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Lion Links: 4/2/19

The cost of hosting World Cup games, Atletico Madrid to play in MLS All-Star Game, Mora has broken jaw, and more.

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MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers. To be brief, while it certainly wasn’t the result any of us were hoping for on Sunday, I for one thought the team showed plenty of good things in the match (aside from yet another shaky start). The trick will be to turn those positive things into results, and the sooner the better. Let’s get into those Links.

Possible Price Tag for Hosting World Cup

The Greater Orlando Sports Commission has estimated that it could take over $50 million for the city to play host to World Cup games when the 2026 tournament is held in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. While that number isn’t exactly cheap, the commission’s CEO also believes that hosting could bring in $600 million or more, a number that easily dwarfs the potential cost of hosting. There are still 17 American cities being considered as host sites for the tournament and Orlando is among them. With that number expected to be trimmed to 10 by either next year or 2021, Orlando is doing all it can to ensure that it’s one of those 10 names. That includes a recently approved $1 million marketing campaign in order to help boost Orlando’s chances. It’s important to note that if the city is chosen, then Camping World Stadium would be the venue at which games are played due it its 65,000-seat capacity.

Atletico Madrid Rumored for All-Star Game

Atletico Madrid of La Liga will play in this year’s MLS All-Star Game here in Orlando, according to SI’s Grant Wahl. The annual contest, which will be played at Orlando City Stadium this year, traditionally sees the MLS All-Stars face off against a high-profile international club, with past opponents including Juventus, Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Roma. Atletico Madrid certainly continues that tradition with the side sitting second in La Liga and boasting high-profile stars like Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, and Thomas Lemar, among others. This year’s game will be played on July 31, and Atletico’s involvement seemingly puts on hold any possibility of the MLS All-Stars playing Liga MX’s All-Stars, an idea that has previously been tossed around.

Mora to Have Jaw Surgery

Joseph Mora will have surgery to fix the broken jaw that he suffered during Orlando CIty’s 2-1 defeat to D.C. United on Sunday. Mora took an unintentional knee to the right jaw from Ruan during the first half around the 11th minute. There was a considerable stoppage in the game as athletic trainers tended to Mora who was bleeding rather profusely. A fracture was confirmed at the hospital and Mora returned to D.C. on Sunday to meet with the club’s oral surgeons. There’s no word yet on how much time Mora will miss due to his injury, but as a player who’s frequently started since joining D.C., his absence will certainly be felt.

Competing on a Budget

Not every team has heaps and heaps of cash at its disposal to pour into training and developing its players. When that happens. teams like Argentina’s Racing Club de Avellaneda have to find ways to succeed on a budget. Many of the facets of how European clubs train are making their way across the pond to South America, but some of the things those European clubs do cost a bucket load of cash — such as utilizing an over $2 million training machine called a Footbonaut to help improve a player’s speed of thought and decision making (instead Sporting have their own shoestring budget version). Even European methods of scouting and player recruitment aren’t widely practiced in Argentina simply because of cultural differences in how the game is approached. Sporting Club is looking to change that though, and since they currently sit first in the Argentinian Superleague, it seems to be working.

Free Kicks

There’s an absolute glut of Orlando soccer to take in this week. First up, Orlando City B takes on Toronto FC II on Friday at home at 7:30 p.m. ET, then on Saturday Orlando City faces off against the Colorado Rapids at home at 7:30 p.m. Finally, on Sunday the Orlando Pride play their final preseason match at home at 5 p.m. in a game that is open to the public free of charge. Y’all stay safe out there now.