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Lion Links: 4/14/20

OCSC in televised eMLS tournament, Moore relishes new challenges, Concacaf World Cup qualifying may change, and more.

Orlando City SC v New England Revolution Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone, or whatever day it is — it’s becoming very hard for me to keep track. I hope you’re all happy, healthy, and hanging in there. I’ve recently lost the motivation to exercise, so please hop in the comments and motivate me to get back at it. It’s not like I have anything else to do! There’s lots to talk through today, so lets have at it.

Nani to Participate in Televised eMLS Tournament

Major League Soccer has announced an eMLS tournament is set to begin this Sunday. The tournament will be televised on FS1 and Fox Deportes, kicking off at 7 p.m. ET. As part of that tournament Orlando City’s Abe “FIFA Abe” Valbuena and Nani will take part and try to win the thing. Abe and Nani will face Atlanta United’s representatives in the final match-up of the first round. Check out the full bracket down below.

The tournament is part of the league’s MLS Unites initiative — a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. After each episode, MLS Works and FOX will make a donation on behalf of the winning club to Feeding America, with MLS also supporting Food Banks Canada.

Moore Relishes New Challenges

Jade Moore is the Orlando Pride’s newest player, and she joins the team looking forward to the new challenges that await her. She recently spoke about how England’s WSL was no longer “scratching that itch” for her, and how she’s excited by the myriad of new experiences that playing in the U.S. will entail. She highlighted the challenges of travel, elevation, temperature, and humidity — all things that are relatively known quantities over the course of a season in England, but present unique difficulties when playing in America. For their part, the Pride are getting a seasoned veteran who probably won’t have any difficulty in adapting to and overcoming the challenges that she’s looking forward to tackling. Moore has 50 caps for the English senior team and was in the squad for the last two Women’s European Championships and Women’s World Cups.

Concacaf Qualifying Could Change

Concacaf President Victor Montagliani has gone on the record in saying that the qualification process for the 2022 World Cup may be altered in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The current qualifying schedule is supposed to see the Concacaf region wrap up its qualifying in November of 2021, but with games being postponed during the March and June international windows that may prove difficult. He has also said that the September window may be in danger of postponement, which would only further complicate matters. Things will become clearer once the pandemic passes and normalcy resumes, but the longer this continues, the more complicated it makes the qualifying process.

Ligue 1 Sets Return Date

The bigwigs in charge of Ligue 1 have set June 17 as the date that they wish for league play to resume. If that does indeed happen then the competition will wrap up on July 25. While details haven’t been officially released, it’s reported that clubs would play matches every three days for just over a month. That would also allow the French teams to compete in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League if the recent proposal to hold those competitions in August comes to fruition. It is not yet clear whether matches would be held behind closed doors or whether fans would be allowed back into stadiums, and whatever they decide will surely be heavily influenced by the current public health situation.

Free Kicks
  • Have a look at what matches Orlando City played this week during years past.
  • Alex De John is going to shame me into getting back into the exercise groove if he keeps this up.

That’ll be all for me today, y’all stay safe out there.