Happy Saturday, everyone. It’s a special weekend edition of Lion Links today as there is simply a lot of news to discuss. I hope your weekend is off to a good start and that you were able to watch the WandaVision finale without being spoiled.
Let’s get to the news of the day.
Flavio Augusto da Silva in Discussions to Sell Orlando City
Reports that Orlando City could be sold cooled for a while but they popped up again on Friday. The Athletic reported that sources indicated that talks were ongoing for a possible sale of Orlando City SC to the Wilf family, who own the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Apparently they like the color purple. We don’t yet know if the sale would include the Orlando Pride or Exploria Stadium and we also don’t know if this is the same potential buyer rumored to be in discussions to buy the club back in October, as reported by Sports Business Journal. The story Friday indicated that the deal wasn’t in the final stages, so it could be a while. We’ll keep following the story to see where it goes.
Lions Drop New ‘Thick N Thin’ Home Kit
The long-awaited (and teased) new threads were unveiled Friday evening and the results were...fine. The new ‘Thick N Thin’ home jersey is purple, which is good. It lacks gold trim, which is meh. It features buttons without a collar, which is bad. While I like the look of a Henley, I hate the way they feel on me. I don’t like all the buttons done but then again it feels weird around my neck when it isn’t buttoned up. One other thing we discovered is that the team doesn’t have a jersey sleeve sponsor as of yet.
I like the stripey things — the club calls them the Thick N Thin lines — that run north and south. So it has a little of everything. I think my reaction can best be summed up as neither loving nor hating it. Let me know what you think about it in the comments section. One thing I did like was the Florida flag and the general look of the back of the shirt, as modeled below by the Beefy Swede.
Toronto FC Will Start Season in Central Florida
The Reds are coming to the Sunshine State. Toronto FC announced yesterday that the club is going to make camp at the Omni Hotel at Championsgate, just southwest of Orlando. From the Omni, the Reds can practically roll out of bed and be on the training field. The length of TFC’s stay in Florida will be depend on health and safety regulations surrounding international travel in and out of Canada. Toronto could play home matches in both Orlando and Tampa. We’ll find out more when the MLS schedule drops, I guess.
Inter Miami Under Investigation for Potential Shenanigans
MLS announced on Friday that it is investigating whether Miami violated salary budget and roster guidelines when the Herons signed French midfielder Blaise Matuidi from Juventus. Miami signed two Designated Players last season — Rodolfo Pizarro and Gonzalo Higuain — and a Young Designated Player in midfielder Matías Pellegrini. So it raised a lot of eyebrows last season when Inter Miami signed the 33-year-old Matuidi without using a DP slot.
Each team was allowed two high-priced designated players whose budget charge could exceed the maximum plus a third if there was a $150,000 payment to the league split among other teams, under roster rules announced by the league on March 1 last year.
Hey, I get it. When David Beckham played in MLS he was with the LA Galaxy, so it’s only natural that he thinks you can just sign whoever you want for however much money and have the league be OK with it.
- The Lions could have an extra competition to play in this season.
- Extratime chose Ruan as one of their top five outside backs in MLS. But, the thing is...when he’s healthy, Joao Moutinho is an even better fullback. At least that’s my hot take.
- Former Lion Joe Bendik re-signed with the Philadelphia Union.
- If you aren’t a Paramount+ subscriber and you enjoy watching Serie A, you might need to pony up for another streaming service.
BREAKING: ESPN+'s rights to Serie A end this season. After a round of negotiations with top broadcasters, the process is now entering a 2nd round of bidding with a Wednesday deadline.— World Soccer Talk (@worldsoccertalk) March 5, 2021
A source has told us ESPN+ is expected to lose Serie A to Paramount+ but it's still wide open. pic.twitter.com/oxdTUTV6v9
- Those born on this date include Michelangelo (1475), comedian Lou Costello (1906), Ed McMahon (1923), baseball’s Willie Stargell (1940), late Supremes vocalist Mary Wilson (1944), Pink Floyd guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour (1946), actor/director Rob Reiner (1947), Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton (1967), Shaquille O’Neal (1972), former USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard (1979), Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (1994), and Chelsea/Germany striker Timo Werner (1996).
That’s all my time for today. Enjoy your weekend.