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Lion Links: 4/24/20

MLS extends training moratorium, Kaká’s legacy, Orlando Pride relive first win, and more.

New England Revolution V Orlando City SC Photo by Chris McEniry/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are staying sane and healthy out there. April seems to be flying by on my end, with the days blurring into one another. But I do know it’s Friday and that the weekend is soon to follow. It will be nice to unwind some, but for now let’s get to today’s links from around the soccer world.

MLS Pandemic Updates

Major League Soccer extended its training moratorium through May 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic and players are expected to remain in their respective markets or make requests to relocate. To help those hurt most by this pandemic, Commissioner Don Garber is also offering an All In Challenge where MLS fans can donate to charities for a chance to have their signature on the 2021 MLS All-Star match ball.

Here in Central Florida, Orlando City is giving thanks to those on the front lines in the community by dedicating its billboard space to them.

The Face of Orlando City Soccer

With five seasons under its belt, Orlando City has featured many players over the years. But none have been as iconic as Brazilian legend Kaká, who retired as a Lion after the 2017 season. With game-saving goals and an infectious smile, Kaká had no problem getting fans on their feet and you can check out some of his greatest moments in purple below.

You can also watch Kaká in action as part of a few streamed games today if wanting to relive his MLS debut.

Players Reflect On Pride’s First Home Match

In 2016, the Orlando Pride lost their first match on the road against the Portland Thorns. The team then came home to play in Orlando for the first time in a memorable 3-1 over the Houston Dash in front of a crowd of over 23,000 supporters. Now, Pride players look back fondly on a match that featured plenty of highlights from Lianne Sanderson’s free kick screamer to Ashlyn Harris’ saves. But for Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds, she remembers the crowd and playing in front of the Orlando faithful for the first time.

“The excitement overall was unreal,” Edmonds said. “You could kind of just tell that people were embracing us before we even got onto the field. … But I don’t know if any of us kind of realized the number of people that would come to just that one specific game.”

Tune in later this morning, when our own Ben Miller takes his look back at the historic first win.

Bundesliga Seeks May Return; Coronavirus Impact in Europe

The Bundesliga aims to return on May 9, although it still awaits word from Germany’s government for approval. If it does get to resume matches, then it will be the first major European soccer league to do so since the shutdowns across the world. Although many across the globe are likely happy to add more live soccer to their watch lists, some German fans aren’t pleased with the league proceeding without them and playing in empty stadiums.

Although not in a formal capacity yet, Spanish government told La Liga that no fans will be at matches through 2021. If La Liga matches do return this summer, they will almost certainly be done behind closed doors. With different leagues across Europe making different decisions, UEFA is working out how Champions League qualification will shake out moving forward.

Free Kicks
  • If you’re struggling to stay fit with your gym closed, the Orlando Pride have you covered with this exercise routine utilizing household items.
  • If you’re already on top of your workouts, then indulge yourself in Toni Pressley’s deep dish cooking recipe. She makes her own dough and it’s Marta approved.

That will wrap up our links for today. Have a fantastic Friday and an even better weekend, Mane Landers.