Lion Links

Lion Links: 10/27/22



How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this Thursday finds you well as we make our way through the work week. I haven’t had much time to get any reading or binge watching done, although my roommate has been singing the praises of Andor. If you have any show or book recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comments as I’m always on the hunt. Now, let’s enjoy these links from around the soccer world.

Haley Hanson Re-Signs With the Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride re-signed defender Haley Hanson to a two-year contract that will keep her in Orlando through the 2024 season. The 26-year-old joined the Pride after a trade with the Houston Dash this past August and she made six appearances for the Pride, starting in four games. Able to play at fullback or in the midfield, Hanson’s versatility and five years of experience in the league are important factors for a Pride side undergoing a rebuild.

Orlando City’s Future is Bright

Although the pandemic stalled things at the start, Orlando City’s youth system is making considerable progress. The club’s training ground, where academy players can train under the same roof as the first team, has been a fundamental part of developing young players. Orlando City U-17 Head Coach Javier Carrillo has also been critical to development, especially after receiving his Elite Formation Coaching License in France. Favian Loyola, who was named MVP of the MLS NEXT All-Star Game, credited Carrillo for helping him take his game to the next level. Carrillo guided the U-17 team to an MLS Cup championship in 2021 and the semifinals this past summer. Although this success hasn’t reached Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro just yet, Academy Director Marcelo Neveleff has high expectations.

“We want to grab our players’ hands, and take them through [this journey],” said Neveleff. “At the same time, if I take a player and walk them through it, at some point they’re going to have to walk and run on their own. By 2025 or 2026, the idea is that 50-60% of the First Team of Orlando City is composed of Academy players.”

San Diego Wave FC Head Coach and Goalkeeper Win NWSL Awards

The San Diego Wave certainly made a splash in their first year in the NWSL, finishing third in the league standings and reaching the semifinals of the playoffs. As a result of leading an expansion team to the playoffs for the first time in league history, Wave Head Coach Casey Stoney was named NWSL Coach of the Year. Although the club had many players unfamiliar with one another, Stoney helped the team get off to a strong start to the season with four wins in the first five matches. She becomes the second woman to receive the honor, joining OL Reign’s Laura Harvey.

The Wave’s Kailen Sheridan was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year as well. Joining the team from NJ/NY Gotham FC via a trade, Sheridan helped the Wave allow just 21 goals this past season. Sheridan had a 75% save percentage and stopped three of the four penalty kicks she faced. Her distribution was also stellar as she led all goalkeepers in successful long balls and even contributed an assist.

FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid Ousted From Champions League

Barcelona is headed to the Europa League for a second straight year after Inter Milan beat Viktoria Plzen 4-0. Its fate already sealed, Barcelona then went out and lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich. Atletico Madrid’s Champions League campaign also came to a close after a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. That match had a dramatic finish as Atletico was awarded a penalty after a handball on the final play of the game, but Yannick Carrasco’s penalty was saved. With Sevilla also headed to the Europa League, Real Madrid will be La Liga’s lone representative in the knockout stage.

In Group A, Napoli and Liverpool cruised to 3-0 wins over Rangers and Ajax, respectively. FC Porto advanced to the next round after a convincing 4-0 win against Club Brugge. Tottenham could have claimed its spot in the knockout stage as well, but it drew 1-1 with Sporting CP. It looked as if Harry Kane gave Tottenham a winner in stoppage time, but he was determined to be offside by the finest of margins.

Free Kicks

  • Charlotte FC removed Christian Lattanzio’s interim tag to make him head coach moving forward. Lattanzio’s contract was extended through the 2024 season, with an option for 2025 as well.
  • Sporting Kansas City signed defensive midfielder Nemanja Radoja to a three-year contract. The 29-year-old has 181 appearances in La Liga and will give Kansas City some strength in the center of the field.
  • The Portland Timbers signed Giovanni Savarese to a contract extension that will keep him in Portland through at least 2025, with an additional year as an option.
  • American forward Mia Fishel became the first foreign-born player to win the Liga MX Femenil’s Golden Boot, scoring 17 goals in her first year. Fishel was drafted by the Pride earlier this year, but chose to join Tigres in Mexico instead.
  • A USL League Two team is coming to Sarasota and will begin play next year. The team will host games at Sarasota High School and joins the Southeast Division with Tampa Bay United and The Villages SC.

That’s all I have for you for now. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week!


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