Good morning, Mane Landers! The off-season is officially underway and there was plenty of MLS news for you yesterday. Today is an off day around the league in what is going to be a packed week (more on this below). Try to stay warm and enjoy some Lion Links!
Pierre Da Silva Left Unprotected
Tomorrow is the MLS Expansion Draft and yesterday each team submitted its list of protected players. Of course, Joe Bendik and Dom Dwyer were protected, but Pierre Da Silva, who is the first player to go through the Orlando City academy, OCB, and the MLS side, was left unprotected. The full list of players that LAFC can select from tomorrow can be seen here.
2018 Free Agents Announced
After the Expansion Draft, free agency will open and teams around the league will be able to start signing players within MLS. Of course, not everyone that isn’t on a team is a free agent because MLS loves to complicate things.
“Out-of-contract players and those who had their contract option declined - and who were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service - are eligible for Free Agency.”
Some free agents include ex-Lions Kevin Alston and Josh Saunders, USMNT members Nick Rimando and DaMarcus Beasley, and veteran defenders Bobby Boswell and Brad Evans.
Notable Names on the Move
During the half-day MLS trade window there were some big names on the move. Kei Kamara being traded to Vancouver was the biggest move, but LAFC also got in on the action by trading for defender Walker Zimmerman. Former Lions head coach Adrian Heath has been reunited with his son, Harrison Heath, who will also count as a Homegrown Player on the Loons roster.
Stanford Wins College Cup...Again
A 1-0 double-overtime win against Indiana led Stanford to its third straight national title. After 103 minutes, midfielder Sam Werner found the back of the net to give the Cardinal the win. Stanford also won the Women’s College Cup last week at Orlando City Stadium, giving the school both the men’s and women’s titles for 2017.
That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Keep your eyes peeled for more Orlando City soccer coverage from us today and later this week.