Happy Sunday, Lion fans. Can you believe Christmas is only a week away? And only six days until Hanukkah begins? If you are still looking for a gift for a Lion fan, official Mane Land gear makes a great gift. Just saying.
Enough with the shameless plugs, let’s get to the Links.
Tommy Redding and U-20s Rout Costa Rica
Tommy Redding and the United States U-20 Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica 4-0 on Saturday. The U-20 USMNT will play Costa Rica again tomorrow to finish up a December training camp in preparation for CONCACAF’s 2017 U-20 Championship. The tournament will be held in Costa Rica from Feb. 17-March 5. The tournament is used to determine participants for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Redding made strides for Orlando this year, starting 16 games (appearing in 18) compared with only two games played in 2015. The young defender will look to improve on his 16 starts for Orlando, as well as prove to Jason Kreis that he is a regular MLS starter — most of Redding’s starts came at the beginning of 2016. Orlando fans will hope Redding is to make the jump to become a mainstay in Kries’ back line in 2017. Check out Gavin Ewbank’s Tommy Redding season review.
Orlando Pride Players Up for CONCACAF Player of the Year Awards
Orlando Pride’s Ashlyn Harris is one of 10 goalkeepers selected for the goalkeeper of the year voting. Other Americans included in the list are Alyssa Naeher of Chicago and Michelle Betos of Portland.
Harris started 15 games for the Pride in 2016. She recorded 62 saves and four clean sheets, while only conceding 20 goals from 82 shots on goal. Harris earned three caps for the United States Women’s National Team in 2016, allowing two goals and earning one clean sheet.
Alex Morgan is up for two CONCACAF awards this year: Female Forward of the Year and Female Player of the Year. Morgan faces some stiff competition from her fellow USWNT teammates Becky Sauerbrunn, Carli Lloyd, Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, and Tobin Heath.
Morgan scored an impressive 17 goals in 21 appearances for the U.S. For the Pride, Morgan started all of her 15 appearances, scoring 4 goals.
New Pride defender Ali Kreiger is one of seven NWSL players up for the Female Defender of the Year award. Kreiger logged over 700 minutes with the USWNT this year with 17 appearances and seven starts. Kreiger joined the Pride this off-season from the Washington Spirit.
Voting is open through Jan. 8, so get to those links and #VotePride.
Three Orlando City Players in Bleacher Report’s Top 50 MLS Players
Bleacher Report published its Top 50 MLS Players list. Where did Orlando’s players end up? Cyle Larin came in at 20, Kaká fell one spot behind Larin at 21, and Kevin Molino was the last Orlando player named at 28. Who came in first? Well, that honor went to leading goal getter, Bradley Wright-Phillips. The two-time Golden Boot winner edged out Sebastian Giovinco at second, and David Villa at third. Let us know what you think of the list in the comments.
Molino Back with Trinidad & Tobago
Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino ran afoul of team rules a couple of times with his national team but he’s back under new Trinidad & Tobago manager Tom Saintfiet. Molino was among several T&T players training in Saintfiet’s first couple of sessions on Thursday and Friday. Sainfiet worked out his team at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Thursday evening and again yesterday morning, at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella. With a new boss, Molino will hopefully be able to write a new chapter in his international career.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Orlando fans. Stay tuned to The Mane Land for the latest insight and analysis of Orlando’s off-season moves and news.