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Lion Links: 2/4/17

Kaká and Antonio Nocerino sing, OCB gets a trialist, the USMNT wins, OCSC Academy represented on U.S. U-16 squad, and more!

Soccer: International Men's Soccer Friendly-Jamaica at USA Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Great morning Mane Land readers. I hope everyone’s weekend is off to a really good start. Welcome to this morning’s news. We are getting closer to the beginning of the season and we have some updates to share with you all. So sit tight and enjoy this quick review.

Nocerino and Kaka Put on a Show While Heading to Training

Looks like the preseason is going great for the team. Despite the hard work and the heavy training, our team has the time for some fun. Here’s a clip of Antonio Nocerino demonstrating his singing talents for us.

And our captain Kaká didn’t want to fall behind and joined Noce in this Enrique Iglesias song. Great way to show the motivation and teamwork is happening in the preseason.

Former Columbia MF Rhys Williams Gets a Shot with OCB

After a successful year with Columbia in which he won the Ivy League title, Rhys Williams will have an opportunity with Orlando City B for a spot in the team. Rhys earned a second-team all-conference spot during his sophomore year due to his seven goals and five assists. During the last season he faced few injuries, but he was able to play in 16 games, including, as I mentioned before, in the championship game.

USMNT Wins 1-0 Against Jamaica in the Final Pre-Hex Match

The USMNT had a decent presentation against Jamaica with a 1-0 victory last night, with the goal scored by Sounders’ forward Jordan Morris at the 69th minute. Bruce Arena played many guys that didn’t have the opportunity in the first friendly match against Serbia. With great production in the first 20 minutes of each half, the Americans pushed the Reggae Boyz into their own third most of the time. The USMNT had to deal with a team compacted between lines, leaving little to no space for tactical moves. The breakthrough of the game came after a nice team play between Benny Feilhaber and Morris at the top of the box, with Morris finishing the move scoring between the post and goalkeeper. Most of the game had the U.S. pushing forward and Jamaica waiting for the counter attack opportunity.

The USMNT will return to play March 24 against Honduras with the opportunity to change how the competition is going in the Hexagonal to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

USMNT Will Have a Third Kit for First Time since 2011

Our friends from Footy Headlines surprised us by showing us the National Teams’ third kit. The new kit color has red as the main and only color. This is the first time since 2011 the National Teams will have a third kit. Take a look at our new third kit.

Orlando City’s Jordan Bender Part of U.S. U-16 BNT Squad for Argentina Camp

Our U-16 BNT is heading to Argentina today until Feb. 12 to start the preparation for this year’s tournaments. Head Coach Shaun Tsakiris called 21 players to participate in this 10-day camp. The Orlando City Youth Program will be represented by midfielder Jordan Bender. Tsakiris had some words about the decision to hold the training camp in Argentina this year:

“I think this is a little more along the lines of what our players will face in CONCACAF and I think that the style matches that and prepares our players a little bit better. So, anytime we can go to Argentina or Chile or Brazil or any of these top countries, I think it’s a great challenge for our players and ultimately, we want to prepare our players by giving them international experience.”

The team will have three friendly matches while in Argentina against teams located in Buenos Aires: A.A. Argentinos Juniors, San Lorenzo de Almagro, and Racing de Avellaneda.

Only 1,000 spots left for the Purple Pride 5k run

Orlando City’s Kickoff Week is around the corner. Fans are running out of time to register for the Purple Pride 5K run that will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m. This will be the first fan event in celebration of the new stadium.

OCSC is running a promotion for any fan that registers before Feb. 17 at $32. From Feb. 18-22, the price to participate in the event will be between $35 to $40. Everyone participating in this run will receive a t-shirt, a ticket for a future Orlando City match, and an exclusive die-cast medal commemorating the stadium opening.

Other prizes will be $1,000 in Publix gift cards, which will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers. In addition, more than $700 in Academy Sports and Outdoors gift cards will be awarded to randomly selected finishers throughout the run.

This is the link for fans to register for the 5K run.

Also, the same day of the run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., fans will have the opportunity to tour the new stadium during the House Party. You can have an opportunity to check out the pitch and views from the different seats.

Nat Borchers Announces Retirement from Professional Soccer

In a message on his personal Twitter account, the two-time MLS Cup champion Nat Borchers announced that last season was his final one in a 14-year career. Borchers played for three MLS teams (Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, and Portland Timbers) and in Norway with Odds BK. With the National Team he had three matches from 2005 to 2010. Together with the announcement of his retirement Nat, confirmed that he will join the broadcasting team in Portland.

This is it for this morning’s news. Keep up to date with all the news related to the Orlando teams in our Twitter account @themaneland and also on Facebook under the name The Mane Land. Feel free to follow me on Twitter also for your daily soccer doses at @el_flako_87.