Happy Saturday, Mane Landers! Today is another very exciting game day. This time the Lions will protect our fantastic fortress against the Colorado Rapids. It should be another great game, just like today’s great Lion Links. We start you off with an injury update on Kaká.
Kaká “Likely” to Feature vs. Colorado Rapids
This season has been a bit of an odd one for Orlando City SC. After eight weeks, the club is top of the Eastern Conference table with two games in hand on second-place Columbus Crew and Kaká has played about 10 minutes. Of course, you’ve heard that a million times now, but no matter how many times we acknowledge it, it will still seem surreal. Of course, even with the club’s great form it will be great to see our Brazilian superstar back on the pitch. According to Orlandosentinel.com, his return could come today. His role will likely be coming off of the bench and will surely be met with a loud roar from the crowd. Whether he can complement applause with his play we’ll just have to wait and see.
Cyle Larin’s Value Identified Based on Past Transfers
It seems every month there are more and more transfer rumors about Cyle Larin. I hate just thinking of him leaving. Even more scary: he might not even last this season with Orlando. In this relatively young season, Larin has been averaging a goal a game after playing six games. It doesn't take a math wiz or a master scout to know that is an excellent rate that will draw attention from big clubs. One concern Lions fans have is whether or not he will be sold for the right price. To identify the right price you can look at some of the other marquee transfers from MLS history. So far, the record is $10 million (Jozy Altidore) and quite frankly I wouldn't be shocked to see a similar figure offered for the Canadian wonderkid. Let us know how you'd feel if the Lions sold Larin for a similar amount of money.
Orlando City - Colorado Rapids Storylines
Orlando City will try try to continue its perfect home record (4-0-0) today when the Lions face the Colorado Rapids. Two defensive sides playing each other may not sound appealing but there are some interesting things to look out for in the game. One key thing to look for is whether or not Cyle Larin will strike again. He has been rampant this season and the Rapids better be prepared for his worst as he has been very consistent of late.
Vote on Tampa Bay’s Stadium Referendum Next Week
Being the only MLS team in the southeast I think a lot of Orlando City fans were excited to have Atlanta United enter the league. There has been talk for a while now about another team — either in Miami or Tampa — joining us in Florida and personally I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it gives us a clear rival, but on the other, they could take the attention off of us and divide the Central Florida fan base. I particularly believe the negative argument should be applied to the Tampa Bay Rowdies' expansion bid. All opinions aside, next Tuesday the Tampa community will be voting on whether or not to approve a lease with the city of St. Petersburg that would allow the club to upgrade Al Lang Stadium. Even if the vote passes, that doesn't mean they will be accepted into the MLS family. What it does mean is that they will have taken a key step in their bid, one Miami FC has tried and failed to take for three years.
Phoenix Rising FC Sign Former Lion Eric Avila
Many of you might remember Eric Avila from his time with Orlando City in the club’s inaugural season. He made 21 appearances in his one year with OCSC before joining the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Now he has made the move away from Central Florida to Phoenix Rising FC. Though I'm sure he'd love to make a return to MLS, Avila is now the envy of all USL midfielders because he gets to try and get the ball to international stars Didier Drogba and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Orlando City Youth Star Jordan Bender Fourth Best U-17 Player in Florida
It is always great to see youth players from our very own Orlando City shine and Jordan Bender is another prime example. Earlier this year, Bender was called up to feature for the U-16 Boys National Team and now he has received another impressive accolade. In the latest edition of Florida's youth soccer regional rankings, Bender has made the big leap from 25th to fourth place on the list. He is known as one of the best young forwards in the nation and perhaps could play for our senior team one day.
That wraps up today’s lion links. Enjoy today’s match. For now we leave you with this: