Lion Links

Lion Links: 11/15/23

OCB defender Nabi Kibunguchy discusses his decision to play for Kenya, Orlando City academy teams win against IMG Academy, Miami FC officially hires Antonio Nocerino, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I just got back from Michigan seeing friends and family this past weekend while also covering the 2023 NISA Championship final. Let’s all wish Orlando City defender Robin Jansson a happy birthday! There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

OCB Defender Nabi Kibunguchy Discusses Decision to Join Kenya

Orlando City B defender Nabi Kibunguchy shared some insight on his decision to play for Kenya instead of the United States. He also stated how his family heritage played a role in his decision-making process and how he looks forward to seizing the opportunity to play for Kenya at the international stage.

I just want to immerse myself in the group as much as I can and just compete for a spot. Obviously I know everything is possible because coach Firat he said the world is hard for a reason, so I am just here to compete and whatever happens and it is his decision at his end of the day.

Kibunguchy was recently called up by Kenya for its upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Gabon and Seychelles on Thursday and Monday, respectively.

Orlando City Academy Teams Sweep IMG Academy

It was a good weekend for Orlando City’s academy squads, as the U-13, U-15, and U-17 teams defeated IMG Academy to remain on top of their respective leagues.

The U-17 team has won three straight matches and got goals from Zinedine Rodriguez and Clovis Archange in its 2-0 win against IMG Academy this weekend. The U-15 team has also been unbeaten in its last three games, recording a draw and two wins. In the recent match against IMG Academy, Zack Olah scored twice in a 9-0 victory. The U-13 team is also on a three-match winning streak. It beat IMG Academy 4-2 this past weekend, as Nicolas Meloni, David Estrada, Matthew Teruel, and Asher Palacios all found the back of the net. All three teams will be in action this Saturday as they take on South Florida Academy.

Miami FC Officially Hires Antonio Nocerino as Head Coach

USL Championship side Miami FC has officially hired former Orlando City midfielder Antonio Nocerino as its new head coach. Nocerino replaces another former Lion in Lewis Neal, who recently departed the club after he filled in as the interim head coach after former OCB head coach Anthony Pulis left the job in June. Nocerino has previously coached within Orlando City’s academy and will be in charge of strengthening a Miami FC side that just missed out on qualifying for the USL playoffs, finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference with 41 points.

Emma Hayes Officially Named New USWNT Head Coach

The U.S. Soccer Federation has officially announced Emma Hayes as the next head coach of the United States Women’s National Team. Hayes will become the highest paid women’s soccer coach in the world, agreeing to a contract through 2027. Hayes has been in charge of Chelsea’s women’s team for 11 seasons, winning six Women’s Super League titles, five FA Cups, and more. Hayes will begin coaching the USWNT after Chelsea’s season concludes next May, and will have four matches to prepare the team for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Twila Kilgore will remain in charge as the interim head coach, but will eventually be an assistant coach once Hayes takes over.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City Pride goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse was at the NWSL Championship this past weekend to receive recognition for her work as a Community Impact Ambassador for the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.


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