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Lion Links: 7/2/20

Orlando City returns in six days, more COVID-19 cases at FC Dallas, MLS transfer windows announced, and more.

Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja eager to see MLS play at Disney World Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions. I hope you overcame your hump day with ease. The MLS is Back Tournament is set to start in just six days and Orlando City is eagerly waiting the return which will take place against Inter Miami FC on July 8.

Before we get started, let’s wish Orlando Pride and USWNT striker Alex Morgan a happy birthday. With that, let’s get into the links.

Orlando City Players Balance Training, Relaxing Before Tournament

Orlando City and the rest of MLS are training and working hard leading up to the resumption of soccer. With that being said, it is just as important for the players to let their bodies and minds get the rest needed as well. Tesho Akindele stated how important both hard work and rest is and how well Oscar Pareja and the rest of the managers are doing leading up to the competition’s restart.

“I think the coaches are doing a great job of managing our load,” said Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele after Tuesday’s return session. “When we’re on, we’re on hard, we’re training really hard. But they gave us our time off, they’ve let us relax in the pool, we got some stretching in on our own, and I think it’s really important for the body and for the mind to have that time off.”

Six FC Dallas Players Test Positive for COVID-19

According to ESPN, sIx FC Dallas players have tested positive for COVID-19. Before FC Dallas left Texas three players had already tested positive. Now another three have come up positive in Orlando. FC Dallas, which is placed in Group D along with the Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, and San Jose Earthquakes, have isolated all six of the players who tested positive. There were rumors that the club had the entire FC Dallas delegation sent home; however, the rumor was addressed by the club and is apparently untrue.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Whitecaps postponed their trip to Orlando due to a pair of inconclusive tests and a member of the Nashville SC organization also tested positive, forcing the expansion side to postpone its travel plans as well. The Red Bulls are also considering pushing back their trip to Orlando.

MLS Transfer Windows Announced

MLS has announced when the transfer windows will open, and yes the pluralization is intentional. There will be two transfer windows open for clubs to purchase players and complete transfers. The first of which will be an unconventional two-day window July 6-7. The second opportunity for MLS clubs to complete transfers will be a more traditional one from Aug. 12 to Oct. 29. The two-day window is intended to help clubs round out their respective rosters and the second is a typical transfer window that teams can make additions as they lawfully please.

Jurgen Damm Signs for Atlanta United

Atlanta United has signed Jurgen Damm from Tigres. The 27-year-old will not be able to play for Atlanta United until next season. Atlanta Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra had nothing but positive remarks for the newly added winger.

“He’s excelled in Liga MX, as well on the international level with the Mexican national team and we believe he can make an immediate impact in MLS. Jurgen is versatile to play on either wing, and with his pace and ability to beat defenders 1v1 to deliver a cross, he gives us another valuable weapon in our attack.”

Damm has been struggling to get sufficient game time with Tigres as of late and has decided a move is what is best for his career. The four-time Liga MX winner will be taking the international roster spot of Luiz Fernando as the Brazilian was waived. Damm is unable to participate in the MLS is Back Tournament.

Free kicks

That’ll do pig. That is all for this Thursday. Keep on keeping on, and keep on wearing your masks while doing so. Catch you on the flip side.