Greetings, readers, it is time for a Wednesday edition of Lion Links. We’ve reached the middle of the week, and it’s downhill from here to the weekend.
So let's get to it.
Orlando City and WRDQ TV 27 Reveal Cast for Locally Televised Matches
WRDQ TV 27 in its partnership with Orlando City will broadcast Lions’ non-nationally televised MLS games. The 2017 schedule consists of 20 non-nationally televised matches with a 30-minute pregame show and concluding with a 30-minute post-game show, as well as weekly insider information regarding Orlando City. In 2016, WRDQ 27 had the top-three most viewed Lions matches locally and nationally.
Rob Parker, VP of Corporate Partnerships had this to say. “This is a great year for the Club with the new stadium opening, and we are excited to see how the match day atmosphere translates on TV and enhances the broadcast.”
Mackenzie Thirkill joins the cast as co-host with Tom Traxler. Jeff Radcliffe returns as play-by-play announcer, with Lewis Neal and Paul Shaw back as color analysts.
OCB 2017 Schedule Released
Orlando City B saw its 2017 schedule released Tuesday, and the Lions will open their season on the road at Tampa Bay on March 25. The young Lions will also close the season against the Rowdies and the I-4 Derby will have three total installments this year. OCB’s first home match will come five days after the opener on March 30, when former Orlando City affiliate Louisville City comes to town. The USL season will be the biggest to date, with 430 games set to be played over 30 weeks. You can see the full schedule here.
Brek Shea Eager to Prove Himself
After closely missing out on the January camp, Brek Shea is eager to prove himself. After an inconsistent 2016 playing left back and left wing, Shea has been focusing on his fitness and health. Jason Kreis implemented a strict fitness regime for the team in the off-season, so the first couple weeks he did not have to focus on conditioning. As he transitions to an attacking position, Shea is excited to focus on his attacking skills and learning his position thoroughly.
“It gives me something to focus on instead of worrying about different positions, and that’s the position I played most of my career and what I like to do,” Shea said.
Jason Kreis “Pleased” in Week Two
Focusing on being more tactically astute and giving Orlando City an identity, Kreis sees the progress the Lions are making.
“I’m pleased, very pleased with where we are at so far, but also know we have a long way to go.”
After an intra-squad scrimmage that was heated, Orlando City focuses on the next preseason opponent, Jacksonville University on Saturday. With about a month until the home opener, the Lions need to continue to make strides.
Tommy Redding Named to U-20 National Team Camp
Orlando City defender Tommy Redding is included in a list of 24 players to begin training for the 2017 U-20 World Cup. Redding will not have to travel far as the camp based in Orlando begins Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 10. After camp concludes, Head Coach Tab Ramos will name the 20 men who will represent the Yanks in the U-20 CONCACAF Championship in Costa Rica.
MLS All-Star Game Announced
MLS Commissioner Don Garber officially announced Chicago’s Soldier Field as the host of the 2017 All-Star Game on Aug. 2. Soldier Field originally hosted the Chicago Fire’s matches from 1998-2001, and more recently hosted last summer’s Copa América Centenario. With a capacity of 61,500, the venue will also host the fourth annual MLS Homegrown Game, featuring the best Homegrown Players from across the MLS. The opponent has yet to be named, but speculation is running rampant.
Per multiple sources, Barcelona will not be the #MLS All-Star opponent this summer as rumored.— Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN) January 31, 2017
Possibly a more accurate rumor:
MLS is in talks with Real Madrid, not Barcelona, as All-Star opponent. Nothing finalized yet, per sources.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) January 31, 2017
That concludes this episode of Lion Links.
Until next time.