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Lion Links: 2/27/20

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The Pareja-Muzzi bond, Dwyer ruled out of opener, OCSC “wins” preseason, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 06 MLS - Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope this Thursday morning finds you all well. I’m in for another day of testing, but first, let’s get to the links.

Óscar Pareja’s Bond with Luiz Muzzi

Loyalty is at the top of the list for what’s important to Pareja, from marrying his childhood sweetheart to remaining close with his childhood friends, something that extends to the pitch.

“It’s something particular to me that I believed throughout my life,” Pareja said. “The people who work with me work with me forever.”

Luiz Muzzi and Pareja spent a lot of time together carefully curating FC Dallas from the ground up to become a winning environment.

“It’s important that relation you have with people, especially when you spent many years with them,” Pareja said. “With Luiz, we’ve known each other for many years. We’ve had many moments together, some with joy and others with difficulties. That makes our relationship stronger. He knows me and I know him and I think we’re very comfortable in the way we do things.”

Now the duo will try to build the Lions into a strong franchise together. Let’s hope that 2020 is where that begins.

Dom Dwyer to Miss Opener

We’ve been speculating since news of his injury that Dom Dwyer would miss the home opener along with Nani. Reports indicate his timetable for his return will be a couple of weeks.

“We’re not going to come with Dom for this Saturday,” Pareja said on Wednesday.

As for what the starting lineup could look like, Pareja says he has an idea, but it’s normal for him to wait until the last day to decide.

City Players Make Provisional List

Concacaf revealed yesterday the the preliminary lists submitted by the eight participating member associations for the confederation’s 2020 men’s Olympic qualifying tournament. Orlando City’s Kamal Miller and Benji Michel have made the 50-player provisional rosters. The whittled down 20-player rosters are due March 10.

What to Watch this Season

With the season officially kicking off in only two days, there are plenty of things to watch. One of those is how new coaches will fare, including Orlando City’s Óscar Pareja as he rejoins MLS. In preseason, Pareja’s Lions are thought to have been one of five teams to “win” preseason, with MLSSoccer.com’s Tom Bogert stating that with Pareja and Muzzi at the head of the club’s rebuild, optimism is abundant.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando Pride midfielder/defender Jo Boyles announced her retirement due to a back injury.
  • MLS has a new anthem, from the mind of legendary composer Hans Zimmer.
  • Former USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s 22-page diary has been leaked attacking Hertha Berlin’s leadership.
  • The U-20 USWNT did pretty well against Honduras. The U.S. won Group C with a 3-0-0 record, scoring 24 goals, conceding none, and finishing with a +24 goal differential. The Yanks will play Saint Lucia in the Round of 16 on Saturday.

That’s going to do it for me this morning, Mane Landers. Have a great week and stay safe!