Once again, welcome to today's Lion Links. While they may be lacking in terms of quantity, they do have a fair share of quality. I hope you find them almost as enjoyable as I find my grandma's Christmas pie.
Orlando City Goalkeeper Coach Backs Adrian Heath, Looks Forward to Global MLS
Stewart Kerr, new goalkeeper coach for Orlando, is convinced that international recognition for Major League Soccer is just around the corner. After spending four years on Toronto FC's staff, Kerr has grown a greater appreciation for the game and feels as if his perspective on how the rest of the world view the MLS has changed. Kerr recently traveled back to his home in Scotland and shared with MLS Soccer about just how much he feels that the league has grown globally. From the linked article above:
"I was back in Scotland a month ago and there were live MLS games on TV, with a lot of soccer people watching and paying attention . . . it is now clear MLS is a really attractive option for players all around the world," he explained. " I know coaches here now get emails on a daily basis with offers and interest from abroad, and I am very aware there are players in Scotland who are desperate to get a chance in this league." Kerr believes the future is bright for the MLS and confirm the recent growth in international fans.
In the same interview, Kerr discussed his excitement in joining the Orlando City community and the chance to participate in a large international fan base, comparing it to his Celtic fans back home. Kerr is also looking forward to the opportunity to work under head coach Adrian Heath.
"Adrian is totally devoted to the job, and he lives it 24/7, which is very much my own philosophy . . . when you add in what I think are probably the most passionate fans in the league, the club has all the ingredients to succeed and I'm very much looking forward to being a part of that," he stated.
Kerr will have his hands full with three impressive goalkeepers in this upcoming season, and the passionate fans are sure to wait on bended knee for the announcement of the new starting goalkeeper.
Why We Shouldn't Always Listen to Abby Wambach
Recently, Wambach called out United States National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for not having an interest in the youth of America, and only focusing on international talent, even going as far to say that,
"the way that he has brought in a bunch of these foreign guys is not something I believe in wholeheartedly. I don't believe in it. I don't believe in it in my heart."
While Wambach does bring up a point that there is a lack of American talent on the national team, she is off base. Every player that has received a call-up to camp has a right to play; they have the credentials. This statement from Wambach comes several months after former player Julie Foudy raised question about diversity on the women's team, saying
"When we were playing, we had Briana Scurry, and a few others. There still weren't enough back then, no Hispanic players, around the world it's played in under-served communities. In America, it's a middle class, white sport," she explained.
Former Brazilian goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, says, "its a shame, because when you have a mix, its better for the game." The lack of diversity on the women's team is even more evident when compared with other teams. In France, there are French players from Africa; however, all the good Mexican-American players are playing in Mexico. So while Abby Wambach may have a point that the men's side is flawed, some should consider the issues within the women's game before listing to Wambach.
2015 Best of Shenanigans Announced
Major League Soccer has released their Best of Shenanigans for the year, handed out to the most laughable plays of the season. Thankfully Orlando City did not receive an award, however, the club was part of the play that received an honorable mention -- Adailton's two own-goals in one game against the Lions. The winner of the ultimate blooper of the year went to Real Salt Lake's Luke Mulholland for heading the post during a game against Sporting Kansas City.
A Great Soccer Pastime a Legend or a Reality
During the First World War, a truce was called on Christmas day for an impromptu football match between the Germans and the British, or so the history books say. The football match is how the armistice is remembered today in Great Britain. Letters written home by British soldiers claim of matches that happened elsewhere and were all third hand accounts, or rumors heard from down the trenches. So maybe there was a small game of kick around shared between a few soldiers, or maybe it was this big event captured in history books and people minds of this great game between enemies.
Well, that's it for today. On the post Christmas Saturday, spend some time enjoying those new Orlando City gifts and Happy Holidays!