It has been an understandably quiet few days for MLS and Orlando City SC. While Santa didn't bring the club a new Designated Player, he hopefully delivered authentic kits to the rest of the Orlando City faithful. Here are your Lion Links for Monday, Dec. 29, 2014:
Turner and Redding Get the Cal
Orlando's young defenders Tyler Turner and Tommy Redding were called up to the US Men's National Team Under-20 squad. Being a part of the provisional roster (and, in Turner's case, taking part in this training camp) provides them an opportunity to make the final squad for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 championships this January in Jamaica. The Mane Land has the story here.
Friedel Heading for Jamaica As Well
Former U.S. World Cup hero and current Tottenham Hotspur backup goalkeeper Brad Friedel will join former U.S. Men's National Teammate and current USMNT U-20 manager Tab Ramos on the sidelines in Jamaica. Friedel has recently qualified for his UEFA A level coaching license. The inclusion of Friedel will give the former U.S. International a taste of the touchline experience and will provide great instruction for the young Americans.
Tony Cascio Update
Orlando City Expansion Draft acquisition, midfielder Tony Cascio, is the feature of a club article about his ACL rehab. The former UConn Husky and Colorado Rapids player missed all of last season with an injury in preseason while on loan to the Houston Dynamo. A fun fact on Cascio: he was the first player ever loaned within the MLS.
The good folks at Back Page Football have an excellent feature on turf. As next year's home venue, the Orlando Citrus Bowl features an artificial turf field, there is no time like the present to familiarize yourself with the real vs. artificial turf debate.
Kiss and Make Up
Bristol Rovers' Lee Mansell took all the season's "peace on earth and goodwill towards men" sentiments to heart as he ended his face-to-face confrontation with Gateshead's J.J. O'Donnell with a sweet kiss. O'Donnell and the referee were both unamused as Mansell earned a yellow card for his gesture.
Dr. Who's the Ref
Check out the most recent Dr. Who themed "You Are the Ref" strip. For the unfamiliar, the "You Are the Ref" strip has been debating the laws of football with fantastic art and commentary from England's top referees since 1957. First in print and now on the Guardian's website, the strip has asked the tough and bizarre questions concerning the rules of the game. Have a look at this week's strip and see if you know how to call it.
We Do Love An End-of-Year Countdown
You might have noticed The Mane Land is in the midst of running our Top Ten Moments of the Year for Orlando City. MLSsoccer.com has their own Top Ten GIF-able moments countdown to check out. Because face it, if there is something we love more than a good highlight, it would have to be that highlight on a tiny screen, playing in an infinite loop.
We Went to War and a Football Match Broke Out
This year is the 100th anniversary of the famous World War I Christmas Truce. In the midst of war, Germans and English soldiers were said to have created their own unofficial cease fire and came out of the trenches to sing Christmas carols, drink some beer, and play a little soccer. Rumor has it Germany won, 3-2. No word on if England lost on penalties.
There are your Lion Links for today, happy reading! If you've got any to share with the group, please do so in the comments section below.