Smell that? It's the weekend getting closer and closer. The absolute best way to enjoy this Friday is to start it with some awesome Lion Links. Don't worry, I read the links before writing on them.
Orlando Pride Season Ticket Sales Progress
Who knew women's soccer would be big in Orlando? Well, Phil Rawlins knew and, chances are, those of you reading this knew too, but still, it's taking off better than I thought. With over 2,000 season tickets sold already, Orlando Pride is looking at providing an atmosphere in the NWSL that no other team has. If you have not bought your season tickets yet, you can do that here.
New Wave of Soccer-Specific Stadiums
In case you missed it, Orlando City is building a pretty sick stadium. Sports Illustrated took a look at this new wave of soccer-specific stadiums in this excellent piece that I highly recommend reading. With this new wave, stadiums are being built to encompass the entire fan experience from the outside in. I can say personally that I am incredibly excited for the new Orlando City stadium, but I am also excited to see other teams build soccer-specific stadiums.
Sermanni Returns to Pro Game
If you know nothing about Tom Sermanni, know this: he is a great coach. Making his return to the women's pro game for the first time in years after a good career with several national teams (including the USWNT), Sermanni looks to have a lot of success built on a great core. Sportsnet.ca had an awesome Q&A with Sermanni that gives great insight into the mind of the Pride coach.
USL Affiliates Barred from U.S. Open Cup
The USSF confirmed yesterday that all MLS-owned USL teams are now ineligible to play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. While some fans are upset about this, this is great news for Orlando City as the OCB team will not have to end up facing the senior side in the tournament, and first-team players would not be cup tied by playing for OCB at any point. This format also removes several teams from the tournament, which may make it easier for some teams to advance in the tournament (only to lose to Orlando City, of course).
That's all for today, folks, enjoy your Friday!