After experiencing major soccer overload this week with trades, retirements, and a national team loss, it is nice to have a day without much going on in the soccer world. Here is what is going on in Orlando in today's Lion Links.
Former Orlando City Players Find Homes Elsewhere
Corey Ashe was acquired by Orlando City back in July in exchange for allocation money and a second round pick for the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. While in Orlando, Ashe appeared in 21 games and played a large role in City's defense, registering two assists while in a Lions jersey. Prior to coming to Orlando, Ashe saw time with the Houston Dynamo, where he played in 211 games, scoring one goal. Ashe is a two-time MLS All-Star and brings nine years of experience to his new team. As reported back in November, Orlando City declined the renewal of Ashe's contract, leaving him as a free agent. He has signed with Columbus Crew SC.
Jamaican forward Denis Chin signed with Ottawa Fury FC of the NASL. Chin had a four-year stint with Orlando City before playing 20 games with Arizona United in 2015. During his time with Orlando, Chin scored 29 goals for the Lions and was the leading goal scorer for the USL in 2012, earning himself a spot on the All-League First Team. Before helping Orlando win several trophies, Chin spent time at Oviedo High School and Rollins College, both located in Central Florida.
Orlando Pride and Orlando City B to Hold Open Tryouts
The Orlando Pride and Orlando City B team will both host open tryouts to offer an opportunity for aspiring soccer players to be discovered. Orlando City B will hold their tryouts at Seminole Soccer Complex on Jan. 16 and the Pride will hold theirs at the same location on Jan. 17. Each team's first session will begin at 9 a.m. There is no guarantee that walk-ups will be accepted, therefore, players are encouraged to pre-register online.
Former Orlando City Players Feature in NCAA College Cup Final
When Clemson faced Stanford at Sporting Park in Kansas City this past weekend, three former City system players were featured in Clemson uniforms. Paul Clowes, Michael Melvin, and Kyle Fisher all started the game for the Clemson Tigers, who ultimately fell, 4-0, to the Stanford Cardinal. Despite the loss, all three players had exceptional seasons. Co-captain Paul Clowes, who spent time time with Orlando City's U-23 squad, was selected for the College Cup All-Tournament team and was named a semifinalist for the MAC Herman Trophy. Defender Kyle Fischer, also from City's U-23 team, was named to the All-Tournament team and reached the semifinal level of the MAC Herman Trophy. Finally, sophomore Michael Melvin saw time in 23 of the 24 games with the Tigers and scored the deciding penalty kick that sent the team to the College Cup Final.
Michael Bradley Wins U.S. Player of the Year
The new United States soccer captain, Michael Bradley, won his first U.S. Player of the Year award, following a remarkable season in which he saw 18 appearances, scored three goals, and registered six assists -- the most in a single season since Landon Donovan back in 2013. Three-time winner Clint Dempsey finished in a close second with 33 first-place votes, followed by 2013 recipient Jozy Altidore, with nine first-place votes.
Here's to another day of rest and relaxation as Christmas quickly approaches. Happy Holidays!