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Lion Links: 6/11/20

Official plans for the MLS is Back Tournament, Pride release new keeper kits, and more.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers. I hope you’re all doing well! Let’s go ahead and jump into the links.

MLS is Back Tournament

Major League Soccer officially announced the MLS is Back Tournament, which kicks off July 8 and runs through Aug. 11. Fans won’t be permitted to attend, but here are the other important details:

*All 26 MLS clubs participating; all matches in Orlando

*Group stage followed by knockout rounds

*Group stage counts toward regular season

*Winner earns 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot

*Pre-tournament draw to assign groups

*Regular season continues after tournament

All 54 matches played during the tournament will be televised on MLS partner networks.

Alex Leitão’s Hand in MLS Coming to Orlando

Orlando City’s CEO Alex Leitão said that he and the Lions have been brainstorming ways to get soccer back safely since the shutdown and are excited to be the host city for the tournament.

When MLS was discussing playing in regional hubs to limit travel, Leitão thought, “Maybe we didn’t need hubs. We have a place that can accommodate all teams. ... We have hotels that could host all the teams and a facility like ESPN Wide World of Sports with the fields to not only accommodate the games, but ... give opportunities to the teams to train.”

He said the first calls in making this happen went to club partners Disney and Orlando Health. League officials confirmed that Leitão played an instrumental role, suggesting Wide World of Sports as a venue to resume play.

In an interview with Fox 35’s Adam Shadoff, Leitão said players will stay at Disney and can’t go home. He added that games will return to Exploria Stadium and is hopeful that at least some fans will be in attendance.

Pride Release Keeper Kit

Following the release of the Pride’s away kits on Tuesday, the club shared the new keeper kits yesterday. The new kits feature a fingerprint design and are available in both purple and black. All of the new kits are available now.

U.S. Repeals Ban on Kneeling

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Federation called on U.S. Soccer to repeal its ban on players and staff kneeling during the national anthem and asked for an apology. With that, U.S. Soccer has repealed the policy requiring players to stand.

Free Kicks
  • We see you, Pride, putting in the work.
  • Canada Soccer announced that women’s national team head coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller will step down in August.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt unveiled special jerseys to support Black Lives Matter.

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