Happy Friday, Mane Landers. Let’s kick things off today by wishing a happy birthday to midfielder/defender Devron Garcia. He may not be in Orlando City’s future plans but for now he’s still technically a Lion, so he might as well have a happy 21st birthday.
Before we get started, if you like to shop online, you can help the Orlando City Foundation.
OK, now let’s get to today’s Lion Links.
Tim Mulqueen’s Commute is Worse Than Yours
You might hate your morning commute. In Orlando, I-4 is a nightmare and the 417 is getting worse by the day. But you’ve probably got it easier than Orlando City Goalkeeper Coach Tim Mulqueen. City’s new goalkeeping coach drives 288 miles round trip from Bradenton to Sanford almost every day. Mulqueen has no plans to change his commute until after his kids graduate from high school. I hope the man buys 5-Hour Energy in bulk.
Meet Orlando City’s... Chaplain?
If you’re like me, you probably had no idea that Orlando City had a team chaplain. Well, the fact is that the Lions do have a chaplain. His name is Andy Searles, apparently, and you can find out more about him in this Planet Sport interview, where he talks about his role with the club and Major League Soccer.
Four Players Re-Sign with Orlando Pride
Tom Sermanni welcomed four players from his inaugural NWSL squad back to the Orlando Pride for 2017. Jasmyne Spencer, Maddy Evans, Toni Pressley, and Aubrey Bledsoe are back in purple to help solidify the Pride for Year 2. Spencer scored four goals last season and played in all 20 matches for Orlando in 2016. Evans provided coverage at several positions with her versatility and added an assist. Pressley provides depth on the back line, while Bledsoe will back up and push Ashlyn Harris for playing time.
Alex Morgan’s French Adventure Continues
I love breakfast. Breakfast food is the best. Pride captain Alex Morgan is learning a bit about breakfast in France now that she’s moonlighting with Olympique Lyonnais. Morgan took a stab at making crepes on RDV with Alex Morgan and it became the most popular video on the club’s YouTube channel.
So how is Alex doing on the pitch? Well, so far not as well as she’d like.
Alex Morgan has not scored since moving to France (2 starts, 2 subs, 1 DNP "malade"), but she is doing her job, selling @OL.— Paul Kennedy (@pkedit) February 16, 2017
Well, adjusting to a new league can be tough. Hopefully Morgs can get things going and round into form just in time for Lyon’s season to end so she can come back and help the Pride.
OCB Players Enjoy a Light Day
Whipping a team into shape during preseason is no easy task, but you can’t just go full speed all the time or you’ll end up with a long list of injured players. To that end, Orlando City B took it easy on Wednesday of this week in order to make sure the guys had plenty of recovery time after two difficult days. The team enjoyed some spirited soccer-tennis instead of the usual grind of drills.
“Our plan that we made for preseason was always to make the third day an active recovery day,” Orlando City B head coach Anthony Pulis said. “We try to keep it light-hearted, technical, competitive work that they’re going to enjoy and allow them to recover.”
“We had a double session on Monday, which was tough. We had a double session yesterday, which was also tough,” Pulis said. “We know you can’t push them every single day.”
Florida Cup’s Growth Gaining Notice
The continuing growth of the Florida Cup, writes Alicia DelGallo of the Orlando Sentinel, has not escaped the notice of people like Jason Kreis. The international tournament is leading to more scouting opportunities for MLS clubs.
“I think it’s a really cool thing,” said Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis, whose staff made it some of the matches. “And I would say, even though we did do some work around it, we probably should look to do more in the future because, as I said, I think it’s an opportunity for us.”
He wasn’t able to see too much of the tournament this year because the staff was in Los Angeles for the MLS combine and draft most of the time. However, Orlando City B assistant Rob Valentino was seen at many of the games, according to a tournament official.
Paul Tenorio of FourFourTwo named Cyle Larin the player Orlando City can least afford to lose...The New York Red Bulls have parted ways with sporting director Ali Curtis...It seems Bob Bradley and LAFC are talking again...Those sharing a birthday with Devron Garcia include Hal Holbrook (1925), Jim Brown (1936), Rene Russo (1954), Loreena McKennitt (1957), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Larry the Cable Guy (1963), Michael Jordan (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Luc Robitaille (1966), Denise Richards (1971), Taylor Hawkins (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Paris Hilton (1981), and Marcin Gortat (1984).
That’s all I’ve got for you today, but Orlando City should have news today in the form of the club’s official kit reveal. Enjoy your Friday.