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Lion Links: 8/31/20

Junior Urso breaks out, Utah teams for sale, Chadwick Boseman honored, and much more.

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MLS: Orlando City SC at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! Well, that match against Atlanta felt pretty darn good, didn’t it? I know I enjoyed it, and frankly it made the entire weekend much more enjoyable. The 10th time’s the charm evidently, and the quietness of Five Stripes Twitter is all I hoped it would be. Of course, the Lions don’t get much of a rest, as they face off against Nashville SC again on Wednesday night. While we wait, let’s get into today’s links.

The Bear is Back

Júnior Urso scored his first goal for the Lions against Atlanta United FC on a powerful header that was too much for Brad Guzan to handle. He also added the assist on Nani’s goal late in the match. This is the player Orlando City supporters have been hoping to see, and the Bear was happy to show everyone who he really is. His goal was the brainchild between himself and Chris Mueller. The pair had a plan even before the start of the match, and just needed a corner kick to put it into action. Hopefully this will be the Urso we see going forward.

Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC for Sale

This year has seemingly been the longest in recorded history, and has included historic protests regarding racial issues in the United States. Teams at the MLS is Back Tournament all knelt before matches, and the official MLS Black Lives Matter shirts worn by players still adorn many on the sidelines. It is within this context that Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC owner Dell Loy Hansen made a very self-centered statement regarding the MLS side not playing on Wednesday. Though he tried to walk his statement back, The Athletic came out with a scathing report that showed his original statement was more par for the course than his retraction. The pressure prompted Hansen to begin the process of selling Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC. Hansen is saying all the right things, and MLS and the NWSL are in agreement that this is the best way forward for the clubs. Needless to say, the players are speaking out as well.

A Tribute to a King

The world lost an inspirational actor this past week when Chadwick Boseman passed away to the colon cancer he had been fighting for the past four years. Boseman portrayed such famous historical figures as Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown. He also took great pride in bringing Marvel comic book character the Black Panther to the big screen. In honor of the deceased actor, many professional soccer players used the “Wakanda Forever” salute as their goal celebrations. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang paid tribute after his goal in Arsenal’s match against Liverpool. In MLS, several players did the same, including Fafa Picault, Jesus Ferreira, Keaton Parks, and Gianluca Busio. Boseman will be missed.

The Mess with Messi

Following Barcelona’s humiliating loss to Bayern Munich in the Champion’s League, Lionel Messi announced his desire to leave the club he’s spent his entire professional career with. Messi believed his €700 million release clause had expired. Now, it seems that La Liga has sided with Barcelona and his contract is still very much in effect. Messi’s desire to leave, and his interpretation of his contract, resulted in him skipping his medical. As such, he cannot start preseason training with the club today. It will be very interesting to see how this all works out.

Free Kicks
  • It seems that Utah Royals FC already has an interested buyer lined up.
  • Weston McKennie is getting comfortable at Juventus.
  • Matt Doherty won the internet with his reveal of his move from Arsenal to Tottenham Hotspur.

That’s going to do it for today. Keep checking back for more coverage of Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B.