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Lion Links: 2/24/18

Away kit drops, Pride players called up for international duty, former Pride player signs in Sweden, and more.

Photo Courtesy of Orlando City SC

Hello, Mane Landers! It is another beautiful weekend to enjoy.

Orlando City will compete in it’s final preseason scrimmage today against the Chicago Fire (well, OK, the reserves will face Nashville tomorrow). The match will take place in Orlando City Stadium but it is a closed-door scrimmage.

However, this means we are only one week away from the start of the 2018 season and I don’t know about you all but I am pumped!

Now on to the links.

Orlando City Releases 2018 Away Kit

Orlando City has finally released its much anticipated away kit. The kit was originally planned to be shown at the Soccer Ball on Friday night but the club decided to show the new kit at an impromptu event on Wall Street. Select members of each supporters group as well as some fans displayed the new jersey by wearing them to the event. The jersey went on sale at Lion’s Pride earlier in the day and then went on sale online at 7 p.m. Be sure to pick up your own jersey! It’s a sleek, clean look.

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC
Orlando Pride Players Called Up for International Duty

As the Pride began their preseason this week, they will be missing a few pieces leading up to the start of their season. Nine Pride players were called up by their respective countries. Some of the players will be playing in the Algarve Cup including Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond for Australia, as well as Shelina Zadorsky for Canada. Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris will be playing in the SheBelieves Cup for the United States. Some Brazilian players were called into a two-week training camp with the Brazilian National Team. Marta, Monica, and Poliana are all a part of that group. Nadia Gomes, the Pride’s draft pick this year, is receiving her first senior team call-up with Portugal. Bad news: Kennedy and van Egmond will not return until late April due to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup

Former Orlando Pride Player Jo Blankenship Signs with Swedish Club

Another former Orlando Pride player has found a new home. Jo Blankenship, who was signed in late August last season, will be joining the Sweedish side Piteå IF DFF. Blankenship played on the training squad for the Pride dating back to the 2016 season. She never saw minutes for the team but was a nice player to have in training. Jo Blankenship and Jordan O’Brien joined the team at the same time, right before the roster freeze. Best of luck to Jo in Sweden!

Copa America 2019 Will Be Played in Brazil

The location of the Copa America 2019 will take place in Brazil. The location was decided on Friday after the committee voted on the location in Uruguay. The competition will take place from June 14 to July 7 and the specific cities will be announced in the coming weeks. There will be a total of 16 teams with 10 countries originating from CONMEBOL and six more teams will come from Europe, Asia, and CONCACAF.

Free Kicks
  • Jill Ellis has named her 23-player roster for the SheBelieves cup which begins on March 1. Both Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan have made the final roster. The tournament will have the USWNT play Germany on March 1, France on March 4, and then finish against England March 7. The final match will take place at Orlando City Stadium so be sure to grab your tickets for this game as it will be one to watch!
  • Dennis Chin has signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC with a club option for 2019. The former Orlando City USL player has bounced around a few teams and even went to the Israeli league to play soccer but has finally made his way back to the United States. While with Orlando City, Chin had 84 appearances and 21 goals with the squad.
  • Toronto FC has added another key piece to their attack by adding Ager Aketxe. Aketxe is a 24-year-old Spanish playmaker who has been playing for Athletic Bilbao for the past two years. Over his time in the Spanish league, Akexe has scored 25 goals and added 16 assists in his professional career. According to reports, it would appear that he will be a TAM-level player for TFC and makes the defending champs even more dynamic going forward.
  • MLS products are all over the globe and has been keeping tabs on most of the players. Players such as Geoff Cameron, DeAndre Yedlin, Landon Donovan, as well as others are featured in the article. It explains what league the player competes in as well as what their form happens to be. This is an ongoing series for MLS so be sure to check it out regularly.
  • It looks like Paul Pogba could return to Juventus. Pogba has been falling out of favor with manager Jose Mourinho and the midfielder has a clause in his contract that allows Juventus to buy him back for 60 million euros.
  • Thursday night, the Seattle Sounders took on Santa Tenla in CONCACAF Champions League. They not only lost the match 2-1 but also could be without one of their stars for the foreseeable future. Jordan Morris went down in the 85th minute and did not return. This also forced Seattle to finish the game with 10 men. Here’s to hoping Morris isn’t out for a long period of time.

That’s all I have for today but it’s time to leave you all with a positive note. As we begin kickoff week for Orlando City, I’d like to share with you all a fun video from the Soccer Ball that occurred Friday night. Dom Dwyer and Ashlyn Harris were MCs for the evening and it even resulted in Dom wearing a skirt? Be sure to watch this funny video. Have a great weekend everyone!