Welcome to Wednesday’s Lion Links. On behalf of The Mane Land, happy birthday to José Aja, Orlando City’s Uruguayan center back. Aja turns 24 today. We have a busy set of links for you, so let’s get started.
Redding Packing His Bags for South Korea
Orlando City center back Tommy Redding made the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Competition starts on May 20, so the Lions will soon be without the defender who has made six league starts this season. Congratulations to Redding for getting the chance to represent his country in a big tournament. But the Lions will have to find a way to fill in for his absence while he is in Asia.
Orlando Defenders Getting Rest
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Donny Toia, Scott Sutter, and Jonathan Spector have all been on a lighter schedule in training this week. Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis confirmed that Spector is nursing an ankle injury, and that was the reason he was unavailable for Saturday’s loss in Houston. All three players are expected to be available for selection for Saturday’s meeting with Sporting KC, which kicks off another crowded run of games for City.
Phil Rawlins Leaving Town?
The man responsible for bringing professional soccer to the city of Orlando has announced he is leaving to pursue other business ventures in Colorado. But hold on, Rawlins was clear to state that he will still serve Orlando City Soccer Club in an advisory role while remaining on the club’s board of directors. Also, he will remain involved with his current advisory roles in MLS and the NWSL, according to his interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
MLS and Liga MX Tourney on the Horizon
Club Atlas President Gustavo Guzman confirmed that a tournament between MLS and Liga MX is being worked on by league representatives, but dates are not yet confirmed. The tournament makes sense for Liga MX after its recent exit from Copa Libertadores. Let’s hope MLS fares a little better in this tournament than it has in the CONCACAF Champions League, smh guys.
Monica to Miss Sunday’s Match
The Orlando Pride training staff expects that Monica will miss the Pride’s next game against the North Carolina Courage. The defender suffered a collision in the third minute of the club’s most recent match against FC Kansas City. The diagnosis is a left knee bone bruise, but Monica is likely to return to action after this weekend.
Harris Wins Save of the Week
Another week, another individual honor for the Pride. This week it’s Ashlyn Harris’ turn to shine with her wonderful double-save effort. Last week, Camila won the Goal of the Week competition. And in Week 2, Danica Evans won the GotW and Monica won SotW, so a nice trend continues for the Pride.
Before we call it a day here on the Links, check out this video explaining the recent tests of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in MLS games. If the technology makes the game more enjoyable for fans and players, then bring it on, right?
Thanks for stopping by, Mane Landers.