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Lion Links: 2/23/18

Bendik watches team jell, Toia welcomes challenge, Orlando City away kit revealed, and more.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Mane Landers, I hope everyone is ready for the weekend. This month has been flying by but I’m sure the days are going to get longer as we start counting down for the 2018 season. Until then, enjoy some Lion Links from a busy yesterday!

Joe Bendik Weighs In; Orlando Injury Update

Most of the focus this off-season has been on the offensive talent brought in by the front office, but Joe Bendik remains one of the strongest parts of Orlando City’s roster and says the team as a whole is starting to come together. Although one of the players with the most job security on the squad, Bendik has had his work cut out for him this off-season with strengthening communication with the many new members of his back line.

In other training news, Bendik faced off with UFC superstar Raquel Pennington in a penalty shootout while she trains in Orlando. Dom Dwyer was not at yesterday’s training, but Josué Colmán and Richie Laryea were both present and running separately from the team. Kreis expects Colmán to be back at full training next week so he may be ready to go for the opener next Saturday if needed.

Cam Lindley Thrilled; Toia Challenged

It’s one thing to graduate college and immediately find work. It’s another to find work alongside some of the biggest names in your profession, but that’s where Orlando City midfielder Cameron Lindley finds himself with a roster filled with talent. A little in awe at first, Lindley is starting to fit in more with the team and is learning from the likes of Sacha Kljestan and Justin Meram.

Meanwhile, Donny Toia is looking forward to the competition at his left back position with Mohamed El-Munir and Victor “PC” Giro breathing down his neck for minutes. Regardless of who winds up winning the starting spot, it’s nice seeing the cool, calm demeanor from the 25-year-old that we saw in all of his 30 starts last season.

Orlando City Away Kit Leaked (Spoiler Alert)

I always feel a little dirty sharing leaked stuff, but Orlando City’s apparent away kit looks way too nice not to share. With a clean white finish and subtle purple detailing, the kit will have the Lions looking like royalty even outside the confines of Orlando City Stadium.

Orlando Pride Players Gear Up for SheBelieves Cup

With 2019 Women’s World Cup qualifying just around the corner, the USWNT is looking to take advantage of the SheBelieves Cup for some valuable games against some of the best nations in the world. With part of the event held here in Orlando, Orlando Pride and USWNT players Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan will be in familiar surroundings. Both are missing pride preseason training, but this is far from a vacation for the two as they prepare for the tournament during a critical time in U.S. soccer.

“We’re not taking this as a joke. We’re not taking it lightly. Every team we face, we have to gain something out of it. These are great games to have against some of the best teams in the world. I think this is going to prepare us for the big picture, and that’s qualification.” said Harris.

Lamine Sané Bids Bremen Farewell

Fire up those translators Mane Landers, because Orlando City’s newest center back took to Instagram to say goodbye to his former club, Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. In the message, Sané thanks fans for always making him feel comfortable at the club and wishes the team luck in its future.

Free Kicks
  • While Sane says goodbye, midfielder Uri Rosell says hello to his new Orlando City fans.
  • Another kit was leaked yesterday, with LAFC’s home and away jerseys revealed. They’d look great if they didn’t have that logo plastered across the front with red coloring that doesn’t match the club’s branding at all. Compare it to Orlando’s seamless Orlando Health logo and it’s no question which kit is better.
  • FIFA’s U-17 and U-20 World Cups may possibly be streamlined into one big 48-team tournament.
  • I leave you tonight with this ominous tweet from Orlando City. It certainly looks like it could be the official kit release, but we may have to show up this morning to find out.

Have a great Friday, everyone! We’ve got our final preseason game to look forward to tomorrow so finish your week strong and let’s get after it this weekend. Vamos Orlando!