Get excited Mane Landers, it’s Friday! We all wait for the weekend, and the chance to watch our teams in purple continue their winning ways. Let’s round the week out with a few Lion Links.
OCB Draws Saint Louis FC
The young Lions returned home after a good road trip and controlled most of the game but they couldn’t find a breakthrough in a physical 0-0 draw against Saint Louis FC. It was OCB’s second straight shutout but Anthony Pulis’ side just couldn’t find that final ball to get all three points. The young Lions will be off for two weeks before visiting Cincinnati on May 13.
Kaká Guaranteed League’s Highest Salary?
Goal dropped this story about Kaká, suggesting the Orlando City captain may have a guarantee in his contract that keeps him the league’s highest paid player, as no one has surpassed him since he entered MLS.
Sources tell Goal that Kaka's salary has acted as the de facto ceiling since his formal arrival in 2015. When he first negotiated with MLS and Orlando City in 2014, it was believed Kaka was willing to sign for a salary in the $4 million to $5 million range. But upon discovering that U.S. national team captain Michael Bradley's salary was more than $6 million, Kaka saw his demands grow considerably.
By the time a deal was struck, Kaka signed for a $6.6 million contract, a tad more than the $6.5 million base salary Bradley was earning. (Clint Dempsey returned to MLS that same year, and earned a prorated salary higher than Bradley's, but that came after Kaka's deal was done.)
Save of the Week Update
Joe Bendik lost out on the MLS Save of the Week to Zach MacMath of the Colorado Rapids for this save against Minnesota United’s Christian Ramirez. Bendik’s game rescuing save came against a David Villa volley from close range, in the 94th minute of the 2-1 away win at NYCFC. You can view it again here.
Busy Week for Orlando City
Orlando City had to take a more cautious approach in training this week, with a tough stretch of games right around the corner. This Saturday, the Lions will host the Colorado Rapids, and will then travel to play at BMO Field to face off against Toronto FC, only four days later on May 3. Unfortunately, or not, however you want to look at it, the busy week doesn’t end there. Following that game, City heads straight down to Houston to play the Dynamo on May 6.
“We looked conscientiously at this week and said to ourselves, ‘The players who played the majority of the minutes over the first six matches need to be very limited in what they do this week and the players who haven’t need to be built up a little bit in preparation for potential minutes next week, potential substantial minutes next week,’” Orlando City coach Jason Kreis said.”
Interview: Orlando Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds
Ahead of the Orlando Pride’s Saturday clash with the undefeated North Carolina Courage, The Equalizer caught up with Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds. You can read her take on the new Orlando City Stadium, the United States Women’s National Team, and what it is like to play with five-time FIFA World Player of the Year (and newest member of the Pride), Marta.
“I love being in Orlando. The community gives us 100% support. Our coaching staff is awesome and our team is cool – everybody’s great. It’s a fun city to play in and be apart of. Getting to play in that stadium is awesome. It’s every soccer player’s dream to be able to play in a soccer-specific stadium like that in a city like this with fans like we have. I definitely love it here. We have a really good shot this year at going really far and making the playoffs, so I think it’s going to be a really good year for us.”
Does your child play the Beautiful Game?
Orlando City wants you! The Lions are looking for children who love the game of soccer to join their camps. Boys who were born from 1999 to 2006 could be eligible for the MLS Player Identification Camp, which could provide the opportunity to be recommended to the MLS Academy. Both girls and boys between the ages of six and thirteen can sign up for Summer Camp 2017, to learn and improve on the basics of the sport. All camp information can be found on the Orlando City official website.
That’s all we’ve got for you today. Stay tuned for more on this weekend’s Orlando City-Colorado Rapids showdown, the Pride’s trip to North Carolina, and more. We’ll leave you with this NWSL video of Marta’s arrival: