Good Friday morning, Mane Landers! I hope that everyone's week has gone well. If not, at least it's almost over! Before we get to the links, let's take a moment to celebrate Darwin Day, honoring the birth of Charles Darwin on this day in 1809. On to the links!
Getting to Know Orlando City Assistant General Manager Niki Budalic
Despite the off-season boardroom upheaval, Orlando City has added to its administrative staff. The club has recently added Niki Budalic as Assistant General Manager. Budalic recently spoke about his new role and his expectations for himself and the club as he settles into his new position. Budalic also discusses his previous relationship with OCSC President Phil Rawlins, whom he now works alongside.
10 things about Kaká
Orlando City's star player was discussed in a piece at MLS's official Web site. While nothing revelatory was unveiled, it makes for a good, quick read on his path to OCSC. As Chinese clubs continue to splurge the cash, Kaká is the type of player they have been spending on, and we learn in this piece that he did indeed have offers from Asia. What are your expectations for the midfield maestro in his second year in the league?
U.S. Soccer coaching overhaul
Results for the USMNT last year were, to put it nicely, rather rough. As Olympic qualifying is nearly upon the U-23s, World Cup qualifying continues for Russia 2018, and the future of current boss Jürgen Klinsmann is debated by fans and pundits alike, the state of U.S. Soccer is intriguing. As a part of a greater overhaul to develop the nature of the sport in the United States, changes in licensing courses and youth initiatives introduced last year will begin to be implemented this year.
From the Sports Illustrated piece:
"None of it is about copying what happens in other countries," Ryan Mooney, who oversaw the changes as U.S. Soccer director of sport development, told SI.com. "It's really about bringing in different perspectives, bringing in international expertise, people that have proven track records of developing coaches, educating coaches in a very professional manner and at a very high level and creating something that is uniquely American."
Gunners target MLS All-Stars
The opponent for the 2016 MLS All-Star Game has been announced. English Premier League side and title contenders Arsenal will face off against the best of MLS in this summer's edition of the All-Star Game to be held in San Jose on July 28. The league announced the match-up with a nicely made video, which includes cameos from MLS stars like Kaká, Sebastian Giovinco, Giovani dos Santos and Chris Wondolowski along with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and current Gunners like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calum Chambers, Joel Campbell and manager Arsène Wenger.
And the 2016 @ATT #MLSAllStar opponent is… https://t.co/r5hdaKxc0U— Major League Soccer (@MLS) February 11, 2016
Arsenal's connection to the league includes Stan Kroenke, the largest shareholder of the Arsenal board who is also owner of MLS's Colorado Rapids. What do you think about Arsenal as this year's All-Star Game opponent? Are you enticed by the big-name club? Are you over the All-Star experience completely?
Have a great Friday, Lions!