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Lion Links: 8/4/20

MLS may resume regular season soon, Pickett helps design cleat, Minnesota signs a player, and more.

SOCCER: JUN 01 NWSL - NC Courage at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Orlando City SC is in the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament and all is currently right with the world. If the Lions can get by a couple familiar faces on Thursday night then the club will play in its first final since joining Major League Soccer. There’s plenty to talk about today so let’s hop right in.

Report: MLS Regular Season May Resume This Month

With the MLS is Back Tournament finishing up next week the league is beginning to take steps towards continuing the regular season in home markets. Reports are that the first full weekend of play would take place Aug. 21-23. The exception would be FC Dallas and Nashville SC, the two teams that were not able to take part in MLS is Back due to COVID-19 outbreaks both teams suffered shortly after arriving in the bubble. The two teams would reportedly face each other twice between Aug. 12-15 in north Texas in order to help catch the clubs up on the games they missed by not participating in the tournament. It also seems likely that the league would allow spectators at games, as long as the home team complies with local health guidelines, which vary state by state.

Pickett’s Accessible Kicks

Orlando Pride defender Carson Pickett has partnered with Nike to help create a new soccer cleat designed specifically for individuals with limb difference. The Phantom GT Academy FlyEase has a fold-down heel to make it easier to take on and off, and has a wrap-around strap instead of laces to tie up. This is just...absolutely phenomenal. It should be an excellent footwear option for athletes with limb difference, and Pickett using her voice and influence to help advocate for a cause near and dear to her heart is freaking wonderful to see.

Minnesota Makes a TAM Signing

Minnesota United has announced the signing of defender Bikaye Dibassy from French team Amiens. The French center back was signed using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), and comes to the Loons having spent the last four years of his career with Amiens. Dibassy has also been capped by the Mali national team, making four appearances for the team since 2017. Dibassy will strengthen a Minnesota back line that has been without two-time MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara once he joins his new club on Aug. 12.

Bubble Life After a Month

ESPN’s Stefano Fusaro has now been living inside the MLS is Back Tournament bubble for a month, and he took it upon himself to share his experiences with the world. His first impression of arriving at the bubble was how eerie and empty it was, and the tension from the deluge of positive tests from Nashville and Dallas didn’t make those feelings any better. Once the second week arrived though, Fusaro said things took on a more typical routine as he, players, and staff members became more accustomed to their temporary home. Unsurprisingly, it seems a big factor in helping lift the mood was the fact that there hasn’t been a positive test since Dallas and Nashville left the bubble. All in all its an interesting read, and one you should check out.

Free Kicks
  • The NWSL seems to also be making moves towards playing more games in 2020, although nothing has been officially announced yet.
  • Dom Dwyer looks to be in good spirits following successful surgery on his patellar tendon.
  • Check out some of the sights and sounds from Orlando’s quarterfinal shootout victory over LAFC.
  • Minnesota United has a couple players who are doubtful for Thursday’s game.
  • Adrian Heath took the time to talk about what time semi-final match-up means to him.

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