Happy Saturday, I hope everyone is well recovered following the Orlando City game last night. Not quite ready to take off your purple jersey? Fill your need for all things Orlando City with these Lion Links.
Orlando City didn't get the three points it wanted against 10-man Chicago last night, but the Lions are still unbeaten on this young 2016 MLS season. Here is our game coverage, with more to come later this morning:
Antonio Nocerino to be Fully Fit in Two Games
Antonio Nocerino has finally arrived to the Sunshine State, and Orlando City fans have been on the edge of their seats in anticipation for him to take the field in purple. In a recent interview, Nocerino said that he will only need two games to be fully fit for Orlando, meaning he could be in top form by April 3, when the Portland Timbers come to town. Until then, Nocerino is excited to get some playing time, getting a feel for the field and style of play that Orlando possesses. Nocerino also spoke on his desire for Kaká to be back and heathy, and on his role in bringing him to the MLS. He was introduced at the home opener to 65,000 fans, all eager for his arrival, only providing him with a higher impression of the league and encouragement that he made the right choice in moving to Florida, and he made his debut last night.
Servando Carrasco May Have a Career in the NFL
In the home opener for Orlando, Servando Carrasco sent a ball flying from one end of the field to another, landing perfectly in the box which led to a goal. After the cheers died down and the fans left the stadium, Carrasco found himself at home with his father-in-law, watching the kick that sent fans wild. A joke was made that after his MLS career ended he may have a career in the NFL as a kicker, to which Carrasco laughed and said that maybe one day he would play for the San Diego Chargers. In most cases this would seem like a long shot, however, the Chargers' current kicker, Josh Lambo, is a former professional soccer player. While he may not take the chance to transfer to American football, his performance may have earned him another chance to start.
Orlando City B Adds Three More Players
Orlando City B deepened its roster with the acquisition of Antonio Matarazzo, Keegan Smith, and Alejandro Garcia on Saturday. Matarazzo comes to Orlando following a four-year career at Columbia University. In his final year at the Ivy League school, Matarazzo was named to the All-Ivy League second team and finished second in minutes played. He plays well in both midfield and defense and has promising potential. Smith joins Orlando after being selected in the second-round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by the Montreal Impact. Smith previously played four years at the University of San Diego, netting 13 goals and six assists. Smith is a valuable striker, having played with both the United States Men's National U-15 and U-17 teams. Finally, Garcia arrives in Orlando coming off of a stellar season at the University of Cincinnati, where he scored 10 goals and notched two assists. Garcia came in for preseason with the B team and impressed his way to a contract. All three players will compete to play as Orlando City B prepares for the United Soccer League to being official matches.
Orlando Pride Players Receive Physicals
The majority of Orlando Pride's players have finally arrived in Orlando from their various home towns -- many arrived in time to take in Orlando City's home opener last Sunday. Yesterday, Pride players reported to Orlando Health for their physicals and check-ups. This is the first step in beginning the process of training for the home opener. The players described it as exciting and seem excited that it's finally time to step foot on the soccer field. Also in attendance, Tom Sermanni spoke of his enthusiasm to finally have players in town to coach. The Pride will now begin practicing in anticipation for their preseason game against the University of Florida.
Alex Morgan Tosses Coin for Orlando City
It seems as if all of Orlando Pride fans can rejoice as Alex Morgan has officially arrived in Orlando (again) after the SheBelieves Cup. At last night's Orlando City game against the Chicago Fire, Morgan took part in the coin toss to start the match. She will begin training with the Pride this week.
That's it for today, folks. Have a great Saturday, and go Lions!