Hey, it's Thursday!
Yeah, I know. You've waited all week for it and now it's here. Thursday!
OK, I tried. It's not exactly Friday or anything but, out of the five weekdays, Thursday's not the worst. At least we're one day closer to the start of the 2015 MLS season. In fact, tomorrow is Media Day for Orlando City SC and the start of preseason training. The Mane Land will be out at City's training grounds en masse to bring you all the happenings.
Let's dig into a heaping helping of Lion Links to start your Thursday off right. It's part of a complete breakfast.
Getting Friendly with D.C. United
While we already knew about Orlando City's preseason games in the Carolina Challenge Cup, yesterday we found out about another preseason friendly. The Lions will face Eastern Conference regular season champs D.C. United at the IMG Academy in Bradenton on Friday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. The Washington Post's Steven Goff was the first to publish the story in his United News and Notes column.
Turner, Donovan Still Alive in U-20 World Cup Bid
The U-20 USMNT won 1-0 on Wednesday in Jamaica over a game Trinidad & Tobago squad in the CONCACAF Championships. Tyler Turner and Conor Donovan were not in Tab Ramos's starting lineup. Donovan got into the game as a sub in the 84th minute, replacing Tommy Thompson. Turner did not play.
By beating Trinidad & Tobago, the U.S. finished second in the group and is a win away from the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The decisive match is Saturday.
Why Kaka is #Komingsoon
Alicia Rodriguez from MLSSoccer.com was out at MLS Media Day and spoke to Orlando City's No. 10 to find out why the Brazilian chose the opportunity to come to Orlando and MLS. Said Kaka:
"I've always said that one day I would like to play here in MLS," Kaka told assembled reporters. "I had some contact in the [past] years with the Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, but I started to work with Flavio, he had an English school in Brazil, WiseUp. We started to do some things together, and we started this relationship, and he said to me he wants to buy a franchise in the league.
"And so we start to think [ahead] to this moment, in Orlando. So the moment arrived, and I decided to come to Orlando City, for all these things [because] I would like to play here, one day, and also because a Brazilian and a friend had a club, so everything [came] together."
Kaka also said his favorite Disney character is Donald Duck and discussed playing on artificial turf. I may not agree with the Citrus Bowl putting in fake grass, but I can't wait to Kaka play there.
Gentile Lands in Switzerland
Former Orlando City forward Giussi Gentile has a new home. The striker from Miami is bound for FC Chiasso in the Swiss Challenge League. He scored two goals and added an assist in 11 appearances with the Lions in 2014. He'll be #ForeverALion and we at The Mane Land wish him good luck with his new club, playing for former Italian international Gianluca Zambrotta.
I Officially signed with FC Chiasso. Dream come true playing pro soccer in Europe & playing under Gianluca Zambrotta. pic.twitter.com/WpnfuulahG— Giussi Gentile (@GiussiJuice7) January 21, 2015
What the fans in Louisville think of Orlando City's third- and fourth-round SuperDraft selections (Earl Edwards, Jr. and Sidney Rivera, respectively)...New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC have announced their USL Pro intentions, taking Orlando City's former league to 24 teams. Toronto has come up with the original name of TFC II for its USL club and the Red Bulls are yet to announce their team's name....USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended for 30 days for her part in the incident in which her husband Jerramy Stevens was arrested for DUI. I still maintain that Jerramy Stevens is Meathead Rob Lowe.
And that will do it for today. Enjoy your last day before Orlando City's preseason training begins.