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Lion Links: 4/27/22

MLS Primary Transfer Window players to watch, Pride to play Racing Louisville at Daytona Speedway, Houston Dash suspend James Clarkson, and more.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, Mane Landers. How is everyone doing down in Florida? I’m doing good up here in Chicago and checked out Wrigley Field for a Cubs game this past weekend. We’ve got lots to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

MLS’s Primary Transfer Window Players to Watch

MLSSoccer.com‘s Tom Bogert shared his thoughts on which players to keep an eye on as the MLS Primary transfer window deadline approaches on May 4. An Orlando City player to watch is midfielder Sebas Mendez. He’s only played in six matches so far this season. Cesar Araujo has been getting more minutes at that position, along with Junior Urso and Andres Perea. Still, Mendez has been a quality player for the Lions for the past three seasons and it certainly won’t be cheap for another MLS club to try to acquire him. With the Colorado Rapids’ recent acquisition of Gyasi Zardes from the Colombus Crew, it will be interesting to see if Andre Shinyashiki will get moved soon. The Vancouver Whitecaps are expected to announce the arrival of Andres Cubas soon, while Atlanta United continues to look at options at goalkeeper, such as Maccabi Haifa’s Josh Cohen and Lanus goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo.

Pride to Play Racing Louisville at Daytona International Speedway

The Orlando Pride’s match against Racing Louisville scheduled for July 2 will be moved to July 3 and will be played at Daytona International Speedway. This will be the first NWSL match to be played at an American racetrack. The match is part of the first-ever Daytona Soccer Fest, a two-day event bringing world-class entertainment and professional soccer to Daytona International Speedway over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The match will be the marquee event on Sunday, set to kick off at 8 p.m., and you can watch the match on CBS Sports Network. There will also be a legends game, featuring World Cup champions and stars of the men’s game such as David Trezeguet, Juan Sebastian Verón, Javier Mascherano, and Claudio Pizarro. Saturday will feature another match at the racetrack between Colombian sides Deportivo Cali against America de Cali.

Houston Dash Suspend GM and Head Coach James Clarkson

The Houston Dash have suspended General Manager and Head Coach James Clarkson. The NWSL and NWSLPA joint investigative team recommended the club suspend Clarkson immediately pending the conclusion of an investigation into alleged violations of the NWSL Policy to Prevent and Eliminate Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying. The league launched an investigation last year to review current and historic complaints of discrimination, harassment, and abuse within the league. NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman released this statement:

“As it relates to this particular situation, I want to thank the individuals who brought their concerns to the Joint Investigative Team, as well as Ted Segal, Jessica O’Neill and the Dash organization for taking swift action, and for their cooperation with the Joint Investigative Team’s recommendation,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “I want to thank the players and staff throughout the league who have participated in the overall investigation thus far, and assure them, as well as our fans and partners, that we will deliver on our promise to create a workplace where players and staff are empowered to succeed in a healthy and safe environment.”

The Houston Dash has accepted the joint investigation team’s recommendation and a decision about Clarkson’s future with the club will be based on the final results of the ongoing investigation. The club will name an interim coach soon.

Manchester City Wins First Leg of Champions League Semifinal

Manchester City held on to defeat Real Madrid 4-3 in the first leg at Etihad Stadium in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Kevin De Bruyne scored the first goal just two minutes into the match. Gabriel Jesus added a second to give Man City a 2-0 lead. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema pulled one back for Madrid just before halftime in what was ultimately a seven-goal thriller. The second leg will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday. Today’s UEFA Champions League semifinal match will feature Liverpool hosting Villarreal.

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That will do it for me, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.