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Lion Links: 1/16/20

Florida Cup kicks off, Nani on Pareja, Ali Krieger’s adult soccer camp, Esports in Orlando, and more.

MLS: BodyArmor-Press Conference Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope the downward slope of this week finds you well and ready for the weekend. Let’s go ahead and jump right into the links.

Corinthians Leads Florida Cup After Day 1

The 2020 Florida Cup got underway last night with two matches at Exploria Stadium. It was a good night for the Brazilian clubs as Corinthians beat New York City FC 2-1 in the opener. Palmeiras drew Atletico Nacional out of Colombia 0-0 in the second match but then earned a second point by winning an epic penalty shootout in 10 rounds, 10-9. Corinthians has three points to lead the competition ahead of Palmeiras (2 points), Nacional (1 point), and NYCFC (0 points). The tournament concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday.

Orlando City’s new Partnership

Nani was in Los Angeles to help Kobe Bryant share the news that the sports drink that Bryant has been investing in since 2014, BodyArmor, will be the new sports drink of the MLS. In addition to its partnership with the MLS as a whole, the company will activate team partnerships with 19 teams, including Orlando City.

“Hopefully what my involvement will do is help with some of the marketing and storytelling of the game,” Bryant said. “The most important thing, particularly in some of these newer markets that are coming now, is the marketing and the storytelling of the players. Who they are, the beauty of the game, educating fans of what’s a beautiful play, things of that nature. With our partnership with BodyArmor we’re absolutely looking forward to doing those stories and getting that word out there more.”

Nani’s First Impression of Oscar Pareja

Nani revealed his initial impression of the new OCSC manager on Wednesday.

“My first impression is that he’s a good person,” Nani said. “[His] style is something no one knows yet. I don’t know, it will be my first time playing with him and working with him. We need to wait until we start the preseason to understand the style of this game and the way he works. Obviously as a professional, we players must adapt to the way he works.”

He also shared his dissatisfaction with the club’s 2019 season, and his difficulties adjusting to the quirks of MLS. The difficulties of yesteryear may be a cornerstone in his success this season, as Nani discussed his greater sense of comfort in MLS and the confidence gained by having the entire preseason with the club.

AKFC February Adult Camp

The Ali Krieger Football Camp will be hosting an adult camp Feb. 15-16 here in Orlando. Included with registration is:

  • Happy hour with Krieger.
  • Two field sessions with Krieger.
  • Stadium tour and more.

Women and men ages 19 and up can register by Feb. 3 for $475 before the price jumps to $525.

Orlando Sports Commission Looks to be “eSports Capital”

The Greater Orlando Sports Commission announced that it wants the area to become the eSports capital.

“It’s one of those things where a lot of opportunities are coming and I think with Florida and Orlando specifically already having such a built tourism industry — people are already coming here, this is just another addition,” said Full Sail University Esports Strategist Bennett Newsome.

The mayor is excited about the possibility as well:

Free Kicks
  • The Tampa Bay Rowdies added a U-23 team in USL League Two.
  • Nani is making time for the kids.
  • Orlando City tweeted a sneak peek teaser of the new away kits.
  • Hertha’s Jürgen Klinsmann is in a good mood despite licensing issues.
  • SheBelieves Cup tickets are on presale for season ticket members. The USWNT will play England and Spain will play Japan in Exploria Stadium on March 5.
  • Tesho Akindele and Kamal Miller made the starting lineup for Canada’s match against Iceland, but the Canadians lost, 1-0.

I got my tickets for the SheBelieves Cup matches yesterday, are you going? That’ll do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy the rest of the week and stay safe.