Thursday brings a lot of different news from around the soccer world. Wherever you are, I hope that you are having a good day. Today’s Lion Links are full of wonderful and exciting news, so let’s dive on in.
Orlando City Draws Union
After playing three 45-minute periods — yes I did say three — OCSC ended up with a draw as the Lions tied the Philadelphia Union, 3-3. Will Johnson, Carlos Rivas, and Cyle Larin all scored, which is a positive sign as preseason comes to a close.
The Lions will be back in action on Sunday at 3 p.m. as they square off against Toronto FC.
Take some delight in this goal from yesterday:
Not going to find many better than that off a throw in. Clinical.— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) February 15, 2017
2-2 | #NeverHuntAlone pic.twitter.com/jiA8AF8vGI
City Menu Matchup
Have you ever wanted to have your own creative influence to be on display in the form of food? Orlando City is giving people that opportunity by offering a “menu matchup.” The idea is to create your very own form of food that could be available for the thousands and thousands of OCSC fans in the stadium.
So, if you ever wanted an onion jalapeño hot dog, burger pizza, or taco dogs, now would be your time to get creative. Submit your best and most monstrous, disgusting combination today. Just follow this link.
OCB Faces Tough Strength of Schedule
Orlando City B is set to have the fourth hardest schedule in the Eastern Conference of the USL.
12). Orlando City B (-2.06)
Easiest Quarter: Quarter 3 (+9.25)
Hardest Quarter: Quarter 4 (-14.25)
Orlando City B will join their parent club in kick starting the year off in a new stadium. With a new in-state competitor just down Interstate-4, the little Lions will look to do better than just squeak into the playoffs this year.
Academy Success Continues for Orlando City
Many of OCSC’s academy teams have been in action over the past few weeks and have seemingly carried over their successes from 2016.
“Really positive stuff from the boys the last couple of weeks,” Academy Director and U-17/18 head coach David Longwell said. “Very pleased with the way they’re developing and how they came back from the break. Looking forward to the home stretch of the season.”
One of the big positives besides winning matches is that U-15/16 midfielder Jordan Bender was called up to the U.S. U-15 National Team. Any type of call-up to the national team is a great honor and continues to help push the club forward.
Tommy Redding Becoming a USYNT Leader
Check out this quick interview with USYNT defender and Orlando’s very own Tommy Redding. Redding and teammate Justen Glad discuss how they will look to elevate their teammates at the youth national team level.
U-20 #USMNT defenders @justen_glad (@RealSaltLake) & @Tommy_Redding29 (@OrlandoCitySC) look to elevate teammates after breakout @MLS seasons pic.twitter.com/RKxTTg8Ls7— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) February 15, 2017
Redding, Glad, and the rest of the U.S. U-20s are in Costa Rica for the CONCACAF Championship, looking to punch their ticket to the U-20 World Cup. The U.S. takes on Panama on Saturday.
Whitecaps Net Three-Time All-Star
Fredy Montero has been acquired on loan by Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The deal is a one-year loan and he has been officially counted as a Designated Player for the Whitecaps. The following are some of Montero’s career highlights:
Whitecaps FC striker Fredy Montero
Scored 37 goals and added 12 assists in 94 appearances, which include UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches, with Portugal's Primeira Liga side Sporting Clube de Portugal
Helped Sporting CP win the 2014-15 Taca de Portugal (Cup of Portugal) and the 2015 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira (Portuguese Super Cup)
Seattle Sounders FC all-time leading scorer with 60 goals and 42 assists in 160 matches including MLS, U.S. Open Cup, and CONCACAF Champions League
Three-time MLS All-Star (2009, 2010, 2012) and 2009 MLS Newcomer of the Year
Montero, 29, should be a great addition for Vancouver as the Colombian is in the midst of his prime.
WNT Player on the Move
Carli Lloyd has secured a move to Manchester City WFC on a short-term deal. Lloyd is joining a City team that went unbeaten last season and the deal only adds more strength to its roster.
"With the challenge of the Spring Series and the FA Women's Cup ahead of us too, I really can't wait to pull on my City shirt in front of our fans and make them proud."
The signing of the two-time FIFA Player of the Year is a major statement from City, who have invested heavily in their women's team.
Lloyd has sealed her fate as a legend for the U.S. Women’s National Team, as she has scored 96 goals in 232 appearances.
Thank you for tuning in — have a wonderful rest of your day. Don’t forget to follow me for below-average insight on all things life and soccer on Twitter @awesomeniemeier.