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Lion Links: 2/25/19

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Defense is key in 2020, Lions waive draft pick, Orlando World Cup site launched, Fire complete DP signing, and more.

MLS: Sporting KC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everybody. We finally have less than a week to go until the 2020 Major League Soccer season gets going and I couldn’t be more excited. There’s plenty of interesting stuff to talk about today so we’re going to hop right in.

Communication and Organization Key in 2020

Oscar Pareja’s plan for success this year with Orlando City starts at the back of the formation. The coach recently spoke about his belief that a strong and organized back line will help breed success both at the offensive end of things, and for the team as a whole.

If you are organized and if you are a strong defending, you have a great option to win the game, but that doesn’t make you a defensive team...But sometimes being so romantic with the game, it just allows you to forget that you need to organize and defend.

The part about forgetting to be organized and defending is something that was on display way more often than it should have been last year, as Orlando gave up goal after goal in the closing stages of games, often when it was either tied or in the lead. Hopefully the team heeds the new coach’s words, and that sort of thing falls by the wayside in 2020.

Lions Waive Dean

Yesterday Orlando City announced that the team had waived Jonathan Dean. Dean was the 39th overall pick, and was selected by the Lions with the club’s second pick in the second round. The versatile defender / midfielder played his college soccer at UCF, but unfortunately it seems that he won’t be playing his soccer locally — at least not at the MLS level. It’s a shame that he won’t be a Lion but there’s every likelihood that he gets signed on with another club, and we wish him the best of luck.

2026 Orlando Website is Live

The city of Orlando’s website for its bid to be a host city for the 2026 World Cup is live. The site talks about Orlando’s bid to be a host city, goes over big events that have successfully been held in the city in the past, and has a section where you can sign up and volunteer to help the campaign. It talks a little about what makes Orlando unique as an American city, and starts to push the idea of the city being used as one of the U.S. host sites come 2026.

Fire Ink New Signing

The Chicago Fire have announced the signing of Gaston Giminez from Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. The holding midfielder will join the Fire as a Designated Player. He’s played 10 seasons in his native Argentina, including the last six seasons in the Argentinian top flight. He also has a cap for the Argentinian national team, and was named to the preliminary squad for the 2019 Copa America. The move should help strengthen a Chicago team that missed the playoffs by three points last season, and with Orlando meeting the Fire in the third game of the 2020 season he could be someone to keep an eye on.

Free Kicks
  • Here’s Jimmy Conrad’s preview of Orlando City.
  • The U-20 Women’s National Team took care of business yesterday and advanced to the Concacaf tournament’s knockout round.
  • Paul Arriola had surgery to repair a torn ACL yesterday, which means that now the real hard work starts to rehab it and get back on the field. Best of luck to him!

That’ll be all for me today. I doubt you need reminding, but just in case, don’t forget that OCSC plays its first match of the season this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Exploria Stadium. Get your butt in a seat or your feet in The Wall and go cheer the Lions on to a good start to the 2020 season. Y’all stay safe out there.