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Lion Links: 2/18/19

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Nani news, Brian Rowe is smiling, Donovan is back again, VAR is unstoppable, and more!

MLS: Orlando City Invitational-New York City FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! One match into the Orlando City Invitational and we’re still undefeated in the tournament. Yes, it’s the preseason, but there’s plenty to get excited about considering it’s the first match we’ve had open to the fans in four months! Hopefully the victory made your weekend even better, but let’s get to the links!

Nani Contract Details Update

While there is still no official word, it seems that the Portuguese midfielder may be signing a three-year deal according to ESPN Deportes writer Gustavo Hofman.

For those not fluent in Portuguese, here is the translation:

Orlando City closed the signing of striker Nani, who was at Sporting. The Portuguese player will sign a contract for three seasons with the MLS team.”

Check out the story by our own Sean Rollins who breaks down the ups and downs of signing Nani. I will add, that if the rumored deal is indeed three years, Nani will be 35 years old at the end of the contract.

Brian Rowe is Smiling

If his Instagram account is anything to go by, then Orlando City’s newest keeper is feeling good about making the team.

Now, it might seem that he’s saying he’s been with Orlando City for eight years, but I think we can chalk the slightly confusing post up to excitement. Rowe started in the Orlando City Invitational for the Lions on Saturday night, letting in one goal from distance. We’ll have to see if he’s indeed here to stay, and whether he keeps that starting position.

Donovan’s First Game Since Retiring...Again

If this keeps up they’re going to have to cast Landon Donovan as the next Terminator. Donovan retired from professional soccer following the 2014 MLS season. Until he returned to the Galaxy in 2016. He then retired again following that very short season. Until he signed with Leon in Liga MX for the 2018 season. He then retired again after Leon decided the American legend was no longer needed. Until he signed with the San Diego Sockers of the MASL. Donovan made his debut with the Sockers and even managed to get an assist. So how long does he stay, and will this be the last comeback?

Video Review Can’t Be Stopped

We’ve seen the nightmare that the Video Assistant Referee can be in MLS. We’ve seen it done well during the last World Cup. Now, we’ve seen it applied in a whole new way during a Serie A match between Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor (SPAL) and Fiorentina. Just after Mattia Valoti scored a goal for SPAL on a counter attack, the referee reviewed a previous incident using the video review system. He made the call that a penalty on Dias Felipe’s trip of Federico Chiesa should have been given prior to the SPAL goal. That decision came four minutes after the foul, and Jordan Veretout converted the penalty to give Fiorentina the 2-1 lead. Fiorentina went on to score two more goals, but there’s no way that call didn’t change the complexion of the game. It has also been confirmed that VAR will be used in the next African Cup of Nations tournament this June and July.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City eMLS player Abe with an update on his season.
  • No Neymar, but Kaká made the list.
  • Satara Murray is leaving Liverpool FC to return to America in order to be closer to her friends and family. What becomes of the Reds defender remains to be seen.

That’s going to do it for your Monday Links. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and keep checking back for news on Nani and the Lions. Go City!