Welcome to Lion Links on this Thursday. This work week has felt longer than usual and I personally cannot wait for it to come to an end. With that said, I hope you all are having a solid week. With lots of soccer happenings across the United States and beyond, I am here to get you all caught up on what is going on. Sit back and let’s get into some awesome Lion Links.
Special Kits for Orlando City on Sunday
MLS looks to incorporate eco-friendly kits this season and that plan will start as early as this coming game week. As a matter of fact, Orlando City will wear said kits this coming Saturday, April 23, as the Lions travel to face New York City FC.
Part of the MLS Greener Goals initiative, the league has partnered with official kit sponsor Adidas and Parley to create these special jerseys. New York-based Parley for the Oceans seeks to engage consumer mindsets through culture by raising awareness for the fragility of ocean ecosystems through collaborative projects.
Pride Coach Feels Something Special is Happening
The Orlando Pride have started the season with a loss, but that will not deter Head Coach Tom Sermanni in any way. In fact, Tom is very upbeat and has high hopes for the club as the season in the new stadium gets underway. Sermanni believes that Orlando City has done an amazing job to become a club that is diverse and respectable in regards to equality.
“There was a sense of something special happening here,” says the 62-year-old. “The women’s team is an important part of the club and gets treated with the same respect, the same expectations, and the same seriousness right throughout the staff: the marketing department; the events team; game day management. The technical staff share the same space and the women eat breakfast with the men. The club is totally integrated and wants to be the best in the country whether it is men’s football or women’s football.”
Be sure to check out the Pride as they continue their season at home against the Washington Spirit Saturday at 4 p.m.
Orlando Pride Find Partnership
In more Orlando Pride news, Florida Dairy Farmers has become an official partner of the Orlando City Pride.
Through this partnership, Florida Dairy Farmers also becomes an official partner of Orlando City Youth Soccer and an associate partner of the Orlando City Foundation’s Soccer for Success Program.
“We are proud to have Florida Dairy Farmers’ support for both the Pride and our youth-facing programs,” said Rob Parker, vice president of corporate partnerships at Orlando City SC. “They have been great stewards in the community helping empower youth to achieve healthy lifestyle choices and that is something we aim to do as well through our teams and athletes.”
This partnership will certainly be great for both the Pride and Orlando City Youth Soccer as well.
Danny Deakin Signed to Orlando City B
Orlando City B added a familiar face as the young Lions signed midfielder Danny Deakin to a USL contract. Deakin, Orlando City’s third-round pick who was waived just days ago from the MLS side, is a University of South Carolina alumnus who capped 20 matches in 2016. At only 23 years old, he will look to make an impact for OCB as quickly as possible.
“We’re really happy Danny will be joining us full-time.” OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis said in a club press release. “Being with us will give him an opportunity to earn more playing time and continue his development.”
Harris Claims Another NWSL Save of the Week Award
This week’s NWSL Save of the Week goes to our very own Orlando Pride goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris. Check out her awesome save below.
Mexico Boss Osorio Takes a Step Back
After previously being dismissive of Major League Soccer, the El Tri coach clarifies his statements.
Juan Carlos Osorio says he's a fan of Major League Soccer, believes its progress on the field will continue as clubs bring in foreign coaches with different philosophies, and says the league's work off the field should “be a model to be followed by many, many other countries.”
Even though Osorio has taken a step back, the coach still suggests he would rather his players be in Europe as opposed to across the border in the United States.
MLS Didn’t Want Input from Jurgen Klinsmann
It should be of no surprise to you that MLS and Klinsmann did not see eye to eye on many things. After continually calling one another out over the course of the years, former U.S. assistant coach Andi Herzog has somewhat come to the defense of Klinsmann. If you knew this, then it won’t shock you that MLS didn’t want to listen to Klinsmann, even if he was only offering a helping hand.
"Jurgen wanted to help the league keep improving but [MLS executives] were not happy and thought he was just criticizing everything. One point Jurgen was not happy with was that they were buying and overpaying over-aged former European superstars like crazy, but they have already found out that it is not a good way.
That is all from me today folks. Remember to finish out your week strong and be ready to cheer on your Lions this weekend, as NYCFC is a tough opponent and a certain rival. If you want more from me give me a follow: @awesomeniemeier