Welcome to your Wednesday edition of Lion Links. We still have several days until Orlando City takes on Sporting Kansas City, but there's plenty to talk about. It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of bringing you the daily dose of pertinent news in the world of Orlando City soccer. While it may be a temporary thing, don't think that I didn't enjoy it, nor that I don't appreciate all of you. That's enough kissing up to you, my dear readers, let's hit the Links!
Orlando City Players in the News
It seems that Head Coach Adrian Heath is hopeful that Pedro Ribeiro can make a return from his back surgery before the end of the regular season. Heath hopes to have Ribeiro for the last five to six weeks of the season. I think we'd all like the big guy back by then if possible. In other news, it seems that AC Milan might have some interest in Orlando City midfielder Cristian Higuita (you'll need to translate the page in Chrome or Google). I prefer it when we get their old players (cough, cough...Kaká), rather than them getting ours. But, what would soccer be without such rumors? Speaking of rumors...
MLS Transfer Deadline Looms
There's not a lot of time left in the MLS transfer window, seeing as it closes tonight at 1 a.m. ET. That can only mean one thing...rumors and speculation! It seems that Kei Kamara is none too happy in Ohio, according to our friends over at Massive Report. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of the fuss, since we saw this earlier in the day:
Hearing Columbus is trying to trade Kei Kamara pre-deadline, but it's hard to move DPs since so many teams have the maximum 3 DPs already.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) May 10, 2016
If you're hazy on the MLS transfer window, just remember it ends tomorrow, May 12, and doesn't open back up until July 4.
MLS Represents in the Copa América Centenario
This year's Copa América Centenario isn't only being played in the U.S., it will also feature quite a few players from MLS. As of right now there are eight MLS players on the USMNT roster alone. Orlando City's own Cristian Higuita gets a shout out since he's made it on to Colombia's preliminary roster. Plenty of teams in CONCACAF will feature players from MLS as well. With the Copa being played in the U.S., it is a great time for those MLS players, cities, and fans to shine.
Speaking of Lions on international rosters, a young Lion has been called up by the Canadian U-23 National Team ahead of upcoming friendlies against teams from Guyana and Grenada. Richie Laryea, Orlando City's first-round 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick, who was taken at No. 7 overall, will take part in the midfield for the 10-day Caribbean training camp. Laryea is currently playing on loan at Orlando City B.
CONCACAF and Soccer United Marketing Join Forces
While not as evil as FIFA, CONCACAF hasn't been without its own scandals and corruption. They've also been without a marketing partner since last July. Now, they have signed on with Soccer United Marketing, the same organization that MLS works with, for sponsorship, tournaments, and events. While I'd bet that SUM can't "cross the streams" between CONCACAF and MLS, it's not hard to see where like interests might end up being served.
Alex Morgan and Hope Solo Speak Out
In a recent Health Magazine article, Orlando Pride's own Alex Morgan answered questions on everything from workouts and eating healthy to the disparity in the field conditions and pay between the men's and women's games. I don't think I'm spoiling anything to tell you she tries to eat right, has specific workouts, and does yoga. Oh, and she isn't very happy about the playing conditions in last summer's Women's World Cup. There's plenty more in there, and it's pretty obvious why she is the public face of the Orlando Pride, and the USWNT. Speaking of USWNT concerns with inequality, Hope Solo contributes her two cents in this Vox video as well.
The Union take on "the Patriots of MLS" tonight
If all of this soccer goodness has you in need of a match to watch, well you are in luck. The Philadelphia Union host the LA Galaxy tonight at 7 p.m. ET on MLS Live. Plus, Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin is either complimenting LA, or throwing some shade.
"They're the gold standard of the league in recent years for sure -- the Patriots of MLS -- and they have a way of winning." - Jim Curtin
It really depends on how you feel about the Patriots, doesn't it?
That's all for today, Mane Landers, but don't forget to check out the newest Pride Pub this Thursday to prepare for Orlando City's match against Sporting KC!