It's déjà vu all over again, as another Friday arrives with another showdown with a Canadian side looming on Saturday. As we wait to see a re-tooled Orlando City lineup take on Montreal Impact tomorrow afternoon, enjoy your morning coffee with today's edition of Lion Links.
One Door Closes, Another Opens
Orlando has put its heartbreaking, last-minute loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC behind it and has been working hard this week in preparation for Montreal. While Orlando City will feature a much different lineup this week due to the FIFA international break and an assortment of injuries, Saturday's match will provide opportunities for players who have been waiting in the ranks to make their impression on manager Adrian Heath. Here's an update from Orlando City SC on the week that was in training.
More Discipline Handed Down to Vancouver from OCSC Match
After announcing Wednesday that Vancouver forward Kekuta Manneh would be suspended for one game following his dangerous two-footed, studs up tackle on Orlando's Aurélien Collin last Saturday, Major League Soccer handed out more disciplinary action to Whitecaps FC on Thursday. Vancouver defender Diego Rodriguez, who engaged in some uh...foul play with Collin in the 62nd minute, has been suspended for two games by the league. Here's hoping that Collin's boys have fully recovered in time for Montreal this weekend.
Move Stateside Pays off For OCSC's Luke Boden
Luke Boden will fill the void left by Brek Shea at left back for Orlando on Saturday against Montreal, marking his first appearance for the club at the MLS level. Simon Viness explains here how the move from across the pond has helped Boden not only on the pitch, but in integrating himself into life in Central Florida.
Louisville City FC Unveils Inaugural Uniforms
There's another purple and white team starting an inaugural season this year. Orlando City's USL affiliate Louisville City FC unveiled its purple home kits and white road uniforms on Thursday. The jersey sponsor is Humana, which is in white on the purple shirt and in green on the white away kit. Here's a look at former Lion Bryan Burke's new Louisville uniform.
That's a nice, clean look.
Jax Armada Announces Addition of Akeil Barrett
Forward Akeil Barrett, who was drafted by Orlando City in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft in January, has been signed to a contract by Jacksonville Armada FC, where he has been on trial since March. The 22-year-old Jamaican was a two-time all-conference performance at the University of Tulsa prior to going pro.
Kaká Says Players From Chelsea and Arsenal Tried to Bring Him to England
Apparently Orlando's face of the franchise was baited previously to make a move to the English Premier League, but remains happy with his decision to join OCSC and MLS. Chelsea midfielder Oscar – a fellow Brazilian – and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil – a former teammate at Real Madrid – both tried to lure Kaká to the Premier League unsuccessfully. Ricky also discusses his admiration for former manager José Mourinho, who he played under in Madrid, noting that ambition is what sets the Special One apart in the ranks of great managers.
Enjoy your Friday, Lion Nation, but try not to slam too many brews tonight. You'll need to be on point for tomorrow's showdown in Quebec.