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Lion Links: 2/20/19

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Nani meets the press, a request from JOC, Orlando City license plates, Marta causes a stir, and more.

The Best FIFA Football Awards - Green Carpet Arrivals Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Hey, Mane Landers! Happy Wednesday. For a lot of people the middle of the week is the start of the downhill coast into to the weekend...but today is all about the second leg of the Orlando City Invitational, where we’ll get another glimpse at our Lions as they take on New England. Can Orlando City maintain the speed and quick play we witnessed last weekend? Is it March 2 yet? What am I even doing here?

Orlando City Introduces Nani

The club streamed Luis Nani’s first press event yesterday, where we got to hear from Nani himself. As our very own Alek Pierce recaps, we learned about the initial signing, the appeal of coming to MLS, and where the club goes from here.

James O’Connor Wants to Swap Home and Away Benches

Orlando City’s head man in charge has a request for fans who have seats behind what is currently the home bench at Orlando City Stadium. James O’Connor is seen here requesting permission to swap the home and away benches, presumably to increase the Lions’ home-field advantage by making the opposition warm up in front of The Wall.

What say you, folks who make up said wall?

Could We Finally See an Orlando City Soccer Club License Plate?

Preston Business Review reports that we could see up to 21 new specialty plates here in the Sunshine State, including one for our beloved Lions that would fall under Florida’s professional sports teams. In a perfect world, what does that plate look like to you? Is it solid purple? Is it plain with a crest thrown in the corner? Is it really happening? WE NEED TO KNOW!

Marta Posts a Cryptic Caption on Instagram

Marta posted a photo of herself on Instagram in which the caption sounds as though an important decision has been made to dedicate herself to her family. Fans from all over were quick to question whether or not that means she’ll continue to play for Orlando Pride, despite Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer reporting that she’d be back. Jordan Culver of ProSoccerUSA.com did some investigating and was given an answer that may ease the concerns of Pride fans.

USMNT Close to Playing at Audi Field

Steven Goff of The Washington Post reports that negotiations are close to being finalized for Audi Field to host the USMNT for an early June friendly, as a buildup the CONCACAF Gold Cup. While the soccer-specific stadium was designed to host D.C. United matches, the venue is capable of housing more events. No official comment on the venue search has come from the USSF.

Free Kicks

I think that’s it for my first time! Tickets are still available for round two of the Orlando City Invitational. I know I’ll be there hoping to see more positives for the season ahead of us. Can’t make it? Stay tuned to The Mane Land for ongoing coverage.