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Lion Links: 2/11/21

Pato deal looking unlikely, Oscar Pareja says CCL is on the rise, MLS season start pushed back, and more.

New York City FC v Orlando City SC: Round One - MLS Cup Playoffs Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Greetings, Mane Landers, and happy Thursday. I hope you’ve overcome the first half of your week with ease. The weekend is steadily approaching and there has been a fair amount of soccer news, so on that note, let’s get right into the links.

Alexandre Pato to Orlando City Looks Less Likely

Sources indicated to The Mane Land last night that the likelihood of Alexandre Pato signing with Orlando City has dropped after the player missed a deadline to accept the offer on Wednesday. While the Brazilian striker could still potentially end up in Orlando, the chances of it happening have taken a hit and he’ll likely be off to Argentina instead. We’ll continue to track this story as it develops.

Oscar Pareja: CCL is on the Rise

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja assisted at Wednesday’s Concacaf Champions league draw. In an interview with the confederation’s website, the Lions’ manager stated that he believes MLS sides are improving, and the CCL is on the rise.

“Before competing against Monterrey, Club America and Cruz Azul, there was a big difference. But now MLS teams are on par and the Honduran teams like Olimpia and Marathon, Saprissa and Alajuelense from Costa Rica, those teams are also having good performances. I think it’s a great tournament and we are enjoying the evolution of Central American and North American football. I think that the SCCL is on the rise,” concluded Pareja.

Although Orlando City will not be taking part in the tournament, it’s great to see the club having representation in such a prestigious competition. Here’s how the bracket ended up after the draw.

MLS Announces Update to 2021 Season Start

MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced Wednesday that the 2021 season will start on April 17 instead of April 3. Following the ratification of the CBA on Monday, the new start date is set to be on a date two weeks later than the original one previously set. The official schedule for the regular season will be announced in the coming weeks. It’s great to have MLS coming back in just over two months.

NWSL Gets Just Five Positives from over 600 Tests

During the first week of preseason for NWSL, five players tested positive from over 600 tests. The three players and two staff members that tested positive for COVID-19 followed proper protocols.

“The individuals who received positive results, as well as any close contacts, are self-quarantining and following the guidance provided by their respective medical staffs and the league’s medical protocols.”

The league will continue to provide testing updates weekly beginning Saturday, Feb 20, 2021.

Free Kicks
  • Former Philadelphia Union attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson scored his first goal with Red Bull Salzburg in a 3-1 victory against Austria Wien.

That’s all for this Thursday’s set of links, thanks a million for tagging along. I’ll catch you next week.