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Lion Links: 4/11/20

Orlando City Classic, U.S. Open Cup update, International Champions Cup cancelled, and more.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup Final-New York Red Bulls at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers, I hope you all are doing well as we enter Easter weekend. What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained this week? I began my week watching Wrestlemania on Sunday. I’ve also been shooting videos for my sportscasting class, caught up on a few shows like HBO’s Ballers and Netflix’s Ozark, and played some FIFA 20. Now, let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Classic

If you’re looking for soccer to watch tonight, you can’t go wrong by watching the club’s MLS opener against New York City FC. You can watch the game tonight at 7:30 p.m. on the club’s website. Jenny Chiu, Miguel Gallardo, and Evan Weston will host the stream tonight alongside guests such as Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao, Benji Michel, and Luke Boden.

Since Orlando City is broadcasting the club’s first MLS game, let’s see if you can guess who was in the starting lineup that day in 2015. Let me know in the comments below and you’ll earn bonus points if you can accurately match who is who in the photo. A certain Brazilian captain should be obvious at least.

Meanwhile in Europe

FC Barcelona threatened to take legal action against Emili Rousaud, a former vice president who claimed a high ranking official stole money from the club. Barcelona had six board members resign this week.

Liverpool legend Kenny Daglish tested positive for the coronavirus. His family released a statement saying he is asymptomatic and will provide further updates when appropriate.

Finally, FIFA outlined three key priorities to support footballl during the pandemic. The organization wants to focus on people’s health, fund clubs that need it, and build plans towards the future.

U.S. Open Cup Update

According to Sports Illustrated, The U.S. Soccer Federation shared an update on the 107th edition of the U.S. Open Cup.

“At this time we are hoping we can figure out a way to still play the 2020 Open Cup, but we’re in the same wait-and-see situation as everyone else in the sports world. We won’t know what’s possible until there’s clarity on when the professional leagues are coming back and they’ve determined their schedule.”

With the pandemic keeping the sports world on hold and National Premier Soccer League and potentially United Soccer League clubs withdrawing, I don’t see how the U.S Open Cup will be played this year, even with fewer teams. The tournament survived the Spanish Flu in 1918, two world wars, and economic upheavals, but with the USL and MLS looking to make up all their remaining games, it looks very likely that the U.S. Open Cup will have to take a year off.

ICC cancelled

The 2020 Men’s International Champions Cup was called off by the organizers due to the pandemic. The ongoing uncertainty of when European soccer leagues can resume their domestic campaigns and UEFA events such as the Champions League and Europa League factored in the decision. The other factors for the preseason summer tournament dealt with extensive travel of clubs, venue availability, revenue, and local health requirements. As of now, the ICC women’s and youth tournaments are still being planned while the organizers work on staffing issues.

Free Kicks
  • Soccer writer Grant Wahl was let go by Sports Illustrated.
  • The NPSL officially announced the return of the 2020 Members Cup to begin in the fall of 2020.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Take care of yourselves, stay safe, and enjoy your Saturday.