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Lion Links: 2/4/18

Lions leave Jacksonville, Meram’s motives, Sermanni’s cymbals, and much more.

Atlanta United FC  v Orlando City SC Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Hey, Mane Landers. The team is coming together both figuratively and literally, as the latest additions of the squad start training with their teammates and building chemistry and Jason Kreis’ side is falling into place. Today’s the last day until we all have to get back to work tomorrow and if this upcoming week is anything like this past one in terms of Orlando City news and trading, then we are going to need all the rest we can get. So kick back and enjoy some links.

Orlando City’s Time in Jacksonville Ends

On Jan. 24, the Lions packed their bags to kick off their preseason training in Jacksonville and yesterday their training came to a close with an unofficial game against Jacksonville University. The result isn’t what matters but apparently it was a 4-1 win for the Lions with Will Johnson netting a brace, Sacha Kljestan scoring once, and Yoshimar Yotun knocking one in from the spot. The lone goal scorer for the Dolphins was Alberto Escobedo, who once played club soccer for Orlando City’s U-17 team back when he attended high school in Orlando.

The Lions will now head back to Orlando and gear up for four MLS opponents in the next three weeks to finish their preseason. Farewell Jacksonville!

Justin Meram Excited for Change of Scenery

Midfielder Justin Meram may not be a stranger to MLS, but he’s a fresh face here in Orlando and can’t wait to get started with his new team. Meram has become one of the best playmakers in MLS after seven years in Columbus, but a combination of factors like Columbus’ impending move, a desire to play in a bigger market, and Orlando City Stadium led the 29-year-old to make the change from yellow to purple.

“I’m sure it’s not going to be a smooth transition. I’m sure there’s going to be some difficult moments,” Meram said. “But I think the reason I succeed is I work really hard and I put my head down and want to learn. I’m just excited. This is a big club that hasn’t had the success. I love that I can come in here and bring that. I know we’re going to have some great moments on the field.”

Sermanni and Edmonds Play in Purple Pops Philharmonic

The Orlando City Foundation presented a philharmonic this past Friday night in a concert that featured some rather familiar faces. Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni and Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds both got in on the action along with other special guests. If Sermanni slamming some cymbals together doesn’t make your weekend, then nothing will.

Players Called Up For U.S. Men’s U-18 Matches

The U.S. Men’s U-18 training camp kicks off in Orlando today and Head Coach Omid Namazi named 24 players to attend the camp. Of the 24, four are making their debut with the U-18s and five are coming from clubs overseas, including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Aston Villa. The week-long camp will feature two matches with Costa Rica’s U-18 side and will be a good opportunity for some of the future faces of the USMNT to show their stuff.

Free Kicks
  • Perhaps the best thing to come out of this off-season, #RichieCam continues:
  • In the W-League, Pride defender Alanna Kennedy and Melbourne City qualified for the Finals Series after beating the Newcastle Jets, 3-0. Kennedy is the last Pride player standing after Toni Pressley’s Canberra United and Rachel Hill’s Perth Glory failed to make the top four.
  • With Orlando City as possibly his last stop in MLS, what happened to Giles Barnes?
  • Manchester United supporters whipped out a welcome banner for Alexis Sanchez and his cute golden retrievers.
  • And to end our links, take a look at this free kick by the retired Francesco Totti in the 2018 Legends Cup. You know you’ve earned the title of legend when you can score a goal like that and walk off like it’s nothing.


Well, that’s all I have for you guys today. If you’re a football fan then enjoy the game tonight. Let me know in the comments who you’re pulling for. (Hint: If it’s the Patriots don’t even bother commenting). Stay frosty folks.