Despite the end of the season for the Orlando City Soccer Club, the past few days and weeks have been jam packed with news. Yesterday may have been a random off-season Tuesday, but it clearly followed suit. But despair not, my dear reader, today's Lion Links column is here to carry you through. So pour some purple in your coffee and read on.
Cyle Larin's Nominated for Rookie of the Year
In what can clearly be filed as "Exhibit B" in the "Cyle Larin is having a better week than the rest of us" debate, our favorite Canadian striker followed up yesterday's Goal of the Year nomination with a Rookie of the Year nomination. Since the formal designation is likely just a formality, it seems that Orlando City's long awardless drought is over. Whew... that nearly hit a year.
Sitting firmly in the "why did I have to start my MLS career this year" camp are Fatai Alashe and Matt Polster. While both had fine years for the Earthquakes and Fire, respectively, they'll be hard pressed to win out against Larin's record-setting campaing. Read more about it at Gavin Ewbank's TML story here.
Here's betting that Larin's Halloween basket was all peanut butter cups and no candy corn.
Armando Carneiro Named Chief Soccer Officer
Reaching across the pond, Orlando City named Armando Carneiro Chief Soccer Officer. Carneiro was formerly the General Director of S.L. Benfica's Academy, and now will be in charge of all soccer operations, including the MLS club, the NWSL club, and the USL club.
There will undoubtedly be some challenges in integrating both Carneiro and his role into the club, as pointed out by our own overachieving Ewbank, but if properly done, it could prove to be one of the bigger off-season signings.
In any sense, Carneiro immediately leaps to the top of the all-time Most Awesome Job Title rankings, and leaves me feeling woefully inadequate about my chosen career path.
Extended Interview with Adrian Heath
In this extended transcript, Inchy waxes on about a number of fascinating topics, including the challenges he faced in year one, the growth of his team, and what the team needs to do going forward. It's really a fantastically interesting read and there's no way I can summarize the entirety of it here, so I encourage you to click on the link. That said, my favorite part was this:
The one thing I’ve always remained confident in, especially with this group and this league, is I don’t think there’s many better coaches out there in this league than me. I really don’t believe that. And if we can make the necessary tweaks to get us more competitive through 1 to 20 and make it better, I have every belief that I can deliver what the club want to deliver.
Heck yeah! Is it 2016 yet?!
Things to Look Forward To
The Orlando City mothership takes a look at the top five things to look forward to next year. You could easily add Tally Hall's recovery, the continued growth of youngsters like Larin, Rivas, and Rochez, or the still untapped potential of Brek Shea's hair, but I guess they wanted to keep it to five. Though I'm not sure that I can buy into continued momentum of the late season surge. Sure, it's a nice confidence builder, but a full four months will pass without a competitive MLS game.
Toni Pressley Comes Back Home
As a Brevard County resident, I was thrilled when the Pride brought in some hometown players. Ashlyn Harris has been most prominent in the local news, but Florida Today had a nice article on the story of Toni Pressley. I can tell you that there is some excitement in this area about bringing in some local talent. The impact of these signings will be felt beyond the soccer field and it will definitely draw Brevard County soccer enthusiasts to the Pride. I, for one, am looking forward to watching both women ply their trade.
A Look at the Orlando Pride Roster
While we have evaluated the Orlando Pride roster composition fairly extensively here, here, and here, it's always interesting to see the perspective of others. The Bent Musket, SBN's New England Revolution site, took a look at how the roster is shaping up. While I may be taking a few liberties with their conclusions, it seems that they're coming to the same conclusion as the rest of us: The Pride are just about ready for world domination.
It's a Start
#MLS is considering taking a break during Copa America Centenario, per Bezbatchenko.— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) November 3, 2015
I Would Have Spelled It "Scholarshyp"
So excited to announce and share the recipients of the "Kaylyn Kyle Soccer Scholarship!" More details on my Facebook pic.twitter.com/cnWdIxHzgP— Kaylyn Kyle (@KaylynKyle) November 3, 2015
That's it for your Wednesday Lion Links. Enjoy your Hump Day.