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Lion Links: 4/8/21

Orlando City set for Minnesota United scrimmage, Silvester van der Water finally trains with Lions, Jonathan Suarez requests Mexico return and more.

Orlando City SC v Minnesota United FC

I hope you’re all doing well, Mane Landers. With just nine days to go until the MLS season kicks off, many, including myself, are watching every second wind away in eagerness. Let’s waste some of those seconds by getting right into the links.

Orlando City set for Final Scrimmage vs. Minnesota United

With the regular season inching closer and closer, Orlando City is set to play one more scrimmage this preseason. The final warm up bout will be at Exploria Stadium against Minnesota United on Friday.

“Orlando City will play one more preseason scrimmage on Friday at Exploria Stadium against Minnesota United before embarking on final preparations for next Saturday’s season opener. More details on the game, including ticketing information and return to stadium protocols, can be found here.”

There are just nine days until the season gets underway in MLS. Let’s hope the Lions are nearing their physical best, but saving it for April 17.

Silvester van der Water Trains with Lions for First Time

New Orlando City signing Silvester van der Water took to the training field for the first time with his new teammates Wednesday. The 24-year-old signed in February, but was yet to train with the side until yesterday due to issues at the Dutch embassy delaying his arrival to Florida.

The former Heracles Almelo man will have 10 days of training with his new teammates ahead of the coming season. If the highlights posted to Twitter are anything to go by, it looks as if the Dutchman could fit in quickly.

Jonathan Suarez Files Motion to Return to Mexico

Former Orlando City defender Jonathan Suarez filed a motion requesting permission to return to play for Club Tijuana in Mexico. In February, Suarez and his brother Rafael were accused of sexual battery in their Kissimmee apartment. In light of the accusations, Orlando City decided to terminate the loan deal on Feb. 28.

The current terms of Suarez’s bond require him to stay in Orange and Osceola counties. The 24-year-old wishes to return to Mexico for the upcoming Liga MX season.

“In the motion, Suárez’s lawyer said the defender “is not a flight risk” and having his contract — and therefore his pay —terminated would cause “substantial hardship” to Suarez and his family.”

Pulisic Breaks American Records in Champions League

Despite just coming on as a substitute, USMNT winger Christian Pulisic still managed to break a number of records. Pulisic came on at the 65-minute mark and helped see his Chelsea side past Porto, 2-0. The 22-year-old became the first American to play in the competition’s quarterfinals for two different sides and in two different seasons. Furthermore, he was also the first to play in a final eight affair for an English side.

Americans have taken part in 10 knockout matches in the Champions League so far this season — that too is a record, breaking the previous one from 2004-2005.

Free Kicks

That’s all for this Thursday’s set of links, folks. Stay safe out there. Catch you on the flip side.