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Lion Links: 7/7/20

FC Dallas withdraws from tournament, Vela and Robinson won’t participate, Lions eager for first game, and more.

MLS: FC Dallas Training Handout Photo-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We are just one day away from getting our first Orlando City soccer game in three months and I couldn’t be happier. There is a whole lot of news to get to today, but before we jump right into it, let’s wish OCSC midfielder Uri Rosell a happy 28th birthday.

FC Dallas Pulls Out of MLS is Back Tournament

FC Dallas has withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament due to a high number of positive COVID-19 tests that have come back from individuals within the club. The team had three players test positive before even coming to Orlando, and since then the club has had 11 additional positive tests, with all but one of those coming from players. The team has been under quarantine since the additional positive tests came out and was unable to train. Dallas’ opening game, which was originally scheduled for tomorrow, had already been postponed, and as first reported by The Athletic, the team will now no longer be part of the tournament.

Vela, Robinson Won’t Participate in Tournament

In related news, its been announced that LAFC star Carlos Vela and Inter Miami rookie Robbie Robinson will not participate in the MLS is Back Tournament. In the case of Vela. the Mexican striker’s wife is pregnant, and he very understandably feels that he needs to be by his wife’s side. Since family members are not allowed into the bubble at Orlando and Vela wouldn’t have been able to leave the bubble to see her, his only other choice was to remain with his family. Meanwhile, Inter Miami’s No. 1 draft pick Robinson is no longer in the bubble and will also not take part in the tournament. The club did not give a reason for Robinson’s departure other than saying it was due to personal reasons and he is expected to be back with the team after the tournament is over.

Lions Looking Forward to Restart

One day ahead of Orlando City’s first game in the MLS restart, Lions players are very aware of how important the team’s opening game against Inter Miami is. Junior Urso spoke about how he sees the match-up between the two teams as the league’s newest derby, and not only is it important to beat them to start the competition strong, but that he also just wants to come out strong against the team’s new in-state rivals. Urso also spoke about the importance of staying focused and staying calm and controlled while also being excited for the game after OCSC’s long layoff.

Austin FC Signs First Player

Austin FC has announced the team’s very first signing. While the team won’t kick a ball as part of Major League Soccer until 2021, the team has announced the acquisition of Rodney Redes from Club Guarani in Paraguay. Redes is a 20-year-old forward who has been with the team since 2018 and has played in six games in 2020, scoring two goals. He has also played in eight Copa Libertadores matches and bagged three goals. In the specifics of the deal Redes has already been signed by Austin but will remain on loan with Guarani until the end of 2020. He will then join Austin in January 2021, taking up one of the team’s international slots.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City was among five MLS teams in the PPP loan data that was released on Monday.

That’ll be all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there and get excited for the game tomorrow!