Happy Saturday, everyone! The weekend is upon us, and with it comes the beauty of MLS soccer. It was a successful Week 1 in the American soccer league with great crowds turning out to watch some electric soccer. In the words of Bill Watterson, “Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” So, with that amazing quote in mind, lets get to the Lion Links.
Devron Garcia Loaned to Honduras Club
Orlando City B defender and midfielder Devron Garcia has been loaned to Honduras club Real España with the paperwork yet to be completed, but nearing completion. Garcia was brought to Orlando from Honduran club C.D. Victoria before the 2015 season, but featured in zero first-team games.
Garcia made 18 appearances with OCB last season and Head Coach Jason Kreis said of Garcia’s status, “Devron has been moved, I believe, to a club in Honduras. His loan move should become permanent here shortly, if it’s not already now.”
Garcia’s loan deal frees up space for another international player, as Bryan Róchez returns to Orlando to train with OCB. Róchez was one of the players with a designated spot on the preseason roster but was not featured for the regular season. Kreis said Róchez is getting fit with the purpose of moving him.
Joe Bendik Wins Save of the Week Honors
Joe Bendik was huge all night in the season open against NYCFC. The 27-year-old keeper made six saves, kicking off the season with a clean sheet and a Man of the Match award.
He also earned Save of the Week Honors from MLS with his impressive save early in the second half, robbing Jack Harrison of what should’ve been a goal. Bendik has been impressive for Orlando all of last season into this season. It’s good for Bendik to get this confidence early in the season.
This Isn’t the First Time Wintry Weather Has Affected American Soccer
“Snow, snow, go away!” Despite it being a scheduled game day for the Lions, there will be no game played. It was announced early Friday that an impending winter storm (yes, it is March), is sweeping up the northeastern coast toward Foxborough, Massachusetts. With Winter Storm Reggie set to dump snow on several states in the northeast, the game between the Revolution and OCSC has been postponed until Sept. 2.
This creates a difficult situation for the Lions as they make their push for their playoffs as they will go through a stretch with 7 of 9 games on the road. Ugh.
But, as FourFourTwo reminds us, this isn’t the first time the cold and snow has wreaked havoc with soccer in the United States. Here are three other times it’s happened.
Orlando City Partners with Chargers Soccer Club
The Lions are once again advancing youth soccer with an eye toward giving young players a potential path to Orlando City B and the senior team. This time it’s through a partnership with Chargers Soccer Club.
The partnership will offer Chargers elevated player development and identification opportunities to both its boys and girls youth soccer programs. Chargers’ most advanced players will be able to continue their elite development through the Orlando City SC U.S. Soccer Development Academy and eventually work their way to Orlando City B and the First Team.
U.S. Soccer will launch the Girls Development Academy program in Fall 2017 to provide elite young female talents the proper development opportunities to pursue their professional soccer dreams. Like Orlando City, Orlando Pride will have its own U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Univision Deportes to Begin Streaming MLS Games on Facebook
The streaming world is expanding even further. Reports say that MLS and Univision Deportes will be streaming 22 regular-season matches in English on Facebook. This agreement, plus easy streaming of MLS matches through MLS Live, will make it possible for Orlando City fans to watch pretty much any MLS game from pretty much anywhere on the North American continent.
That’ll do it for my first week of Lion Links! Thank you for tuning in and enjoy watching MLS this weekend!