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Lion Links: 8/14/20

Orlando City players named to MLS is Back Best XI, Oscar Pareja prepares for regular season, OCB’s home debut, and more.

Portland Timbers v Orlando City SC: Championship - MLS Is Back Tournament Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers. I hope this Friday finds you well as we transition into the weekend. Things have been pretty busy on my end due to a move, but I’m managing to hang in there. But enough about me, let’s get to today’s links!

Orlando City Trio Named to Best XI

Although the end result didn’t fall in Orlando City’s favor, three players made the MLS is Back Tournament’s Best XI. Nani, Ruan, and João Moutinho all received the honor, joining the likes of Sebastián Blanco, Andre Blake, and Diego Rossi. With four assists and three goals, Nani dominated throughout the tournament and finished close behind Blanco for Player of the Tournament. As for Ruan and Moutinho, the pair of fullbacks not only performed well defensively, but were productive on offense as well to deserve a spot on this list.

Lions Get Back to Work

With the tournament finished, Head Coach Oscar Pareja and the Lions now turn their attention to the upcoming regular-season matches later this month. It’s a shift in momentum as the Lions return from the bubble and a deep tournament run, but Pareja is already working on having his team ready for Inter Miami on the road Aug. 22.

“Tomorrow we have to tie our boots again, put it on and prepare for the game against Miami. That is not any other formula, I don’t see any other. We just keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going,” Pareja said. “We’re prepared for the roller coaster that this game creates on our journey. We’re good, the good thing is that we have a group who has the willingness to accept what is coming and keep improving. That I’m sure, but the competition doesn’t stop and we’ll continue.”

Orlando City B Plays at Home Tonight

After starting its USL League One season on the road for two games, Orlando City B will have its home debut at Osceola Heritage Park tonight at 7 p.m. against Fort Lauderdale CF. It’s the first meeting between the two teams, their senior sides already battling it out in the MLS is Back Tournament’s group stage. It will also be a homecoming of sorts for Fort Lauderdale Head Coach Jason Kreis and midfielder Servando Carrasco, who now return to the Orlando area after coaching and playing there, respectively. It should be a great match between two Floridian teams that both notched their first wins of the season last week, so make sure to check it out on ESPN+ and support the Young Lions.

Say Hello to St. Louis City

The MLS expansion team from St. Louis revealed its name, logo, and colors, announcing itself as St. Louis City SC. Try saying that five times fast. Although the name is a bit generic, majority owner Carolyn Kindle Betz explained the meaning behind it and how St. Louis City serves as an identity for a region that goes beyond its city limits. The logo itself features the famous Gateway Arch, and both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to form an intersecting design. I’m personally not a fan of the logo considering those overlapping lines loosely look like the letter “A”, but I do like the color scheme. What do you think of the latest MLS team’s look? Let me know down in the comments below.

Orlando City Soccer Club Nominated Nine Times

Orlando City Chief Executive Officer Alex Leitão and other members of OCSC’s front office received nominations for the Greater Orlando Sports Commission 2020 Sportys. Leitão is up for Executive of the Year, and the club also received a nomination for its community outreach. The winners will be announced on Aug. 29, so keep an eye out for that later this month.

MLS Transfer Updates

In MLS transfer news, Blaise Matuidi signed with Inter Miami on a free transfer and will not be a Designated Player. The New York Red Bulls traded midfielder Alex Muyl to Nashville SC for two international spots and a conditional $50,000 in General Allocation Money. The Montreal Impact’s Luis Binks was transferred to Bologna FC in Serie A, but won’t join until 2021. LAFC and forward Adama Diomande mutually parted ways and you can read his farewell to the club below.

Free Kicks
  • The MLS is Back Tournament will be one to remember for Orlando fans, and Nani weighed in on the improvements made by the team is such a short time.

That’s going to be it for today, Mane Landers. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.