Holy cow, it’s Thursday already. It feels like the week is flying by, but not to fear, because we’ve still got some fresh Lion Links ready to go for you today. But before we begin, we want to wish a special happy birthday to our favorite keeper from Cocoa, Ashlyn Harris! The Orlando Pride goalkeeper turns 32 today, and everyone here at The Mane Land sends only the warmest birthday wishes.
That headline sounds a lot more morbid than intended but I feel like rolling with it. Bleacher Report put out an excellent piece reminding the world about Kaká, and how he was once the most dominant name in soccer around the world. Before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the maestro in Milan dominated the game. This article gives you a great idea of how polarizing a player Kaká was while he was in the prime of his career with Milan, Madrid, and Brazil. MLS even put out this video documenting how big of an impact Kaká has had on the sport.
OCB...What is Going On?
So, as we reported in Lion Links yesterday, there were reports coming in that stated OCB would be out of the USL next year, and would likely cease operations. Other teams also rumored to be on the way out were Sounders 2, Whitecaps 2, and Bethlehem Steel. At this point we really don’t know what is going on, but we have gotten this report from Alicia DelGallo:
Club spokesman told me Orlando City B will play next year. Also writing an OCB column today with some other info, will be up later.— Alicia Rose DelGallo (@OSAliciaD) October 18, 2017
And then there was also this update from Bethlehem Steel:
Below is a statement from the Philadelphia Union in response to last night’s USL rumors. pic.twitter.com/malG3KqeBb— Bethlehem Steel FC (@BSteelFC) October 18, 2017
So basically, there is a lot of information out there, and a lot of misinformation as well. But for now, until the club offers a comment, we will remain silent, while also be anxious, fearful, and hopeful, all at the same time.
OCB Announces Roster Cuts
We have even more OCB news for you today, and it’s stuff that is leaving us still pretty alarmed. Orlando City B has announced the release or expiration of 11 players from contracts including the likes of Austin Martz and former OCSC SuperDraft pick Danny Deakin, as well as Canadian National Team midfielder Jordan Schweitzer. OCB also noted that some contracts expired, including former first teamer Lewis Neal. This doesn’t leave many players for Orlando City B — just four 19-year-olds — which makes the news we reported previously even more disheartening. We don’t know where the future is right now for Anthony Pulis’ OCB side, so we will just have to wait and see.
Interesting Names in the Running for U.S. Soccer President
After the U.S. Men’s National Team crashed and burned out of World Cup qualifying last week, fans everywhere were hoping that heads would roll. So far we have seen a resignation from Bruce Arena. But the name everyone wants to see gone next is U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati. Gulati has said in interviews and conference calls that he has no plans to leave his post, but hasn’t commented with great certainty whether or not he will run for re-election in February. He’s merely said he’s seeking nomination support. Grant Wahl wrote yesterday that Landon Donovan is considering a run, meanwhile Bleacher Report wrote that NBC Sports anchor Kyle Martino will not put his hat in the race, due to his current job, his family, and that the position of U.S. Soccer Federation president is not a paid position. More in-depth analysis from Wahl can be found below:
Personally, I am a big fan of Martino, so it saddens me that he doesn’t think he can run, but he has a family to feed, so I at least I understand his reasoning.
Miami FC Co-Owner Still Talking About Promotion and Relegation in U.S. Soccer
Riccardo Silva is the co-owner of Miami FC, and quite possibly the biggest proponent for promotion and relegation being added to the U.S. Soccer system. As you may have heard back in June, Silva’s company offered Major League Soccer $4 billion in exchange for 10 years of global media rights with the deal being contingent on Pro/Rel being instituted in the United States. MLS turned down the offer — and had to, per their current contracts — and Silva has continued to have his opinions be known. As seen in his recent interview with ESPN’s Gabriele Marcotti. On why promotion and relegation needed to be included in the deal, Silva said:
“The most successful soccer leagues are based on competition. And that's what's probably missing in U.S.soccer. There is no motivation for teams to invest in quality because you can't move from the third division to the second or from the second to the first. We believe the increase in quality can be achieved from the bottom up, with teams investing in quality and we believe right now it's not really happening.”
- Steve Davis from FourFourTwo writes that MLS and U.S. Soccer are different, and you can’t blame MLS for the fact that the USMNT laid an egg. Have to agree with you on that one, Steve.
- Former U.S. Soccer legend Claudio Reyna lashed out at U.S. Soccer following the World Cup qualifying debacle. He called U.S. Soccer “obnoxious” and “arrogant.” This is also really hard to argue with.
- In “that’s really a thing?” news, PRO referees have announced their nominations for Referee and Assistant Referee of the Year. Personally, can’t say we think anyone is really too deserving, because PRO referees have been pretty bad throughout the course of MLS, but maybe Mark Geiger? He’s kinda okay.
- In interesting roster news, it’s being reported Bill Hamid is leaving D.C. United. No news yet on where he plans to go. Where do you want to see Hamid end up?
- Also, the Champions League was back this week! In case you missed all the results from yesterday, here ya go!
Another great day of European soccer. pic.twitter.com/pmioXDMpJl— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) October 18, 2017
That’s all for me today, folks! Don’t worry or stress too much about the OCB stories right now, as all of us here at The Mane Land are worried and stressing enough for the entire city of Orlando. Fingers crossed the kids still get to play, that’s all I have left to say on the matter. Depressing news aside, I’ll leave you with a bad joke to get you through the rest of the day.
I used to work in a shoe recycling shop. It was sole destroying.— Spooky Dad Jokes (@dadtellsjokes) October 18, 2017
If you like inclusion of bad dad jokes, I’ll toss one in at the end of all my Lion Links going forward, just let me know in the comments!