Welcome to this Thursday’s edition of Lion Links. We are back to Lions soccer this weekend as Orlando City is set to take on Columbus Crew SC in an away game that will mark OCSC’s first road trip of the season. I’m personally looking forward to watching the matchup between Ola Kamara and Jonathan Spector.
Orlando City is sure to be tested in this away game, and I, for one, am hoping the Lions overcome road anxiety and find a way to get three points. For now though, lets dig into some Links.
Larin is a Wanted Man
Cyle Larin is on fire and there’s no denying that. His rise in popularity only comes with more mentions of his name far and wide. His talent as a goal scorer is evident on the field, and with this season underway, Larin is a star that is already shining bright.
Larin is getting interest from Goodison Park, the home of Everton FC. With the possibility of its star-studded striker Romelu Lukaku likely leaving in the summer, the Toffees will be left with a void that needs to be filled. Insert in the reported rumors about Everton expressing interest to sign Larin as Lukaku’s replacement and things are looking steamy.
Fans of Everton reacted to the Larin interest, and many seem somewhat excited about the prospect of Cyle joining:
I'm a big fan of Larin's finishing ability, would be a good fit for Everton even if Rom stays https://t.co/j3O79c2Qb0— Texan Evertonian (@ThScottishMessi) March 27, 2017
Along with the big dogs of Everton, Larin has attracted attention from two Sky Bet Championship sides. Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion are two clubs interested in what the striker can bring to the table.
Those goals have now taken Larin’s overall goalscoring tally for Orlando City to 35 in just 63 appearances for the American outfit and it has been reported that the striker is attracting the attention of a number of English clubs.
Of course our hope as fans is for the beloved striker to stay on board with Orlando City as the main man up top but with other suitors knocking on the door, Larin may be harder and harder to keep.
Orlando City Development Academy Rises to Number Two
The Orlando City Development Academy U-17/18 team has risen to number two in the country after securing two more wins in competitive play.
Character seems to be the common denominator throughout the academy as many of the teams struggled but found ways to overcome the challenges they were presented with.
“Both games were really hard for the boys,” Academy Director and U-17/18s head coach David Longwell said. “They went down in the first game but fought back. I’m really proud of the character they showed.”
Paul Clowes’ Rise With Orlando City
Can you imagine being a part of the marketing team for a new stadium and then playing in that new stadium?
As a marketing intern for Orlando City in 2014, this is the exact situation that Paul Clowes has found himself in. From marketing intern to Orlando City B midfielder.
Clowes will walk onto the field Thursday night at 7:30 as a midfielder for Orlando City B (0-1-0) when the United Soccer League team hosts Louisville City FC (0-1-0) in its home opener at Orlando City Stadium.
“Oh, it’ll be fantastic to walk out,” Clowes said. “It is kind of a proud moment for me to play in that new stadium that I was helping to promote. To see it physically there in downtown, in a city that loves soccer so much, it gave me goose bumps the first time I walked through.”
OCSC Promote Gallagher to Chief Revenue Officer
Chris Gallagher goes from vice president of sales to his new position as OCSC’s chief revenue officer. Gallagher has over 20 years of sales experience across major brands such as the NFL, MLB, and NHL — where he worked in the Florida Panthers’ front office with our own managing editor in the early ‘00s. His success in MLS with Orlando City has helped him move up the ranks, and Gallagher now occupies the position of CRO.
“As we settle into our new home, it is important that we congratulate and celebrate together what a historic occasion this move represents. It is also important that we look toward the future and continue to advance the Club we hold so dear,” Orlando City SC Chief Executive Officer Alex Leitão said.
Under Gallagher, the club stuffed the Citrus Bowl with 60,000+ fans twice, sold out its season ticket allotment and built a waiting list in the thousands.
Orlando City on Facebook Live
The debut of Orlando City on Facebook Live is finally going to be a reality. With MLS recently agreeing with Facebook to stream regular season games on the website, Orlando City will be participating for the first time in this venture.
While the stream will be a first for Orlando City, the Orlando Pride became the first professional team to stream a full regular season match on Facebook Live in 2016. The fans responded with 400,000 tuning in for the stream.
You can tune in on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on Univision Deportes’ Facebook page. You can also watch via traditional means on your television. The match will be available in English on Univision Deportes via the SAP feature.
Pride Improve to 3-0 in the Preseason
In a scrimmage against the University of Florida in Gainesville, the Orlando Pride captured a 3-0 win. The goal scorers of the game were Kristen Edmonds, Chioma Ubogagu, and Christina Burkenroad. The match may have ended 3-0, but it was the first 45 minutes that set the teams that far apart, as all three goals were captured in the first half of the game.
- The U.S. Womens National Team suffered a setback as Lindsay Horan has been ruled out of training camp and matches against Russia due to injury. In her place will be 17-year-old midfielder Jaelin Howell, who will be looking to make an impact.
- Real Salt Lake has a new coach as the club has officially hired Mike Petke after the firing of Jeff Cassar.
- The internet got salty yesterday (nothing new) after two different sorts of blunders happened. One was the revealing of the Cristiano Ronaldo sculpture which did not do Ronaldo any justice in the looks department. The internet indeed had quite the field day with the statue’s poor resemblance of Ronaldo. Check out some of the best tweets as compiled by www.people.com. The second blunder came when a reporter asked new Chicago Fire player Bastian Schweinsteiger if he thought that the Chicago Fire could win the World Cup. Rightfully confused by the question, Schweini responded in the best possible way he could after the direction of the question was shifted. One of our own had fun with it, though.
Well, that is all from me today. If you want related and unrelated information to all things soccer then I may be the follow you desire. Cash me right here: @awesomeniemeier.
Let’s leave you with something to smile about: