Good Friday morning, everyone! The glorious weekend is almost upon us! Celebrate by joining me as we take a tour of the soccer world in today's Lion Links!
OCSC Welcomes Dane Jacob Schoop on Trial
Jacob Schoop, a 27-year-old Danish midfielder, is set to begin a trial with Orlando City. The 5-foot-9 attacking midfield player is currently out of contract, having last played for Icelandic side KR Reykjavik. Schoop has additional experience in his native Denmark with Odense BK, the club where he began his professional career. The trial is set to begin today and, according to the player's agent, Orlando City has followed the player throughout both stops in his professional career.
Academy Player Alejandro Pereira and U.S. U-17 Team Advance to 2016 Aegean Cup Final
Current OCSC academy member Alejandro Pereira, a native of Oviedo, and his U-17 Men's National Team teammates have reached the final of the 2016 Aegean Cup by virtue of topping their group during the group phase of the tournament. Pereira is a part of the 32-member squad named by new U-17 coach John Hackworth for the 2016 Spring Residency Roster, a roster that includes 11 MLS academy players. The U.S. will play host to Turkey in Saturday's final.
Orlando City B Roster Insight from Heath
Continuing the notes from yesterday's links, Head Coach Adrian Heath shed some light on the roster make-up of the new USL club. The plethora of new additions and draft picks comprise two potential groups. The seven recent additions have signed USL contracts, while the four picks from the SuperDraft will all have the opportunity to make the MLS squad.
Former OCSC Academy Director Dishes on Lions, New Position
As Darren Powell adjusts to his new position as head coach of the expansion San Antonio USL side, he looks to utilize his experience gained while in Orlando to his advantage. In speaking with the Orlando Sentinel, Powell praised the investment of owner Phil Rawlins and Heath in supporting his efforts in developing OCSC's academy.
The Decision: Jordan Morris Edition
The Jordan Morris saga has finally reached its conclusion. Although he did not announce his decision in a special televised event, the former Stanford star, Sounders academy product, and current USMNT member has spurned German club Werder Bremen and decided to sign a Homegrown contract (the most lucrative of its kind) with the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders welcomed Morris home from his trial with Werder with a tweet. This welcome was fitting, as Werder CEO Thomas Eichin stated Morris turned down his club's offer because he was homesick. In the same Bild report, Eichin also stated the club would keep an eye on Morris as he begins his professional career in Seattle. What, if anything, does this move mean for MLS in a larger context?
New "World Class" Soccer Facilities in Store for RSL?
Real Salt Lake, as the name suggests, calls Greater Salt Lake City its home. The club's academy, however, is currently located in Casa Grande, AZ. RSL owner Dell Hansen has plans to lessen the distance between parent and academy teams.
MLS as Retirement League...What About as a Springboard League?
Critics of MLS often critique the nature of high-profile signings of aging (or simply aged) superstars. Two such players, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, feel that the league is a positive step for top, young international players.
New York City FC has announced the signing of Costa Rican international defender Ronald Matarrita from Costa Rican club side L.D. Alajuelense in an effort to shore up their back line that let in a league-worst 58 goals last season.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have acquired Matarrita's international teammate, midfielder Christian Bolaños, who has signed a multi-year deal with the club. Bolaños was acquired from Deportivo Saprissa using Targeted Allocation Money.
From the History Books
On this day in 1905, the Revolution of 1905 began, bringing over two years of conflict in Russia.
So, Mane Land readers, what do you think of OCSC's Danish trialist? Do you think that Jordan Morris make the right decision? What do you make of the thoughts of Lampard and Gerrard? Will NYCFC's or VWFC's Costa Rican signings make a prominent impact this season? Please add your thoughts in the comments!