Welcome to the third day of the off-season for Orlando City, friends. We've known for some time that our Lions wouldn't be taking part in the MLS postseason, but the realization that the season has officially ended is still setting in a bit. Not to worry though, as we're still serving up fresh links to start your hump day.
Let's dive in.
Orlando City's "MLS Exit Interview"
Orlando City fans are very familiar with the work of FourFourTwo reporter Paul Tenorio -- formerly of the Orlando Sentinel -- from his days on the Lions beat. As part of a season-ending series, he took a look at City's 2016 campaign: What went right, what went wrong, and what lies ahead. Orlando paired one of the league's most potent attacks with one of its most inept defenses, and with questions looming regarding personnel and tactical changes this off-season, this is a good primer for fans heading into these dark four months.
Lions in the Running for MLS Goal of the Year
MLS has opened voting for its best goal of the season, and a trio of Lions are among the nominees. Kaká's impressive solo effort from this past weekend vs. D.C. is included, as is Brek Shea's outside-of-the-boot effort against Portland from early in the season. Cyle Larin's curling finish from outside the box against Columbus last month rounds out the Orlando City nominees, all three of which are solid submissions. You can vote here to help your Lions advance in the bracket.
Audi Announces Scholarship Program for OCSC Youth
A bit of cool collaboration between the club and one of its primary sponsors here, as Central Florida Audi Dealers will begin offering a scholarship program in 2017 for players in the Orlando City Youth Soccer Program.
"The Audi Central Florida Dealers are committed to growing the game of soccer in the Central Florida Area. We understand that families sacrifice a lot to have their children play this beautiful game," Audi Marketing Manager Margaret Mohiuddin said. "We are happy to play a small part by providing these scholarships to support the development of youth soccer in Central Florida."
Audi North Orlando, Audi South Orlando, and Audi Melbourne will be the participating dealerships, and they'll all offer a $1,500 scholarship every year to an OCSC youth team in their area.
Digging Into the Roots of Orlando City
Kevin Mercer -- you may remember him from his days of providing scholarly soccer analysis and history on this very site -- took a look at the birthplaces of Lions players past and present to get a picture of the club's players' origins. One of the more surprising finds was that City has had six players from San Diego. Who knew? There's some cool info from the findings, so take a look.
In the News
A few tidbits to wrap up today's links. First, a pair of Timbers players -- Liam Ridgewell and Jake Gleeson -- were booked on DUII charges (driving under the influence of intoxicants, Oregon's version of DUI) on Monday night. Gleeson reportedly crashed his car and then called Ridgewell for help, and both men were intoxicated when police arrived. Don't drink and drive, kids.
In unrelated and less dark news, the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced that they'll be making the move to USL in 2017 from NASL. The Rowdies' chairman called the league a vibrant one, and sounded excited about the move, naturally. Lastly, the haters over at the mother ship (I kid, I kid), didn't select Kaká as the SB Nation MLS Player of the Week, opting for Vancouver's Giles Barnes instead.
That'll do it for today's links, folks. Have a good Wednesday and we'll see you back here tomorrow morning.