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Lion Links: 7/11/20

Tesho Akindele signs extension with Orlando City, MLS is Back Tournament continues, MLS considering private equity ownership, and more.

SOCCER: JUN 01 MLS - Orlando City SC at Montreal Impact Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is doing well as we get closer to more Orlando City action on July 14. For now though, it is a rainy weekend, so stay dry out there. Disney reopens today, so have fun and stay safe if you’re heading to the theme parks. Let’s get to today’s links.

Tesho Akindele Signs Extension

Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele signed a contract extension with the club after experiencing a renaissance of sorts since becoming a Lion. Akindele’s contract will still expire after the 2021 season, but the club added two one-year options that could keep him in Orlando through the 2023 season. Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi praised the Canadian forward’s ability to score and his leadership on the team.

MLS is Back Tournament Continues

In last night’s game, the Seattle Sounders played the San Jose Earthquakes in a scoreless draw. Both teams had their chances, but neither could find the back of the net as both goalkeepers performed well to secure a point for their team.

As for tonight’s action, Atlanta United will play the New York Red Bulls at 8 p.m. in an anticipated battle between Eastern Conference heavyweights. The later game at 10:30 p.m. will be the Hell is Real derby between FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew.

USL League One Announces Opening Day Matches

USL League One announced the opening day games to begin the 2020 season. The league season starts on Saturday, July 18, with former Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis leading Fort Lauderdale CF against the Greenville Triumph in the first home game at Inter Miami CF stadium since its renovation. The other match on opening day will feature South Georgia Tormenta FC hosting the Richmond Kickers.

We still don’t know when or who Orlando City B will play to start its season, but we can at least narrow down the choices through the process of elimination. The Young Lions won’t start 2020 against any of the four teams above and won’t play Forward Madison FC this season. Toronto FC II also withdrew from the league this season, which leaves FC Tucson, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Union Omaha, North Texas SC, and New England Revolution II as possible opponents.

MLS Considering Deal Allowing Private Equity Ownership

Major League Soccer is exploring a rule change regarding ownership that would allow investment funds to take minority stakes in clubs. If the league goes forward with the change, it would become easier for teams to access cash and raise funds during a critical time as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact professional sports throughout the United States.

Free Kicks
  • One year ago yesterday, Orlando City SC defeated New York City FC on penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. Supporters sprinted from one end of the stadium to the other and Adam Grinwis came up with the huge saves in one of the greatest moments in Orlando City history.
  • If you’re looking for an awesome shirt, look no further. The design commemorates Orlando’s first win over fellow Floridian club Inter Miami so you can show off those bragging rights.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Stay safe, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time.