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Lion Links: 3/31/20

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MLS Unites, Orlando clubs give thanks, new Olympics dates, and more.

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

The end of the month is finally here. March didn’t really pan out how any of us expected, did it? Still, I hope you’re safe and here’s looking forward to a better April. I don’t know that things will get any better, but we can still maintain a good attitude. I wonder what type of April Fool’s Day jokes will be played? With the way things are, do you think it’s better to play some jokes to lighten the mood or are people not in the right frame of mind to enjoy it? I’m undecided. For now, let’s take a look at today’s links!

MLS Unites Initiative

Major League Soccer partnered with the MLS Player’s Association to launch MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to highlight efforts by clubs, players, and MLS to inform and educate fans during the coronavirus crisis. Each club is contributing in its own way, and Orlando is no exception.

Orlando City are utilizing social media and web platforms as a way to keep fans engaged remotely with the club and up to date on all important information. In addition to posting updated league and governmental news as it happens, City is posting a weekly roundup video featuring the club’s reporter, that recaps the current mandates as well as highlights of the players’ individualized, at-home activities. In addition, Spectra — the food service provider for Exploria Stadium — donated 1500 pounds of food to the Christian Service Center for Central Florida. A larger project is currently in the works that will empower the club and its fans to give back to the local community that may have been impacted by this unprecedented situation.”

Gallardo Evaluates Perea’s Game

Former Orlando City keeper Miguel Gallardo (who recently made it to the Sweet 16 in The Mane Land Bracketology competition) took time to break down the limited film we have on Andrés Perea. Gallardo highlighted his use of space, ball control, and defensive skills.

National Doctor’s Day Messages

Yesterday was National Doctors’ Day, and the Orlando Pride coaches and players had a message for those putting their lives on the line today and everyday.

Of course, the guys got in on the thanks as well.

We here at The Mane Land add our belated thanks as well.

2020 Olympics Rescheduled

We now have official dates for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan that were officially postponed one week ago. The rescheduled games will begin in 2021 on July 23 and end on Aug. 8. This is the only time in history that the Olympics have been cancelled or postponed for any reason other than war. The Paralympics were also postponed, and have been rescheduled for Aug. 24 through Sept. 5, 2021. The dates are exactly one year after the original dates for the competition. This will allow the least amount of disruption for the athletes who maintain rigorous training regimens.

Remember Chris Schuler?

There once was a time when Orlando City trotted out a hodge podge of center back pairings rather than stick with a strong pair. One of those players was Chris Schuler, who was originally drafted by Real Salt Lake in 2010. He was loaned out and then suffered a string of injuries that derailed his career. A depleted Orlando City brought him in during the 2018 season, and he competed in 10 matches before being let go. Currently, Schuler works for U.S. Soccer as an events coordinator.

Belarus Still Playing Soccer

The Belarusian Premier League stands alone atop the sports mountain. The league has already made 10 television deals with various countries to allow people to watch live soccer matches. As such, the league has actually spread out its scheduling Friday through Sunday to allow people to watch all the matches. Those with access are already picking their new favorite Belarusian Premier League clubs to support.

Authorities in Belarus are taking special precautions during the matches, though they are still allowing fans into the stadiums. The derby between FC Minsk and Dinamo Minsk had 3,000 supporters in the stands.

Major Players and Staff Take Pay Cuts

Players and board members at Barcelona agreed to take a 70% pay cut to make sure that non-sporting staff recieve pay during the current crisis. Juventus players and manager Maurizio Sarri agreed to give up four months of salary to do the same. In the Bundesliga, several clubs, including Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Union Berlin, and Borussia Monchengladbach, have taken reduced pay to help the non-sporting staff. Expect other clubs to take similar measures, though the English Premier League is looking for an all-encompassing solution rather than club by club.

Free Kicks
  • Evan Weston had a nice chat with former Orlando City midfielder Antonio Nocerino to discuss past games and his current role with the club.
  • Emily van Egmond just doesn’t stop. She’s barely finished winning the W-League and she’s back at it with some one-on-one training with her dad.
  • USL League Two is committed to playing a 2020 season, even though the developmental league might have to get creative. It may even bring in teams from other leagues to make it happen, once it’s able to do so.
  • AS Roma delivered care packages to each of its season ticket holders over 75 years old.
  • You’ve already missed some of this replay action, but there’s still time to watch some matches that don’t include Orlando City.
  • MLS is using FIFA 20 to simulate matches that aren’t being played, and Orlando City defeated Red Bulls 1-0 on a 39th minute rebound goal from Dom Dwyer (1:03 minute in video).

That was quite a bit for a Tuesday morning. Stay safe and vamos Orlando!