Another Wednesday is upon us, Mane Landers. We're now in the second half of the final month of the year. Some may use this time to reflect on the past year, and there may be good reason for that. Despite the lack of a playoff appearance, Orlando City completed what has to be considered a successful inaugural season. But I prefer to look forward to a 2016 year that promises to be an absolute thrill. Expectations will be higher, there are two more teams to root for in the Pride and OCB, and there's a new stadium on the way. I for one am ready to put 2015 behind us and get moving on 2016.
On to the links.
Alex Morgan Sets Sights High
Alex Morgan is definitely the premier name on the Orlando Pride, and in this article, she talks about the things she's doing to make sure she can live up to that name, and it's more than just working on her game. She talks quite a bit about balancing her personal life and how she can be someone that other young women can look up to.
Steph Catley Attends Abbreviated Aussie Camp
The Westfield Matildas (Matildas being a fantastic name for a national team, by the way) began a short training camp yesterday and Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley is among those in attendance. The camp lasts only until tomorrow and is in preparation of the Olympic qualifying tournament, which kicks off in February in Japan.
USMNT Prepares for January Camp
In a few weeks, the United States Men's National Team will convene for the January camp. This article takes us for a ride on the Way Back Machine and revisits the camps of years gone by. It's fun to reminisce about young, unsung players like Landon Donovan and Tim Howard kick-starting their international careers, and it will be exciting to see which young players can make their names this year.
ESPN's Long Term Outlook on MLS Viewership
It's not news that the TV viewership for this year's MLS final was down from last year. It was expected with the lower market teams of Portland and KC facing off, but it's interesting to read this interview with ESPN senior vice president Scott Guglielmino on Philly.com. I'm especially curious to see how the league and the networks balance experimentation with the need for consistency. MLS is far more popular than it was even just a few years ago, but there will always be work to do to compete for eyeballs in North America.
Kicking It Under I-4
The section under a highway is not exactly the most glamorous of areas, but Orlando is looking to change that by putting a park under I-4. The largest portion of this park will include a number of sports facilities including a few soccer fields. So who knows, perhaps the future stars of Orlando City are getting ready under an overpass near you.
Star Wars Starting XI
I think the idea of a Star Wars starting XI is pretty awesome. I get having Yoda as striker, and I totally support not having anyone from the "prequels" on the team. I can even get behind having Darth Vader on defense, though I suspect he would give up a lot of penalties. I think Chewy would be better served as a CB, though as I think it's too risky to have both CB represented by the Sith (I'm assuming Kylo Ren is a Sith Lord of some sort since I haven't seen episode XII). Also, I think his height would be a great advantage, and let's be honest, "wookie" doesn't exactly scream "reflexes." Now, Boba Fett as left back is just silly. The dude had a jetpack and couldn't stay out of a hole in the middle of the desert. OK, that's enough.
Congratulations to the OSCS U-12 Boys
Last, but definitely not least, the Orlando City U-12 Boys have won the Super Y League Finals. There isn't much in the way of articles, but here are some great tweets that commemorate the occasion.
That will do it for today. Hope these links help you get through the day.