As the season quickly approaches, the beautiful game is slowly returning to our beloved soccer city. With the return of the players for preseason, and the addition of new players, soccer is once again buzzing in Orlando. Help feed that buzz with these links.
Cyle Larin Called into National Team Camp
The Canadian National Team announced the players who will be traveling to the United States to participate in a training camp. Included in this list is City player Cyle Larin. The 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year has made 14 appearances for the Canadians, including eight starts and has scored four goals. He represented Canada at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and will look to help his country qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Due to the camp, Larin will miss parts of Orlando's preseason from Jan. 25 through Feb. 6, at which time he is expected to be back training with the Lions.
Rumors of Honduran International Continue to Circle
Back in December it was reported that Devron Garcia, a 19-year-old defensive midfielder from Honduras, would report to Orlando and participate in a training camp to earn a spot on the Lions' roster. Now, it seems as if the rumors are proving to be true, as pictures have surfaced on Twitter of Garcia with his family before getting on a plane for Orlando. As reported earlier, Garcia will most likely be on trial for both Orlando City and Orlando City B.
Orlando City Wants to School You
Orlando City is launching a new digital initiative know as "Soccer Smart." This program is designed to help fans and supporters, both beginners and experts, expand their knowledge of the game. The goal of the program is to provide informative written and video content, which will help fans learn soccer 101 and be able to more fully comprehend the game. The video series features appearances from Orlando City players, demonstrating the rules being taught. The program is now available and is great for fans to use in preparation for the season.
Orlando Set to Become Soccer Capital of America
Following the Florida Cup, which brought nine top soccer clubs to Florida, Lennar Homes, the second largest home builder in the United States, has become a key supporter of soccer in Central Florida. "It is our vision to collaborate with community and business leaders to create an environment in which Orlando may one day become the Soccer Capital of the United States," said Paulo Bethencourt Neto, Vice President of International Sales and Marketing for Lennar Homes' Orlando Division. The goal is to attract larger tournaments, like the Florida Cup, which brings in top-level talent and supporters from across the globe. The idea is that teams can stay at the large resort at Championsgate, which is near fields and has excellent training facilities. It is set up to be an ideal location for teams to hold camps, tournaments, and expiation games, making Orlando a soccer city.
Alex Morgan Wins CONCACAF Award
While Alex Morgan came in second for CONCACAF Player of the Year to fellow National Team teammate Carli Lloyd, she did receive an award as one of the two best female forwards in CONCACAF. In addition to Morgan's recognition, her teammates Hope Solo, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Carli Lloyd also received awards, as well as her National Team coach, Jill Ellis. While none of the Orlando City players received an award, the United Stated had representation from Tim Howard and Michael Bradley, both in the form of CONCACAF Male Best XI. Make sure to catch Morgan and the rest of the United States Women as the take on Ireland today on FOX Sports 1.
Kaká "Shoots for Love"
Shoot for Love is an organization that uses soccer to raise awareness for children with cancer and to raise funds to help them get back onto the soccer pitch. Many famous soccer players have taken part in the "Shoot for Love Challenge," including Frank Lampard, John Terry, Marco Reus, and our very own Kaká, among many others. The object of the challenge is to kick a ball at a giant bullseye that has different point values that result in a certain amount of money donated. Kaká managed to get a large sum of points, but you'll have to watch to see just how many.
Two Orlando City Prospects Called Up to U.S. U-19s
United States U-19 Head Coach Brad Friedel has selected his 23-man roster for the Copa de Atlantico tournament in Canary Islands, Spain, and two young Lions made the cut. Orlando City B signee Pierre Da Silva and fellow midfielder David Loera from Orlando City's academy made Friedel's roster. The competition, which will be Friedel's first since becoming the U-19 coach, will take place from Jan. 27 to Feb. 6.
UEFA Approves Goal-Line Technology
UEFA has approved the use of goal-line technology for the Euro 2016 and the Champions League. This technology allows the officials to know for sure whether or not a ball has crossed the goal line and could eliminate controversy over possible goals.
Well folks, that is all for today. Have a great Saturday and go Lions!