Lion Links

Lion Links: 2/21/20



What’s up, Mane Landers? It’s another great Friday as we inch closer to the 2020 season. It may just be because I’ve had a hectic winter, but this off-season is flying by for me. It’s crazy to think that eight months of Orlando soccer are right around the corner, but here we are with less than 10 days to go. Let’s get today started with some links from around the soccer world.

Lions Ready for the Season to Begin

Orlando City plays its final preseason game tonight against San Antonio FC and Head Coach Oscar Pareja has been pleased with the team’s progress this preseason. With five wins and a productive trip to Cancun, the team has come together and is ready to turn preseason promise into regular season results. Earlier this week, Nani scored twice and the captain led the Lions to a comfortable win over KR Reykjavik. In his second season with Orlando, Nani believes the team is prepared for what lies ahead.

New Center Backs Settle In

With Lamine Sané no longer on the team, Orlando City added center backs Rodrigo Schlegel and Antonio Carlos on loan this off-season. After leaving Argentina for the first time, Schlegel struggled with the language barrier and not being with his family in his first few days with the team. But he has formed bonds with goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and Mauricio Pereyra and is eager to earn minutes and improve his game.

“I’m looking to get the most minutes that I can,” Schlegel said through a translator. “I want to learn and to enjoy the training, and to learn new things that the coaches are asking. The more minutes I get and the more games I see… I know I will get better.”

Carlos joins Orlando on loan from Palmeiras in Brazil. He spoke with the media about how he is settling in and getting comfortable as a Lion.

Five Pride Players Named to Allocation List

The National Women’s Soccer League named five Orlando Pride players as part of the 2020 Allocation List for the upcoming season. Alex Morgan, Shelina Zadorsky, Ashlyn Harris, Emily Sonnett, and Ali Krieger all made the list and all five should play a part in this summer’s Olympics. Krieger returns to the list for the first time since 2017 and has become an important part of the United States Women’s National Team’s defense over the past year.

Pride Players in Australia

As for the Pride players abroad this off-season, Claire Emslie converted a penalty and had an assist in Melbourne City’s 4-0 win against the Western Sydney Wanderers to clinch the W-League Premiership. Although Emily van Egmond didn’t score or have an assist, she kept up the offensive pressure with five shots, three crosses, and five chances created. As for the other teams fighting for a spot in the postseason, Alanna Kennedy and Sydney FC take on the Perth Glory while Carson Pickett and the Brisbane Roar face Canberra United.

Orlando SeaWolves’ Hit the Road

The Orlando SeaWolves have had a difficult February and will end its month-long road trip with back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow. First up is a tough match tonight against the Baltimore Blast, who previously shut out the SeaWolves 7-0 on Jan. 30. Tomorrow, the team will head to Pennsylvania to take on the Harrisburg Heat before a needed week of rest. Head Coach Tom Traxler believes the team can turn effort into results and the SeaWolves are coming off a tough loss in Mexico.

“This team is hungry, this team wants success,” Head Coach Tom Traxler said,” They’re working hard every week and they’re getting better every week. It’s hard to see in the results, but we can tell from the things that we’re doing that we’re getting better.”

Free Kicks

  • Check out some of the deleted scenes from the Bleed Purple series, with the second part set to come out next week.
  • The Concacaf Champions League continued last night with MLS clubs in action. Heber scored a hat trick as New York City FC won 5-3 over San Carlos. In the other game, Nicolas Lodeiro was out with tendinitis as the Seattle Sounders were held to a 2-2 draw against Olimpico. All five MLS clubs were on the road for the first leg, and only LAFC lost.
  • 2020 Leagues Cup details were released, including which teams will be participating and the schedule.
  • Robbie Rogers, Hope Solo, and Carlos Ruiz are just a few of the many names on the 2020 National Soccer Hall of Fame ballot.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the Women’s U-20 Championship that starts this weekend in the Dominican Republic.
  • We end our links with pretty cool news from Sporting Kansas City. It looks like the club will teamed up with a whiskey company for some limited edition booze. It would be cool if Orlando City did something similar, but I think we’re more of a rum kind of club.

That’s going to do it for today, folks. I hope each and every one of you has a swell Friday and a great weekend. Fun fact, this will be the last weekend without Orlando City soccer until September.


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