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Lion Links: 3/23/20

Orlando City eliminated, Olympics may be delayed, Cuban soccer, and more.

SOCCER: FEB 29 MLS - Orlando City SC v Real Salt Lake

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know that might sound a bit weird with everything that is going on, but here we are. Hopefully, you are doing well, being careful, and have plenty of toilet paper.

Abe is Out

Orlando City’s eMLS representative Abe Valbuena participated in the UltimateQuaranTeam tournament. The competition is raising funds for EFL clubs struggling financially. It features 128 clubs playing on the PlayStation 4 with six-minute halves. Orlando City’s Abe drew Feyenoord’s Jimmy Donkers in the first round and was promptly trounced 5-0.

Tokyo Olympics in Jeopardy

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering delaying the Tokyo Olympics currently scheduled to start on July 24. While Japan has done a fairly good job at containing the coronavirus, other countries are having a worse time. Many have called for the delay, including USA Swimming and Track & Field. The IOC did say that it has no plans to cancel the competition however.

Lower Division Troubles

With everything shutting down in the world of soccer, all clubs are hurting financially. That is especially true for clubs in the lower divisions. While it hasn’t affected clubs in the U.S. quite yet, those in Spain, Italy, and across Europe are looking at potential disaster depending on how long they won’t be able to sell tickets. Unfortunately, it also means they won’t be able to meet payroll for the players that already aren’t earning much.

Soccer in Cuba

For years, baseball has been the biggest sport in Cuba. It really wasn’t even been close. But now, it seems that soccer is making a play for attention. As in many places, the youth are playing in the streets, even as organized leagues are starting to increase. There are Under-15, Under-17, Under-20, and Under-23 teams, as well as the national team. There are still challenges for the development of the game in Cuba, such as the potential loss of talent when players make the move to other countries. Proper funding will make all the difference in how long it will take to truly grow the sport in the country.

Free Kicks
  • If the Olympics aren’t postponed, as discussed above, the Canadians aren’t going.

Have a great day and stay safe out there!