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Lion Links: 2/15/18

Orlando City scrimmages Union, Pride bolsters attack (again), Pride players named to SheBelieves squad, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So you’ve survived Valentine’s Day and the candy coma that accompanied it? Good, because it’s Thursday and we’ve got plenty to talk about, as usual, as we hurtle toward the weekend and Orlando City’s preseason date with Real Salt Lake.

We’re just 16 days away from the Lions’ 2018 MLS opener, and there are just a few remaining preseason scrimmages for Jason Kreis to figure out where all the pieces fit best heading into the season. And not everyone is even in camp yet!

Lions Best Philadelphia

Orlando City played four different sessions against the Philadelphia Union in yesterday’s scrimmage and although the club does not consider these legitimate preseason games due to various reasons — odd timing structures, players subbing off and back on, etc. — we as fans do not have much else to judge the team on in these early days before the season. So, to that end, we’ll continue to bring you the final goal total and who scored them out of context, since we’re not permitted to watch these training scrimmages. Yesterday, the Lions scored three times and the Union only once. Maybe it wasn’t a legit game, but to me Orlando City won the scrimmage on aggregate, 3-1.

As mentioned in the tweet, your goal scorers were Yoshimar Yotun (from the spot), RJ Allen, and Chris Mueller, who is having himself one whale of a preseason. Cory Burke scored for Philly.

Getting back to Mueller for a minute, it seems he might be a long-lost clone of the gaffer.

This is how I like to imagine Kreis greets Mueller every time he comes off the field after scoring a goal.

Laryea Wants More Minutes

Richie Laryea is more than just the star of #RichieCam, my favorite new show of 2018. He’s also a soft-spoken Canadian soccer player with a hunger for more minutes after finishing the 2017 season as a regular contributor off the bench for Jason Kreis. Those minutes will be more difficult to come by with all the additions to the Lions this off-season but that doesn’t mean he’s not going for it, as he told ProSoccerUSA’s Jordan Culver.

“Orlando City B helped me last season to get minutes,” he said. “It’s not around this year so I’m looking mainly to get my minutes with the first team and have a real breakthrough season and show everyone what I can do.”

He also discussed Cyle Larin’s exit from the team and, of course, RichieCam.

Pride’s Offense Gets Even Better

The Orlando Pride entered yesterday with such goal-scoring threats as Alex Morgan, Marta, Sydney Leroux, Rachel Hill, and (the currently injured) Camila. But that offense got even better when the club added Australia National Team No. 10 Emily van Egmond. The attacking midfielder will certainly mitigate Camila’s absence to start the season and will provide yet another creative attacking threat to Tom Sermanni’s side. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch the Pride in 2018, folks.

By the way, van Egmond along with Pride teammate Alanna Kennedy, made Australia’s Algarve Cup roster, along with former Pride players Lisa De Vanna, Steph Catley, and Laura Alleway.

Morgan, Harris Named to USWNT’s Preliminary SheBelieves Roster

To no one’s surprise, Orlando Pride stars Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris have been named to Jill Ellis’ preliminary roster for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. Ellis has named 26 players to the preliminary roster for the four-nation friendly tournament, which will conclude in our very own Orlando City Stadium on March 7. The tourney kicks off on March 1 in Columbus and the roster will be down to 23 by then.

We can probably assume Morgan will get some minutes but with three matches to play in just a week, will Harris get a run-out? Alyssa Naeher has gotten the bulk of the work since Hope Solo was dismissed from the team but Jane Campbell is pushing for minutes as well.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City released its first video in a three-part series called “The Road to March 3rd.” The seven(ish)-minute video is worth a look.
  • According to ESPN FC, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is preparing for life after Manchester United by house hunting in Los Angeles. That seems like an oddly long commute to his future job in Orlando, in my opinion.
  • Those born on this date include Galileo (1564), piano company founder Henry Steinway (born Heinrich Steinweg in 1797), Susan B. Anthony (1820), polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874), original Batman series actor Cesar Romero (1907), Harvey Korman (1927), former Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson (1949), singer Melissa Manchester (1951), Jane Seymour (1951), The Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening (1954), Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee (1957), football’s Darrell Green (1960), Chris Farley (1964), basketball’s Mark Price (1964), and hockey’s Jaromir Jagr (1972).

That’s all my time for this morning. Happy Lenten season for those of you who celebrate Lent (and good luck with those sacrifices and/or spiritual disciplines).

In honor of birthday boy Galileo, I leave you with this lyrical meme.