Thursday is another step closer to the weekend, and that is something we can all be thankful for.
This will mark my first Lion Links with The Mane Land, and for that I am thankful. We always have news surrounding the team even as the off-season barely gets started; so let’s jump right into things.
Orlando City’s New Stadium will be “Insane”
Orlando City looks to match Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall in the new downtown soccer stadium. The Yellow Wall is one of Dortmund’s calling cards for fans all over Germany. The fans of the black and yellow team of Europe tend to get pretty wild within their massive standing section. Orlando will look to match this atmosphere as the club builds a wall of its own.
While Orlando’s wall might be smaller than that of Dortmund’s, fans of Orlando will take it upon themselves to get as wild as possible and Top Drawer Soccer predicts the supporters section will be “insane.” The article dives into how the sound from Orlando’s crazies will travel down and completely smother the field to create one of the league’s best atmospheres. Is it March yet?
Orlando City’s Alex Leitão only MLS CEO of Color
The 2016 MLS Racial and Gender Report Card is out and Orlando City’s CEO is the league’s only person of color in that position. Brazilian Alex Leitão has filled the CEO position for Orlando City for the past two years. Major League Soccer has improved slightly over last year in the study by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, earning a B+. From the Orlando Sentinel story linked above:
"I think it's important information," Leitão told the Orlando Sentinel after seeing the report. "It's important for the vision of the league that we evolve. Nothing to do with quotas and making sure we have 50% of this or that, it’s to reflect the world around us. There’s new [people] coming in, thinking global, with different cultures and understandings of the world. I think this is beneficial. Soccer is an international game."
There’s a lot of interesting info in the Sentinel article so check it out.
Orlando City U-15/16s Learning by Playing Top Competition
Traveling to South America for the Atlético Paranaense tournament, the Orlando City Academy U-15/16s played against a very strong opponent in the U-17 Uruguay National team. The Lions failed to get the victory in what was one of the toughest matches they have faced.
Orlando City fell 3-1 in what Academy Director David Longwell called the “hardest game they have ever played in.”
The loss comes after a victory against India’s U-17 National Team. This trip is the beginning of a partnership between Orlando City and Brazilian club Atlético Paranaense.
It’s Waiver Draft Day!
Major League Soccer has released its full list of eligible players in this year’s edition of the Waiver Draft, which will be held today, 3 p.m. ET. Orlando City is looking at slot number six in this year’s draft and the team’s lone player eligible for the draft is forward Julio Baptista. There are some good options available on the board and it will be interesting to see if the Lions will use their spot to pick up help for Jason Kreis.
The Waiver Draft will consist of players who are not eligible for Re-Entry or Free Agency and are either out of contract and have not been issued a Genuine Offer or have not had their 2017 options exercised.
That will be all from me today. I hope everyone enjoys their Thursday as the weekend approaches.