It feels a bit like Christmas morning in late January.
Today is Media Day for Orlando City SC, as the Lions kick off both preseason training and the start of their inaugural MLS campaign. It'll be our first chance to get a look at the players who will lead Orlando into battle this season and hear from some members of the club. As always, The Mane Land crew will be bringing you all-access coverage of this historic event.
But first, let's get things started with some Lion Links...
Kaká looks ahead to 2015
The Orlando City star joined the ESPN FC guys to talk MLS and his expectations for the upcoming season. Kaká seemed confident about the Lions' ability to compete immediately upon joining the league.
"I think we can win the championship. This is my target," Kaká said. "I know our first target this year is to arrive in the playoffs, [and take it] step-by-step, but in my mind, I always think to win the championship."
He also called this season a "new moment" for the league and said Ronaldo was the best player with which he'd ever played.
Griffey Jr. Becomes Orlando City's 10,000th STH
For the last few days, various media have reported that Orlando City has surpassed the 10,000 mark for season ticket sales. This is something we told you a couple of weeks ago. To wit:
Orlando City's season ticket sales are up to approximately 10,000.— The Mane Land (@TheManeLand) January 7, 2015
Yesterday, the club announced that the 10,000th person to buy a Lions season ticket for 2015 was none other than former Major League Baseball star, Ken Griffey Jr.
All-Star Game headed to Denver
The Colorado Rapids were announced this week as hosts of the 2015 MLS All-Star Game, meaning the league's annual showcase will head to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the second time.
Orlando has been mentioned as a possible candidate for future games, once the club's new soccer-specific venue is completed. The international opponent for the July 29 match has yet to be announced. The MLS All-Stars topped Bayern Munich, 2-1, in last year's All-Star Game, which was played in Portland at Providence Park.
Jermaine Jones back to Europe?
Jermaine Jones made quite a splash in MLS last year, leading the New England Revolution on a storybook run to the MLS Cup Final, but the USMNT star may have a return to Europe in his sights.
The Revs will surely try and lock up their star midfielder for the foreseeable future, but it will be interesting to see if Jones decides to test European waters next season. It would actually be an image-booster for MLS, which is trying to fight its perception as a "retirement league" with the influx of aging European stars into the league this season.
Jones would be the latest USMNT star to head to Europe, following DeAndre Yedlin's departure for Tottenham earlier this year.
RBNY Town Hall summary
The New York Red Bulls released an audio recording of last week's town hall meeting between season ticket holders and members of the club's front office, coming on the heels of a tumultuous off-season in which the team lost face of the franchise Thierry Henry to retirement and cut ties with popular manager Mike Petke.
RBNY blog Once a Metro has a recap of the proceedings.
The front office defended the decision to fire Petke after two of the most successful seasons in club history, and said he has a position with the team waiting for him should he ever decide to return. They also spoke about the team's much-publicized flirtation with Jozy Altidore this off-season and said a reunion would've been impossible financially without "mortgaging the future."
That's it for today. Remember to keep it here for Media Day coverage and analysis as preseason training gets underway.