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Lion Links: 8/18/20

Orlando City schedule change, Pride resume training, MLS transfer news, and more.

Orlando Pride v Sky Blue FC Photo by Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We’re only a few short days away from getting more regular season action for Orlando City SC, and if the team continues its form from the MLS is Back Tournament, then it should be pretty enjoyable to watch. However, you won’t have to wait long for OCB which is back in action tonight, so you’ll want to be in front of ESPN+ at 7 p.m.

There’s quite a lot of news to cover today, so let’s get started.

Orlando City Schedule Adjustment

Orlando City has announced an adjustment to the schedule for one of the club’s upcoming regular-season games. Specifically, the Lions will now face Atlanta United at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 5 rather than Sunday Sept. 6 as originally scheduled, with game time changing from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s an unfortunate change for OCSC that means the team will now only have two days of rest after its away game against Nashville SC before taking on Atlanta. The match against the Five Stripes will cap off a run of five games for the Lions in a 15-day span, after which the team will then have a week’s rest before capping off its Phase One schedule at home against Inter Miami CF. The move does help with television, however, as the Lions will now be shown nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.

Orlando Pride Resume Training

The Orlando Pride returned to training yesterday as the team resumed individual/household training at the club’s training facility. It was the first time that team-sanctioned training has been held since June 21, back when the team was still preparing for the NWSL Challenge Cup. The Pride will continue training while awaiting news about a possible 2020 NWSL regular season, but several players have already joined foreign teams in order to get minutes under their belts. Ali Riley, Camila, and Erin McLeod have already been officially announced as having gone out on loan, and rumors have cropped up recently that others are also going on loan. The latest? Alanna Kennedy will be heading to Tottenham on loan while Emily Sonnet is reportedly heading to Sweden.

MLS Transfer Happenings

An absolute slew of notable transfer activity took place in Major League Soccer yesterday, with FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution both heavily involved. Cincy sent midfielder Fatai Alashe to the Columbus Crew for a second-round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, and also traded Kekuta Manneh to New England in exchange for an international roster slot. Alashe and Manneh both have a considerable amount of MLS experience and should be able to contribute well at their new clubs. Additionally, the Revs acquired Tommy McNamara from the Houston Dynamo as well as $150,000 in 2020 allocation money and $25,000 in 2021 allocation money, while sending Wilfried Zahibo and a 2020 international roster slot the other way.

MLS Ink Bleacher Report Deal

Major League Soccer have announced a multiyear deal with Bleacher Report to “develop and distribute content through B/R owned platforms.” The agreement runs through 2022 and is intended to help increase the amount of content that MLS is able to put out into the world, with Bleacher Report already starting to put out content during the MLS is Back Tournament. Other plans include providing USMNT and USWNT highlights, as well as some other currently undisclosed opportunities. More eyes on the league surely isn’t a bad thing, but hopefully Bleacher Report’s coverage of Major League Soccer is better than the job they did with the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, which was...uneven, to say the least.

Barca Sacks Setien

FC Barcelona has fired Quiqe Setien, bringing to fruition some pretty loud mutterings that began almost as soon as the final whistle blew on Barca’s 8-2 walloping at the hands of Bayern Munich over the weekend. Setien became the team’s coach back in January and was only in charge for 25 matches in all competitions. While that might not seem like much time to make a sound judgement of the guy, during his tenure Barcelona lost the grasp it had on La Liga and ultimately finished second to arch-rivals Real Madrid; was knocked out of the Copa del Rey in the quarterfinals by Athletic Bilbao; and exited the UCL in the quarterfinals, courtesy of the aforementioned 8-2 demolition job. With those results, combined with the team looking rather rudderless for some time now, and the skepticism surrounding his appointment earlier in the year, his firing isn’t particularly shocking. Ronald Koeman is being rumored to take the reins as his replacement.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City B has risen to no. 8 in the USL League One power rankings.
  • Confirming something that’s been suspected for awhile, the 2020 U.S. Open Cup has officially been cancelled. However, all teams from the Open Division that qualified for the 2020 competition and maintain eligibility through next year will automatically be invited to compete in the 2021 edition.
  • St. Louis City SC picked an interesting way to announce the club’s new sporting director, Lutz Pfannenstiel.
  • Eric Wynalda is no longer the coach of New Amsterdam FC after only three games in charge.

That’ll do it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.