Hello to all and welcome to Thursday’s edition of Lion Links. Can you believe that there are only five more days of February after today? Fortunately that means we’re continuing to get closer and closer to the start of an amazing MLS season. That is exciting, my friends. For now though, let’s jump into the Lion Links for today.
Kaka Interview on The Set Pieces
Kaká was recently interviewed by Chris Young for The Set Pieces. In the article, Kaká talks about how he and other players are helping change the image of MLS.
“When I came here, the image of the league was that old players came here for retirement,” he told me at an exclusive event to preview the new MLS campaign. “Now, we are changing that image. A lot of young players are joining this league – young South Americans who can enjoy it. The technical and tactical level of the league is increasing and the numbers are showing that is true.”
MLS is constantly putting in the effort to have a more worldly image. With league superstars and new talent, not only have fans seen growth but they have also seen a better overall product. MLS is attracting more and more spectators and fans each year thanks to the help of players like Kaká.
Concerns Over Soccer Stadium?
With the opening of a new stadium in Orlando, while it does a lot of good for the city and team, concerns have been raised within the neighborhood and its respective churches.
Joey Edwards of Shiloh Baptist Church says, "I think some of the members were concerned about the traffic conditions and they were also concerned about whether or not we would be able to maintain church services."
The worry is reasonable given that the stadium will be holding around 25,500 people. Road safety and traffic concerns are currently being addressed and the club has stated that it is working with people of the community to ensure the best solutions.
Rafael Ramos Out Six Weeks
Rafael Ramos looked as if he was going to be a starter for Orlando City come opening day, but unfortunately Ramos suffered an injury to both of his hamstrings. The right back is estimated to miss six weeks of playing time, and the setback is an obvious blow to Ramos and the team. The Portuguese defender is expected to miss four league games and will hopefully return to MLS action by April 9.
Women's World XI Shortlist Announced
The shortlist for the Women’s World XI has been released. The Orlando Pride are fortunate to have two players represented on this list. Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan and defender Ali Krieger have been chosen as top players in the world and we are very thankful for that.
Speaking of Morgan, the Pride captain signed with Chevrolet to help the brand develop its youth soccer programs. Participating Chevy Youth Soccer leagues receive equipment and access to instructional clinics.
“Youth sports were a huge part of my life and really helped shape who I am today,” Morgan said. “I know how much work goes into chasing your dream and I was so lucky to have the support of my family and community. That is why I am thrilled to be able to support so many young people through Chevy Youth Soccer as they chase their dreams on the field.”
Which players should you stay away from if you are embarking into the fantasy world? Well two players for Orlando City made this list of guys you shouldn't pick up. Defender Jonathon Spector and keeper Josh Saunders, both new to Orlando City, have made the infamous shortlist.
The reason to not pick up Saunders is because he will most likely not see playing time. Joe Bendik should be number one for OCSC and will remain that way for the time being.
The other question mark is Jonathan Spector. Isn't he supposed to be helping fix the problems? Yes, that would be correct, but as the article states it could take some time for him to figure things out along the back line.
That is it from me on this Thursday. If you want useless thoughts contributed to your twitter feed on a daily basis then all you have to do is follow me. Do that now @awesomeniemeier