Welcome to another Friday edition of Lion Links! We know you're all looking forward to Jason Kreis' first real game as Orlando City's head coach, but we here at The Mane Land have a few things to keep you occupied until Sunday's game against New England.
Kreis' Takeaways from Wednesday Friendly: Defense Needs Work
In what can only be described as a friendly, Orlando City had a learning experience in its first game with Jason Kreis at the helm. Hadji Barry impressed as some of Stoke City's Premier League players showed their immense quality against a fairly strong City team, albeit without main contributors like Kaká and Cyle Larin.
The Lions did themselves proud against higher quality opposition, but Kreis was most concerned about the team's defensive lapses, although he noted that things will improve as he and his new club get more than a few training sessions under their belts.
"We were asking the players to do some different things, as this was effectively a training session for us, so it was about coming out and training and learning. They are getting there, but there are a couple of things we're asking them that are a little bit difficult to grasp, and it's going to take more than a couple of training sessions."
Da Silva Highly Rated
Orlando City B winger Pierre Da Silva has been ranked No. 15 in USLsoccer.com 's Top 20 Under 20 list. The young, dynamic wide player has impressed coaches and pundits alike as he's helped OCB to its current 6-6-7 record, and has been in great assisting form as of late. Look out for this talented young man in the near future!
"It was an honor and privilege to play for the Orlando Pride for our inaugural season. Thank you to Flavio, Phil and Kay Rawlins, Tom Sermanni, my teammates and to the rest of the top-class organization," Fortune said. "I enjoyed my time with the Club and friendships made with both my teammates and the Orlando community. Though I have taken a position in the corporate world, I will be supporting and cheering on the Pride to many championships in the future."
She's decided to take a corporate position at The Dannon Company, though I doubt she'll be taking her throw-in flip skill with her to the office. Oh, how we'll miss that wondrous flip. Fortune was signed in May and appeared in Orlando's last three matches.
MLS All-Stars Fall to Arsenal, 2-1
In what turned out to be an uneventful, yet still somewhat entertaining match, the MLS All-Stars fell to Premier League side Arsenal on Thursday night at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA, by a score of 2-1. Didier Drogba scored the lone goal for MLS (because of course, he was playing Arsenal after all), but a late goal from 20-year-old Chuba Akpom lifted the Gunners to the win following a first half penalty kick goal from Joel Campbell. Akpom was named MVP for the game-winning moment.
Kaká captained the side for MLS and saw 45 minutes of action before being subbed off at halftime, thankfully without sustaining any silly injuries, even though there was a scary moment when he stepped on the ball and went down. Cyle Larin only saw 13 minutes of action, but Kid Fantastic still had a near-assist when he laid off a pass to Chris Wondolowski in the box, but Wondo skied the clean look high and MLS was unable to find a second score.
That's it for Friday's links, have a great day of work and don't go too hard at happy hour tonight -- you've got to save some energy for Sunday's OCSC match.