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Lion Links: 4/27/20

Marc Skinner’s future, American transfer rumors, empty stadiums, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 12 NWSL - Reign FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know that feels like a bit of a weird way to greet you during these times, but sometimes a little positivity can go a long way. In such a weird way, we’re all alone and in this together at the same time. As such, perhaps we could all try to be a little nicer today.

I’ve started with my usual greeting, but I’m also going to make an effort to reach out to some family and friends today. We’re all probably a little stir crazy, so calling, video chatting, or even texting might make someone’s day. If you’re on social media, try to engage others in some sort of game.

If you’re one of the stir crazy people needing some interaction, reach out to us on Twitter. You can reach us @themaneland, and my Twitter handle is at the top of the page. Now, let’s get to the links.

Skinner’s Future

With Phil Neville leaving as the England Women’s National Team’s manager, talk has started up around who his replacement will be. There are some obvious big names like Jill Ellis, Casey Stoney, and Paul Riley. There is also another name more familiar to Orlando Pride fans. Marc Skinner might be a bit further down the possibility list, but he may still be considered a candidate for the job. While he will likely want to stay and finish the job he started here in Orlando, it’s not out of the question that he would head back to England if offered the position.

Yanks in Germany?

While we’re all waiting for soccer to start back up, the Bundesliga rumors are dialing up for two Americans fullbacks. The United States Men’s National Team’s DeAndre Yedlin has been with Newcastle United since 2016. A move from the English Premier League to Germany’s top flight would be an interesting choice for sure. Yedlin also expressed interest in returning to the Seattle Sounders at some point in his future. The other rumor involves FC Dallas’ Reggie Cannon. Despite being with Dallas for three years, Cannon is ready for a move abroad. So far, these rumors aren’t even associated with a particular club, but we might get more once the European transfer window opens.

La Liga Delays Testing for Players

La Liga has decided to delay coronavirus testing for its players until such time as the Spanish government comes out with protocols for the testing. The decision came after the start of training for the clubs was delayed yet again. The testing was supposed to be the first step in returning to play, and the league hoped to take that step as early as next week. The delay came hours after the Spanish Footballers Association put out a statement expressing the need for the tests and other healthcare supplies to be made available to those with greater needs.

Playing in Empty Stadiums

There has been talk of being able to start various leagues back up sooner if the matches were played with no supporters in the seats. While this is obviously safer than having fans in the stands, there are still plenty of people in the stadium other than the players.

Then there’s the coaching staff — managers, assistants, fitness coaches, physios and a club doctor. Other essential people include a match delegate, an anti-doping official, official photographers and staff from broadcasters (like sound engineers, technicians, camera crew and producers), and medical workers. In England, for example, there needs to be four paramedics and an ambulance driver at every game.

None of that means the leagues won’t open back up with this as the first step, but there are plenty of other issues in addition to those already listed. There’s still a lot to be worked out before we get the game we love back.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City’s Ricardo Moreira is the Director of Scouting and has a very close working relationship with Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi. He is an indispensable member of the organization who uses data and analytics to try to build a better Orlando City.
  • U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Head Coach Anthony Hudson is doing his best to construct his squad, get to know his players, and contribute to the senior team in the middle of the shutdown. Hudson only took over in January, and as such didn’t have too much time in the job before the world turned upside down.
  • Everton’s Moise Kean broke government lockdown rules by having a house party. So far, there have been no consequences given out, but the club is “appalled” by the player’s actions.
  • ESPN recently brought out a 10-part documentary about the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls called “The Last Dance.” It’s not too surprising given the lack of live sporting events, but wouldn’t it be nice if they gave the same treatment to an MLS team?
  • Serie A officials are eyeing May 18 as the date clubs could start training again, allowing matches to resume sometime in June. Italy was one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus, with 15 players testing positive for the virus.
  • Like so many others, the Princeton Soccer Academy is using alternative training methods for its players due to the pandemic. Zoom, Gotomeeting, and the Techne Futbol app are all being used to direct soccer IQ classroom work, fitness, and agility training programs.

I genuinely hope you all have a great day, and be good to one another.