Welcome to your daily fix of Lion Links. OCB took on Toronto FC II last night in Orlando, the Pride are 10 days away from the start of the NWSL season, and OCSC is focused on rebounding from this weekend’s defeat. Needless to say, we have a busy set of Links to get to, so let’s get started.
Kaká and Leitao Speak at MIT and Harvard
Orlando City Soccer Club will be well represented at the 2017 Brazil Conference, as Kaká and OCSC CEO Alex Leitao are invited as guest speakers. MIT and Harvard host the event each year focused on Brazil’s development and role in the world. The conference takes place April 7 and 8 and you can stream the talks on the website.
Happy to be invited to speak about soccer, MLS and @OrlandoCitySC at MIT on Fri. Follow the @brazil_conference to watch the streaming live. pic.twitter.com/7SQBNQcf17— Alex Leitao (@alexleitao) April 4, 2017
José Aja and Seb Hines Injury Updates
Orlando will be without starting center back Jose Aja for at least the next two weeks. Orlando has had its fair share of injury setbacks already this year, and its depth will again be tested. Tommy Redding replaced the injured Aja on Saturday and is the natural replacement for the Uruguayan at the moment. Head Coach Jason Kreis doesn’t always go with the obvious, though.
Just been told Jose Aja suffered a grade-1 hamstring strain, out 2-4 weeks.— Mike Gramajo (@byMikeGramajo) April 4, 2017
As Aja enters the training room, another center back begins the transition back to full fitness. Seb Hines posted a photo of his first day back after recovering from a recent knee surgery, so the news isn’t all negative on the injury front.
OCB Earns First Win of 2017
Orlando City B had gone 0-for-2 in its first two outings of the 2017 campaign, but the young Lions broke through on Tuesday night to record their first win of the season and their first ever win at the new stadium, beating Toronto FC II, 3-1. Paul Clowes, Hadji Barry, and Lewis Neal registered the goals for OCB. who finished the game a man down due to a red card on Pierre Da Silva.
Meet Pride Forward Chioma Ubogagu
While off-season Pride signing Chioma Ubogagu is finding her stride this preseason with a few goals so far, she is also settling into life in the City Beautiful. Ubogagu, who played for Stanford before professional stints with Arsenal and the Houston Dash, will look to improve on logging only one goal in 15 games last season with the Dash. The Pride open the 2017 season on April 15 away at Portland.
A Call for U.S. National Team Reconciliation
The ongoing discussions between the U.S. Women’s National Team and USSF have put a strain on the relationship between the men’s and women’s teams. Becky Sauerbrunn talked about mending some fences with Grant Wahl in his recent podcast. She admitted that the debate over compensation for the women’s team developed a bad tone. She added:
“And we know that if they do well, the program does well. They generate a lot of revenue. That money goes back into the program and it benefits everybody. So we wish them best and we certainly hope that they would wish us the best.”
MLS Daring to Zlatan?
Rumors are a-swirlin’ that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is MLS bound this summer, with the big Swede reportedly set to land in Los Angeles. Will a move happen? Who really knows? But Ibrahimovic hasn’t helped put an end to speculation by being coy about extending his time with Manchester United after this season. At 35, Ibrahimovic is still playing at a high level in one of the world’s toughest leagues, so LA fans will have their fingers crossed that a deal materializes.
Thanks for stopping by The Mane Land for your latest Orlando news and happenings. Have a great rest of your day, and check back here for analysis as OCSC gears up for its upcoming meeting with the New York Red Bulls.