Yesterday was quite the day, and therefore we are just doing to dive right in to Friday's Lion Links. We have to make sure that you are aware of everything you need to know to boss the water cooler.
Neal Returns to Orlando City
After being released from the Orlando City first team in November, it was announced yesterday that veteran Orlando City player Lewis Neal will be returning to the organization. Neal will be re-joining the club in an extended role that will see him be a part of the Orlando City B team, the youth academy, as well as being a participant in broadcasting duties. The addition of Neal brings veteran experience to the coaching staff and makes sense since Neal was voted the "Clubman of the Year" by his peers in the squad.
Kevin Alston becomes a Lion
Yesterday saw Phase 2 of the MLS Re-Entry draft take place, and unlike Phase 1, Orlando City made a move and decided to pick up former New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston. The 28 year old Alston has had a tough MLS career so far; however, in 2015, he managed 933 minutes for the Revs and people are expecting a renaissance for Alston in 2016. The addition of Alston provides coverage for numerous defensive positions and with previous international experience, this signing starts to complete the MLS roster for next season and makes a lot of sense.
Pride Add Two More
The player announcements just kept coming yesterday, and the Orlando Pride also got in on the action. They formally announced the signings of midfielder Becky Edwards and defender Kristen Edmonds from the Western New York Flash in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2016 College Draft, as well as the Pride’s first-round pick in 2017. The new additions brings the Pride’s roster up to 16 and with head coach Tom Sermanni’s hint in yesterday’s Mane Land PawedCast, expect another Canadian international (along with Kaylyn Kyle to be the next addition to the Pride. This announcement was also on top of yesterday’s announcement that saw retired Bermudian international Khano Smith join the Pride’s coaching staff.
Copa America Comes to Town
With the announcement last month that Orlando would be one of the host cities for next year's Copa America Centenario, yesterday saw the announcement of the number of games, as well as one of the teams. It was confirmed that Orlando will host three games of next summer's tournament, all in the group stage, and it was announced that Brazil will be playing on June 8th. The other games–as well as Brazil's opponent–are still unknown, as the full tournament draw doesn't take place until February, but stay tuned for all the necessary information!
Mourinho Gets the Boot
After taking Chelsea to the Premier League title just a mere seven months ago, Jose Mourinho now finds himself out of a job. With the club currently lying in 16th place in the league, and with no sign of a light at the end of the tunnel, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has decided to make a change. It really shouldn't come as a shock to most that follow the English game after hearing Mourinho complain that his players betrayed him after last weekend's loss to Leicester City. It remains to be seen where ‘the Special One' will go next, but expect it to be somewhere big.
Other Things You Need to Know
- MLS Live will be returning for the 2016 season.
- Josh Saunders will return next season for our rivals, NYCFC
So yesterday was quite the roller-coaster for announcements, and with the club's holiday break starting on Monday expect today to be just as busy. Make sure you keep it tuned to The Mane Land to find out the most up-to-date information. You can also connect with us via Facebook & Twitter to be in the know straight away.