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Lion Links: 3/14/23

Results of Berhalter and Reyna investigation, CCL preview, Violette signs temporary players, and more.

MLS: Eastern Conference Semifinal-Columbus Crew SC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We’re on the eve of an extremely important Concacaf Champions League clash for Orlando City. That’s not all though, because there’s a whole host of interesting news that we need to cover. Let’s not waste any time, and get straight into today’s links.

Berhalter-Reyna Investigation Findings

On Monday, U.S. Soccer released the results of an independent investigation into the mess surrounding Gregg Berhalter and the Reyna family. It found that keeping Berhalter as coach would not have any potential legal hurdles for the federation, and the federation subsequently released a statement saying that he is still a candidate for the head coaching position.

The investigation also found that there was a “pattern of periodic outreach” from Claudio Reyna to the USSF regarding the treatment of Gio Reyna, and that the exchanges weren’t always pleasant. In the end, this is a terribly sad situation for the Berhalters and for Gio, and hopefully the federation will now be able to focus on hiring a sporting director, followed by a head coach.

Concacaf Champions League Preview

The Concacaf Champions League is back tonight, and the MLS clubs involved are all facing different scenarios when it comes to advancing to the next round. The Vancouver Whitecaps and LAFC are in the best positions, having recorded 5-0 and 3-0 first-leg victories, respectively. The Philadelphia Union are set up well to get a win at home against El Salvador’s Alianza following a goalless draw in the first meeting between the teams. Orlando City is in the exact same scenario as the Union, but the daunting prospect of needing to either beat a high-powered Tigres team outright, or advance on penalties after a goalless draw, means that things are far from simple. Finally, there’s Austin FC, which laid a 3-0 egg on the road against Haitian side AC Violette in the first leg, but returns to Q2 Stadium with a chance to turn things around.

Violette Makes Temporary CCL Signings

Speaking of AC Violette, the Haitian outfit has been forced to get creative in order to field a team for tonight’s match. There have been conflicting reports about whether or not visa issues would prevent the team from traveling to the U.S. and that does seem to be the case. The team isn’t letting that stop it though, as our friends over at Hudson River Blue have reported that Violette has temporarily signed two players from semi-pro outfit FC Motown out of Morristown, NJ. Right back Samuel Pompee and left winger Maudwindo Germain both previously spent time playing for Violette and they will now be in the squad for a CCL match, having come from a club that competes in the UPSL and USL2. It’s a great story that will be even better if Violette can manage to advance.

MLS Transfer Roundup

There are a couple pieces of MLS transfer news to catch up on. First, the Portland Timbers have signed forward Franck Boli from Ferencvarosi in the Hungarian first division. The 29-year-old Ivorian had 42 goals and 11 assists in 126 appearances for the team and has one cap for the Ivory Coast, which came in a qualifier for the 2022 World Cup.

Over in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Fire are reportedly finishing up a one-year-loan deal for left back Alonso Aceves. The 21-year-old is in town for a medical, and will give Chicago some more depth at left back once the signing is over the line.

Free Kicks
  • Kerry Abello was the last woman standing during beep test day for the Orlando Pride.

That’s all I have for you today. Stay safe out there!