It’s the eve of the official Jason Kreis era of Orlando City soccer. We got a taste of it in a hard-fought 2-1 friendly loss to Stoke City earlier in the week, but now the real show starts. We’ve already seen some positive potential when it comes to Kreis’s changes — one of which we’ll see in today’s Links — and there’s a sort of air of optimism and potential in Orlando.
As teams like Seattle, Houston, and Atlanta search for their head coaches we’ve got relative stability. But we’ve got a lot of good reading material in today’s edition of Lion Links, so we’ll have to save that for a later article. We’ve got a peek at Kreis’ plans, a salute to our current keeper and a goodbye to a former one.
Jason Kreis to Move Brek Shea Back to Wing
Brek Shea’s time as a fullback is done in Orlando according to new manager Jason Kreis. Shea is happy about the change and it will be good to see him back in the position in which he flourished at FC Dallas. Shea has had his ups and downs at left back so far in Orlando, and the team will probably be better off with the dearth on the wing after Adrian Winter’s departure. Hopefully Shea can get back into the form that earned him call ups to the U.S. squad. And maybe he can score one or two more and we can see more of that odd hand-on-face goal celebration.
Joe Bendik wins Save of the Week...Again
I should probably have a template for an Orlando keeper winning this award because it happens so often. It’s Joe’s second straight and seventh overall, which means he’s won over one third of them this season. This week’s gem came at the expense of Ola Kamara and saved Orlando’s comeback against the Crew. If there’s any drawback in the Kreis hire, it’s that if he fixes Orlando’s defense Bendik may not have as many opportunities to keep his monopoly on this weekly award. Not that I think the Orlando faithful would mind.
Tally Hall Retires
Speaking of goalkeepers, one of the better MLS keepers in recent years has bid farewell to the game. Former Orlando City netminder Tally Hall has announced his retirement. Hall, the starter for most of Orlando’s inaugural season, started 23 matches for the Lions. He averaged over three saves per game for City with a 10-8-3 record between the pipes. It was difficult for the fans to see him leave the club after his second major knee injury in a year and everyone at The Mane Land wishes him well in his future endeavors. You can check out some of his greatest saves for the Lions below:
25 Greatest U.S. Women’s National Team Players of All Time
FourFourTwo has come out with its latest player rankings and this time it’s the history of the USWNT under the microscope. You can check out their hub page here with all of the players. Former Florida Gator Abby Wambach clocked in at number three and Carli Lloyd is the highest-rated current player at number six. Orlando Pride skipper Alex Morgan finished at 14 in the ratings.
Bob Bradley to the Premier League?
Former U.S. boss and current Le Havre manager Bob Bradley has been tipped as the favorite for the vacant Hull City position. It would be a difficult challenge to manage any newly-promoted side in the Premiership, but Bradley would be walking into a crazy situation at the East Yorkshire club, which has succeeded under tenuous circumstances recently. Owner Assem Allam was denied his bid to Americanize the name of the club to Hull Tigers, which put him at odds with the fan base. They’ve been yo-yo-ing back and forth between the Championship and the Premiership and to make things even more difficult, they have yet to sign a new player almost a month into the transfer window. Former Hull gaffer Steve Bruce quit because of a disconnect on the transfer front, so maybe Bob should stay in France. Would you like to see Bradley with Hull in the Premier League?
That’s everything interesting going on in the American soccer world and beyond. We’ve got OCB on tap for you tonight so check in for all of our regular coverage.