We've made it to Thursday, Lions, so we're officially on the down slope towards the weekend and Orlando City taking on Philadelphia on Sunday. Fire up a pot of coffee and dive into this morning's Lion Links before you tackle your Thursday.
Here we go...
Alex Morgan to Orlando? Alex Morgan to Orlando!
As we addressed last night, USWNT star Alex Morgan appears on the verge of joining Orlando Pride via a trade with Portland Thorns FC that is currently being finalized. The deal was reported on Wednesday evening by Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated. Orlando would be giving up a lot to acquire Morgan, but the return would be a world class striker and the most marketable player in the women's game for the Pride.
Between Kaká and Morgan, this ownership group sure knows how to market expansion clubs, and their ambition is being evidenced yet again by this news. By the way, Morgan played a role in the USWNT's dramatic late equalizer (scored by Carli Lloyd, naturally) in a 1-1 draw against Brazil in Seattle late last night. The two teams go at it again Sunday at the Citrus Bowl.
Making History Film Premiers
Orlando Film Festival kicked off last night and was headlined by Making History, a 47-minute film about the rise of the club from Phil Rawlins' vision until the MLS opener against NYCFC on March 8. Our man Michael Citro was there and can tell you more about it here, but initial reviews are positive for this OCSC documentary.
City Foregoes Practice for...Foot Golf
With only one regular season match remaining and an eight-goal deficit to be overcome if Orlando City is to overtake New England for the No. 6 spot in the East, the lads opted to "train" in a different manner on Wednesday morning ahead of Philadelphia.
The boys took the course to play some Foot Golf at Windermere Country Club pic.twitter.com/4XOGAXLAfJ— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) October 21, 2015
Those are some fantastic shorts on Aurélien Collin, and it is good to see the team still enjoying themselves as the season (likely) comes to a close this weekend. The results from the round at Windermere Country Club include an even-par 72 for Adrian Heath. Here's to hoping we see some highlights on the next episode of The Brek and Avi Show.
Kreis and Klinsmann in the Rumor Mill
According to Grant Wahl (he's back!), New York City FC manager Jason Kreis is in "real danger" of losing his job just one season into his stint with the expansion club. If Kreis is indeed given the boot, it would be an extremely impatient move from NYCFC, which is set to miss out on the postseason in its first year as the Sky Blues currently sit 10 points out of the sixth spot in the East.
We knew that Orlando City was the superior first-year franchise, but we didn't know that the Lions' Oct. 16 victory broke NYC's spirit to the extent of possibly firing their first-year coach.
Also in the news per Wahl is U.S. men's national team coach and technical director Jürgen Klinsmann. The embattled coach still holds his designation as technical director, but Wahl's sources say that he has been nudged out of those duties over the last year by Jay Berhalter, U.S. Soccer's chief commercial director. U.S. Soccer denies the power struggle, because of course they do. Give Wahl's piece a read through for full details regarding Jürgs and Kreis.
Klinsmann's job doesn't appear to be in jeopardy at the moment, but former Mexico boss Miguel Herrera would be open to coaching the United States.
Everything You Need to Know About the MLS Playoffs
While the postseason won't include Orlando City without a barrage of goals from the Lions and NYCFC this weekend, you will still probably be interested in watching. The folks at the MLS official website have put together a guide with all the information you will need ahead of the playoffs, which will begin after this Sunday's #DecisionDay.
In the meantime, we will root for a beat down of Philly this weekend and a little (read: a whole lot) of help coming from our Sky Blue rivals to somehow squeeze into the playoffs. Fat lady ain't singin' just yet.
UEFA Champions League Wednesday Roundup
Match day 3 continued in the UEFA Champions League group stages on Wednesday, with Real Madrid vs. PSG, Manchester City vs. Sevilla, Manchester United vs. CSKA Moscow and Juventus vs. Monchengladbach highlighting the action.
Recent record signing Kevin De Bruyne came through for Man City with the winner against Sevilla, while Real and PSG battled to a 0-0 stalemate in Paris. Another recent, big-money signing came through for the other Manchester club in Moscow, as Anthony Martial scored for Man U in its 1-1 draw with CSKA. Reigning runner-up Juventus remained atop its group with a draw against Monchengladbach.
That's it for Thursday's Links, Mane Landers. Have a great day.