlando is an incredible soccer city, with an especially passionate and dedicated fan base. I can’t wait to get started.”

MLS Important Dates

MLS has announced several key dates in 2020 including winter and summer MLS transfer windows.

  • Primary Transfer Window: Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
  • Secondary Transfer Window: Tuesday, July 7 – Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

Preseason:

  • Preseason kickoff (Champions League teams): Saturday, Jan. 11. The five clubs in the Concacaf Champions League will get an early start to preseason training camps.
  • Preseason kickoff (all other MLS teams): Saturday, Jan. 18.

Roster Deadlines:

  • Roster Compliance: Friday, Feb. 28.
  • Roster Freeze: Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Orlando SeaWolves Re-Sign Defender Derek Huffman

The 31-year-old defender has re-signed with the SeaWolves. Per league policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Miguel Shepherd was released to make room for Huffman.

“Derek has proven himself as a versatile player in this league,” SeaWolves General Manager Chris Kokalis said, “He has the ability to shut down several of the league’s top target forwards and play as a target up top himself. We’re happy to have him back with us.”

RSL Hires Juarez; Was Kreis Ever in the Running?

Real Salt Lake promoted interim gaffer Freddy Juarez to head coach on Wednesday. Former Orlando City coach Jason Kreis had interviewed for the position but those talks broke down and Taylor Twellman said that Kreis may have never had a chance due to friction with owner Dell Loy Hansen.

Free Kicks

That’s going to do it for me this morning, Mane Landers. Have a great rest of the week!