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Lion Links: 6/9/20

Robin Jansson staying focused, the new normal for stadiums, the USSF’s kneeling ban, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 06 MLS - Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everybody. The recent stretch of storms that Central Florida has seen has made the quarantine life a bit more difficult lately, but having Bundesliga games to entertain me over the weekend definitely helped.

Before we get to the news of today, let’s all wish Orlando City rookie midfielder Joey DeZart a happy 22nd birthday.

There’s lots to talk about today so let’s get going.

Lions Keep Focused

Robin Jansson spoke about a variety of things yesterday and specifically touched on the challenges of staying focused during the league’s long layoff. He said it’s been easier now that the team is back at the facility and able to train but that match sharpness will only truly return after real matches are happening again. He emphasized the need for the team to stay together, focus, and push each other to make things as close to game speed as possible, while also saying that as a defender it was a plus to be able to be back and build up chemistry with the team’s goalkeepers again.

New Normal for Stadiums

With Florida and much of the U.S. beginning to lift quarantine restrictions, one of the questions for sports fans is what events will look like once fans are allowed to return to stadiums. The Orlando Sentinel spoke to Len Moser, who’s had a 30-year career in the business of constructing sports facilities to try to get a better idea of what things might look like. Several ideas that have been floated to help make things safe for fans have been thermal cameras to detect elevated body temperatures, high filtration HVAC systems, changing seating, and making paperless ticketing and cashless purchases mandatory.

U.S. Soccer Reconsidering Kneeling Ban

The United States Soccer Federation is reportedly considering the repeal of its current policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem. The board is said to be meeting today to discuss the policy at the urging of USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone, with a formal vote on the matter likely to occur on Friday. Passed at U.S. Soccer’s annual general meeting in 2017, Policy 604-1 reads “All persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented.” and was passed as a result of Megan Rapinoe kneeling before a match against Thailand in 2016. Perhaps not coincidentally, USWNT players are demanding that the federation both reverse Policy 604-1 and apologize to the team’s black players.

Fabian Johnson to Become Free Agent

Borussia Monchengladbach announced that Fabian Johnson will become a free agent once the current Bundesliga season comes to an end. Once the defender/midfielder’s contract expires he is free to sign with whatever team he pleases and the 32-year-old will join his first new team since 2014. Johnson currently has 140 appearances for the club and has featured in Champions League and Europa League games. Since Johnson is a USMNT player, were he to come to Major League Soccer he would need to go through the allocation order, where LAFC currently holds the top spot and Orlando City is fifth.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando Pride’s kit reveal will take place today after being pushed back from its original date.
  • Have a look at some scenes from Pride training yesterday.

That’ll be it for me today, y’all stay safe out there.