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Lion Links: 5/28/20

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NWSL is coming back, Pride expect Kornieck to contribute, MLS changes plans, and more.

2020 NWSL Draft Photo by Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! I hope the day finds you well. Let’s go ahead and jump right into the links.

NWSL is Ready to Return

It’s official, the NWSL will return June 27 with a 25-game tournament hosted by the Utah Royals. All matches will resume without fans.

“As our country begins to safely reopen and adjust to our collective new reality, and with the enthusiastic support of our players, owners, as well as our new and current commercial partners, the NWSL is thrilled to bring professional soccer back to the United States,” said NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird in a press release. “This exciting month-long tournament will showcase our league’s talented players and provide our fans the type of world-class entertainment they’ve come to expect from the NWSL.”

The NWSL players released a statement indicating the organization’s support.

Meanwhile, this is going to be voluntary for the players. The USWNT players also released a statement about the Challenge Cup. Theirs is a little less pro-tournament and more pro-individual.

Pride Expect Big Things from Rookie Taylor Kornieck

While choosing players for the NWSL draft, Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner sat down with each prospect for 45 minutes for interviews. We saw the attack suffer last season with players on international duty or out injured, and the addition of Taylor Kornieck will be key in aiding the attack.

“If we were to play tomorrow, I think she would have the psyche to start,” Skinner said. “Once we’ve had her in training for a while and we help her to see her super powers, then I think she’d be ready to go. I think everyone around Taylor will benefit,” Skinner continued. “She’s going to free up every other player in the attack to be a little more creative and a little more comfortable.”

MLS Altering Orlando Plans

There has been no shortage on speculation about early plans being shared for Major League Soccer coming to Orlando. The latest bit of news indicates that the league is looking to fit the tournament style return-to-play in a shorter time frame. The new plan will look to allow teams to remain in their home markets for training until closer to the end of June as restrictions start to be lifted around the country.

Premier League Returning to Contact Training

The Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to return to full-contact training. This is the first step in resuming the 2019-2020 season. Strict medical protocols will remain in place to ensure safety, including COVID-19 testing twice a week. Discussions continue on when and how to resume the season safely.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando Pride hinted Tuesday that a jersey drop is coming and have now asked us to save the date — June 2.
  • United States Men’s National Team midfielder Weston McKennie broke Schalke’s goal drought.
  • Sky Blue FC has reportedly addressed options for season ticket holders.

That’ll do it for me today, everyone. Have a great day and stay safe!