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Lion Links: 1/5/17



The first Thursday of 2017 is here. I truly hope your new year is off to a wonderful start and that you accomplish whatever goals you have set for yourself. Thursday brings us a lot of different news from around MLS and the United States so let’s get into it.

MLS SuperDraft 2017

This year, Orlando City will select in rounds three and four of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. OCSC has a third-round pick due to trading away Aurélien Collin to the New York Red Bulls. The Collin-to-New York trade worked out well for Orlando City, developing into a third-round pick after originally being a conditional fourth-round pick. The linked story above explains but the short version is that Orlando’s pick improved because Luis Acosta played a lot of games for Washington. The Lions traded their first-round pick to Atlanta for Donny Toia and also lost a second-round pick in the 2015 trade for defender Corey Ashe.

With the draft comes hope, no matter what the round is. History is proof of this. MLS recently released an article showing some of the greatest late-round pick-ups over the years. Some of the names include Michael Bradley, Brian Ching, and Nick Rimando.

Is it the year where Orlando City finds one of these gems? Fingers crossed.

Rowdies Contact David Beckham

The Tampa Bay Rowdies want to be in Major League Soccer. Recently, the Rowdies organization released details in a campaign to help bring MLS to Tampa Bay. Apparently the next step of that plan is to capitalize on David Beckham’s failed attempts to land a franchise in Miami.

The Rowdies have been contacting David Beckham in order to help move along the process of earning a golden ticket into MLS.

“That’s come up so many times and there have been so many letters saying ‘Why doesn’t Beckham come to St. Petersburg?” Edwards said. “The answer is yes, we have. We’ve tried to reach out to no avail, but [Beckham] should just come visit and take a look.”

Do you think this would be a good move for David Beckham?

USMNT Coaching Staff Named

Bruce Arena just named his official coaching staff and now looks to focus on building the USMNT roster. Arena decided to stick with familiarity as many of his coaching staff picks (four of five) come from his previous club, LA Galaxy.

“The entire staff has a great amount of playing and coaching experience both at the international and professional level,” said Arena. “With the need to hit the ground running, it’s even more critical that we have a staff that knows the player pool, shares a philosophy on how we approach the game, and has knowledge and experience in the international arena. In different ways this group ticks all those boxes, and we are already hard at work getting ready for the January Camp and the World Cup Qualifiers in March.”

Do not be surprised if Arena continues to look for familiarity as he begins to choose and piece together the roster.

January Camp Roster Released for USWNT

The United States Women’s National Team have called in 29 players into its annual camp that runs from Jan. 13-23. Among the call-ups are four Orlando Pride players: Alex Morgan, Kristen Edmonds, Ashlyn Harris, and Ali Krieger.

Morgan will only be available during FIFA dates, Jan. 16-24, as per team press release. Edmonds will be looking to make her first cap for the Red, White & Blue.

Witteman Called up to U-23 WNT

The U-23 USWNT opens up January with a 30-player camp. The camp will consist of players from U.S. Youth National Teams, top college prospects, and four women representing the pro league — the NWSL. Of the four NWSL players, the Orlando Pride are happy to be represented by defender Samantha Witteman.

The camp runs from Jan. 6-13 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, CA.

Thank you all and enjoy the rest of your Thursday.


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