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Lion Links: 10/26/18

Orlando City B to partner with a local college, Kljestan’s impending duel, FIFA rankings, and more.

MLS: Columbus Crew at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? I hope all of you have been enjoying the somewhat cooler weather lately. It’s pretty crazy to think that its almost November and that the MLS season is nearly over. It’s been a rough season and hopefully the Lions can go out on a good note this weekend in the last game of the season. But for now, let’s get to the links!

Orlando City B Nearing Collegiate Partnership

With the return of Orlando City B next year in the USL League One, the club’s development should see a needed boost with a partnership with Montverde Academy playing a big part. However, the partnerships won’t stop there according to OCB General Manager Mike Potempa, who has said that a partnership will soon be reached with a local college.

Potempa aims to cut out some of the indecision and tough choices that players face when they must choose between college or playing for OCB as contracts similar to scholarships will help take some of the load off of players wanting to play the sport they love and get a quality education.

Kljestan’s Return a Decision Day Highlight

It’s the final week of the MLS season and although the Lions are out of the playoff hunt, there is still plenty to look forward to this weekend. One of the many storylines for Decision Day is Sacha Kljestan’s return to New York and especially his duel in the midfield against former teammate Tyler Adams. Kljestan and Adams both operate in the same pockets of space on the field and Kljestan will be riding some momentum after a solid performance last week so it will be something to keep an eye on Sunday afternoon.

USMNT Falls and Belgium Rises in Latest FIFA Rankings

After a loss to Colombia and a draw with Peru the U.S. has fallen, albeit by just one spot, in the latest FIFA rankings and now sits at 23rd in the world. A good November against England (ranked fifth) and Italy (19th) could help the U.S. climb back. At the top of the table, Belgium has overtaken recent World Cup champion France for the top spot, although the margin between the two is just one point.

Tom Sermanni Headed to New Zealand

Former Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni has been hired as the new head coach for the New Zealand women’s national team. Congratulations to Tom on the new job as he looks to help the Football Ferns in their FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament next month!

“I’m delighted to be given the challenge of qualifying the Football Ferns for the World Cup in France next year,” he said from Orlando. “During my time in coaching I’ve always had a close relationship with the team and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead the program during this exciting time.”

Free Kicks
  • Orlando Pride players Christine Nairn and Dani Weatherholt are down in Australia with the Melbourne Victory and joined up with new teammate Samantha Jones for an early Halloween costume as the iconic Kimpossible trio. Dani as Rufus the naked mole rat will be hard to top this Halloween.
  • That being said, Adam Grinwis nailed an Odell Beckham Jr. impersonation in training with a wild catch that may have some NFL teams sending scouts to his next game.

That’s all from me, folks! I hope you have an easy, breezy Friday and a wonderful weekend. See you all in the off-season!