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Lion Links: 4/23/20

OCSC and Pepsi team up, mental health concerns for players on return, Tesho’s first touch, and more.

SOCCER: JUL 13 MLS - Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is doing well. Before we jump into the links, let’s all take a moment to wish Pedro Gallese a happy birthday!

Orlando City Continues to help the Health Heroes

Orlando City recently reported that the club would be donating materials to assist in creating personal protective equipment for medical staff and partners Orlando Health. Yesterday, the club shared that its partner Pepsi donated 500 two-liter bottles to assist the club in in creating face shields for health professionals battling on the front lines.

Player Mental Health Concerns Following Shutdown

We’re all struggling a bit with isolation and being away from work and the things we love. The global union for soccer players found that members are struggling with increased levels of depression and anxiety during the pandemic. FIFPRO is making plans for the mental health of players upon return.

“If a club has to decide between having a second or third right back or a clinical psychologist within the medical team, you know which choice you are going to make, so it’s a kind of priority,” FIFPRO Chief Medical Officer Vincent Gouttebarge told the Associated Press on Monday. “Within the medical staff at any club, we know that the physical health of players is a main priority. But now we have enough objective data that show that mental health is as important as the physical health. We need to have an interdisciplinary medical team in place within clubs in order to take care of the mental health of the player.”

Support for Women’s Soccer Will Continue

Despite the budget strains due to the COVID-19 crisis, FIFA says that support for women’s soccer will continue. After the Women’s World Cup last year, FIFA President Gianni Infantino pledged to invest $1 billion to the women’s game over the next four years.

“In line with the FIFA Women’s Football Strategy and FIFA’s long-term vision for the development of women’s football, this funding will be invested into a range of areas in the women’s game including competitions, capacity building, development programs, governance and leadership, professionalization and technical programs,” FIFA said in a statement provided Tuesday to The Associated Press. “We can confirm that this funding has already been committed by FIFA and will not be impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis.”

Could the Champions League Return Without VAR?

The UEFA Champions League is set to return to without fans. The speedy return could be met without the use of video assistant referees, as the rooms used to conduct VAR replays are not conducive to social distancing guidelines. There is a large push to work out a Plan B to continue using replays to assist referees, including rearranging rooms and adding plexiglass. Refereeing unions continue to urge authorities to keep their safety in mind.

Free Kicks
  • Miguel Gallardo took the time to break down Tesho Akindele’s first-touch goals.
  • Everyone is just trying to survive life without soccer.

That will do it for me this morning, everyone! Have a great day and stay safe.