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Lion Links: 5/1/20

NWSL plans start of training, Orlando City’s coaching family, suspension updates, and more.

SOCCER: FEB 29 MLS - Orlando City SC v Real Salt Lake

How’s it going, Mane Landers? April flew by in the blink of an eye and now we head into May as the world continues to adapt and change. Every day is another step towards progress and hopefully soccer and a sense of normalcy will we back in our lives relatively soon. But for now, let’s enjoy some links from around the soccer world.

NWSL Plans Return to Training

As of now, the National Women’s Soccer League plans to reopen training camps on May 16, the day after the training moratorium ends. The league notified teams to have players return to their markets for medical exams and the reopened training would be restricted and only done in small groups initially. Games could begin in late June, although they will likely be played without fans. There aren’t many details publicly shared at this time, but the Orlando Pride are preparing for the season while staying open to what the future will hold.

“As May 16 is the day the moratorium ends, that would be the date our staff is currently planning for return to training (in whatever form that may be),” Orlando Pride spokeswoman Jackie Maynard said. “Should the date get moved back, we would then move our anticipated return-to-training date.”

Bazan Brothers Enjoying Time Together in Orlando

After spending the early parts of their careers apart, brothers Josema and Fabian Bazan are reunited under Oscar Pareja as coaches for Orlando City. Fabian is the team’s strength and conditioning coach while Josema assists Pareja in offensive tactics. Together they bring a balanced approached to how the team trains and improves. Both have high praise for Pareja, who they first joined in 1998 with FC Dallas. In turn, Pareja is thankful to have the brothers working alongside him to help improve Orlando moving forward.

“They have the love and the passion for each other and for their jobs,” Pareja said. “I can never have any better company. They are not just coaches, they are my friends, they are my brothers. We have a big family here. … I could keep talking about them for so long. I think Orlando City is very blessed to have these two people here.”

USL Moves the Goalposts Again

The United Soccer League Championship and League One season suspensions were extended, with the training moratorium extended through May 15. So it looks like our wait for Orlando City B action will continue. However, the USL League Two season was cancelled and the league is working on options to provide competitive opportunities for clubs in areas where it can safely be done.

Meanwhile in Europe...

The Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons were ended, with Paris Saint-Germain declared as champions. PSG had a comfortable 12-point lead over Marseille before the season suspension. Promotion and relegation still occurred as well, although relegation out of Ligue 2 is still up to general assembly. Olympique Lyonnais finished seventh, outside of Champions League and Europa League qualifying, and may appeal the decision to end the season.

Germany’s government delayed making a decision on the return of the Bundesliga this month, meaning the league won’t return to action May 9 as had been the goal. The English Premier League is in talks with clubs for the season to tentatively resume on June 8.

Free Kicks

That’s going to be it for today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and great start to your May!