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Lion Links: 10/16/18

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Leroux’s illness explained, MLS Player Combine back in Orlando, MLS award nominees announced, and more.

Soccer: Tournament of Nations - Women’s Soccer-Japan at USA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers. It was another rough outing for the boys over the weekend, but take comfort in the knowledge that the pain of this season will be over soon enough. There’s an absolute smorgasbord of news to cover today, so let’s be about it shall we?

A Somber Explanation for Leroux’s Illness

Those of you who follow the Orlando Pride closely may remember Sydney Leroux’s absence during the back end of the season due to an unexplained illness. Yesterday, she gave a very sobering explanation for her time away from the team, with the heartbreaking news that she lost a baby. Leroux explained that she was (understandably) devastated, and felt for awhile that she couldn’t talk about it due to shame and stigma surrounding losing a baby.

However, she wanted to tell her story so that other people going through what she went through would know they aren’t alone, while also raising awareness for something that happens in one in every four pregnancies. Here’s hailing Sydney’s courage, the thoughts of fans everywhere are with you.

MLS Player Combine Returns to Orlando

Once again, Orlando and Orlando City Stadium will play host to the Adidas MLS Player Combine. After Los Angeles hosted the 2017 event, MLS decided to have the 2018 edition in Orlando City’s recently minted stadium. Apparently the powers that be liked last year’s Combine so much that they decided to bring the event back to the Lions’ home. The Combine will take place from Jan. 3-9. Much earlier, the MLS Caribbean Combine actually began yesterday and will be held in Kingston, Jamaica through Oct. 18 and Bridgetown, Barbados from Oct. 22-25.

MLS Awards Ballots Released

Major League Soccer has released the names eligible for each of the season’s yearly awards. Given the team’s dismal season the Lions are probably not likely to end up winning many individual trophies, but many players have still been nominated. Dom Dwyer and Yoshi Yotún are on the MVP ballot, while Chris Mueller is up for Rookie of the Year, and other players have been nominated in various categories. The one award where a Lion could (and most certainly should) have a shot is in the Comeback Player of the Year, where Mason Stajduhar has been nominated following his completion of a six-month treatment for Localized Ewing Sarcoma. Congratulations to all those nominated.

An Interview With New OCB Coach

Orlando Soccer Journal recently sat down for an interview with new Orlando City B Head Coach Fernando José De Argila Irurita to discuss a number of things. Among them was the news that he and other club members took a recent trip to South America not only to scout players, but also to view how the clubs operate and get a feel for their culture. Additionally, he spoke about wanting to play a certain style, and talked a little about how closely the team will work with the Orlando City first team. It’s quite an interesting interview and you should take the time to read it yourself to get to know OCB’s new boss a little better.

Lion Links
  • Adam Grinwis was named to the bench of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week for his valiant, albeit losing effort over the weekend.
  • You have a chance to meet some Orlando City players this Friday.

That’ll be all for me today. Don’t forget that the USMNT plays Peru tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET and Orlando City takes on the Seattle Sounders back at home tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Have a great rest of your day and be sure to check in after both matches for the usual post-match content. Ciao.