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Lion Links: 10/20/18

Congrats to Earl Edwards Jr., Camila to play in Brazil this off-season, Pride season awards, OCB is roster building, and more.

Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Good morning, Lion Nation. We have no game today so you can relax literally all of Saturday away. The Lions are back in action tomorrow afternoon in their final home match of 2018 against Justin Meram and the Columbus Crew. It could be eventful.

If you’re on the fence about attending, keep in mind we have no idea what kind of movement we’ll see this off-season so this could be a final chance to get a look at some of your favorite lads in purple while they are still, you know, in purple. Go have yourself an afternoon at a gorgeous stadium and let’s see what happens. I’m keeping an open mind but expecting the worst, that way I can be pleasantly surprised if good things happen.

Let’s dive into the news of the day, but first, big time congrats to Orlando City goalkeeper Earl Edwards, Jr. are in order.

Camila Goes Home for Off-Season

Brazilian international Camila, the Orlando Pride’s breakout star of 2017 who suffered a nasty knee injury at the end of that season and never quite bounced back in the latter half of 2018 following her return, is going home. Camila signed a short-term contract with Brazilian side Esporte Clube Iranduba da Amazônia through the end of the calendar year. The Pride has offered Camila a new contract ahead of the 2019 NWSL season and it is expected that she’ll return to wear purple again. This move is great because it gives the Brazilian an opportunity to get minutes and hopefully find her form prior to the Pride’s 2019 campaign. Severe knee injuries can take a while to fully bounce back from, so this could give her an opportunity to regain her full range of motion so that she can get back to scoring wondergoals and making defenders look silly next season.

Orlando Pride Season Awards Announced

Fans of the Orlando Pride have selected the team’s awards for the 2018 NWSL season (all but the Golden Boot, which goes to the player who scored the most goals — in this year’s case, Sydney Leroux). Marta won team MVP and Goal of the Year, which isn’t shocking. In fact, the picks didn’t reveal many surprises, but you’ll need to click the link above to see the full list and watch a video of many of the winning selections.

Orlando City B Roster Building Underway, First Signings Could Come Soon

According to Orlando City B GM Mike Potempa, OCB’s roster will be fully signed by Dec. 31. The entire roster for the development side has to be put together from the ground up and that’s no small task but it’s something that Potempa and OCB Head Coach Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita have been working on. Potempa said they’re close on a few and that he believes some have a clear path to the MLS side.

“We’ve had our eye on a few [development academy players] that I think have remained constant that we figure yes, we would like to add them. These two particular players have been very consistent across the board. Very high-level players that I think should be considered for the first team within one or two years, in my opinion.”

The OCB roster may include up to seven internationals per league rules.

Granitur Showing Promise in Orlando City Development Academy

You know you’re doing something good when you’re a U-15 player getting call-ups to an MLS academy’s U-19 team. Such was the case for Luc Granitur this season and the youngster even got a call-up to the U.S. U-16/U-17 team June camp and played in a friendly. It’s always good to see who will be included in the next wave of future Lions and it sounds like Granitur is on such a trajectory. As for his thoughts on the club’s academy setup at Montverde, he had this to say:

“[The coaches] care about you as a person first. They make sure we’re good people and I believe when we’re good people, we’re going to be better players,” Granitur said. “We haven’t been here a year yet and I can already see I’ve improved a lot, gotten a lot of opportunities playing here.”

That’s great to hear. I’ll admit I have my own concerns about Orlando City’s academy setup so it’s always good to hear the players believe they are improving.

Will a Washington Youth Club Get Paid for Developing DeAndre Yedlin?

FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber will decide whether DeAndre Yedlin’s youth club, Crossfire Premier, should receive solidarity payments for the USMNT star’s transfer from the Seattle Sounders to Tottenham. Solidarity payments are compensation to youth clubs for developing players. This should be interesting to follow since the USSF opposes solidarity payments due to potential conflicts with child labor and antitrust laws in this country.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City SC wants to see your Lions-themed jack-o-lantern and you could win stuff for showing off your Halloween handiwork.
  • Five suspensions and a whole lot of fines were handed out by MLS as a result of the Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids fracas. Former Lion Harrison Heath got two games.
  • When we last saw Edison Flores, he was sticking a dagger of an equalizer against the USMNT into the net for Peru in Connecticut a few days ago. Well, it turns out he’s got some interest in joining MLS. If only we knew of a team friendly to Peruvians.
  • This might be relevant to Orlando City fans: how alcohol (and our ability to process it) has changed over the last 10 million years.
  • Those born on this date include baseball legend Mickey Mantle (1931), Tom Petty (1950), actor Viggo “Aragorn” Mortensen (1958), longtime Texas Rangers’ slugger Juan Gonzalez (1969), Snoop Dogg (1971), and actor John Krasinski (1979).

That’s it for me today, folks. Enjoy your weekend and hopefully I’ll see you at the stadium tomorrow.