Good morning Lions fans! Just a little bit of Orlando news in today's Lion Links, but we'll bring them home with a nice trip around the globe. On to the links!
Reports: Antonio Nocerino Chooses Orlando
Rumors have been circulating that Italian midfielder Antonio Nocerino has decided to join Major League Soccer as a member of Orlando City. Nocerino, a current member of Serie A club,Milan, has seen playing time on over 12 professional teams and has made 15 appearances for the Italian National Team. While he may not be a goal scoring machine, he is a well-rounded defensive midfielder who can get the ball and distribute well. Nocerino's age (he's 30) and experience would add some great depth to a somewhat younger defensive midfield in Orlando and allow players to move into the attack more easily.
Steph Catley Aids in W-League Championship
During the off-season, Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley has been playing in her hometown with Melbourne FC in the W-League, and earned a championship this weekend. Her team went undefeated in league play and found itself in the championship on Sunday. The team, in its debut season, became a dominating force after adding NWSL players Kim Little and Kyah Simon, and both contributed in the victory. Melbourne FC defeated Sydney FC with a score of 4-1, capping off the dominant season (albeit at Jasmyne Spencer's expense). With one championship under her belt, hopefully Catley can come help the Pride bring one to Orlando, as well.
USMNT Pulls Out a Win
The USMNT pulled out a 3-2 victory over Iceland yesterday afternoon. Iceland opened up the scoring early and started a battle between teams as each continued to score. In the 90th minute, Michael Bradley serviced in a ball that Steve Birnbaum put in the back of the net to earn Klinsmann's side the win. The boys will be back in action on Feb. 5 against Orlando City's own Cyle Larin and his Canadian side. Check back to The Mane Land later this week for a match preview.
Greek Soccer Team Protests During Game
Following a boat accident that killed 26 migrants attempting to escape Syria, Greek soccer players, officials, and coaches held a sit-in during the game to protest the mistreatment of refugees from Syria and Iraq. They observed two minutes of silence just after the match began to mourn and remember those who have lost their lives and those who will continue to lose their lives. Their desire is to encourage authorities to help aid these young refugees and show support for those continuing to flood into Greece.
Iraq National Team Qualifies For Its First Olympics
Amid ISIS chaos, the Iraqi soccer team qualified for its first ever Olympics. Following the win over Qatar, fans flooded the streets with fireworks, singing, and celebratory gunfire. The fans even stood outside the Baghdad airport to welcome the triumphant team with a hero's welcome, complete with drums, singing, and dancing. In a nation of such chaos and strife, this win is a much-needed feel good story.
John Terry Leaving Chelsea
John Terry, longtime member and captain of Chelsea, will leave the Premier League side at the end of the season. The center back is regarded as the most successful captain in Chelsea's history and has been with the team since he was 14. However, it seems as if his departure will not be a pleasant one, as the team informed him it will not be renewing his contract when it runs out. Things may change when Chelsea selects a new manager, but for now it seems that Terry will need to find a new home. Perhaps MLS will be his landing spot?
That's all for for today folks! Enjoy your week!