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Lion Links: 2/6/18

Rachel Hill makes W-League impact, Leitão’s statement on Larin, Sporting KC’s new training center, and more!

Norway v USA - Women's World Cup 2007 3rd Place Play Off Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Good morning, readers. Another Tuesday means another day of me serving up your daily dose of soccer news. Let’s get right to it.

Leitão Speaks About Larin

Yesterday was Orlando City’s media day, and OCSC CEO Alex Leitão took a few minutes to speak on the departure of Cyle Larin.

“I have been in this business for so long, for 17 years, so I can testify that we didn’t overreact to what happened.”

You can read the rest of what Leitão had to say for yourself, but he was understandably less than impressed with the events surrounding the striker’s departure. After saying his piece, he then said he would never speak about the matter again. With everything that the club has to look forward to on the field over the course of the coming season, I think he’s correct; it’s time to stop worrying about the past and get excited for the future instead.

Hill’s Impressive W-League Numbers

Orlando Pride’s Rachel Hill has spent the NWSL off-season on loan with Perth Glory of Australia’s W-League. She’s done quite well there too, notching nine goals and six assists during the course of the season. Her loan move from the Pride to Perth Glory was intended to help Hill maintain match sharpness and fitness, as well as helping her to grow her game in a different competitive environment. If those numbers are anything to go by, then she’s done exactly that, and Pride fans can look forward to seeing how she carries that good form into the upcoming NWSL season.

Sporting Kansas City’s New Digs

Sporting Kansas City has unveiled a new $75 million training facility. Named Pinnacle, the facility will be the MLS team’s full-time training home, and will also play host to U.S. Soccer’s coaching and referee training programs, and Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center. The facility is state of the art with top-notch features like a cryotherapy room and hypobaric chamber. The facility can be seen as a sign of the changing times in MLS, so don’t be surprised in the slightest if more teams start to build facilities of the same quality. Not only do they serve the obvious purpose of giving a team the best possible environment to train in, but they also don’t hurt when trying to attract players from overseas who might be accustomed to training in similar facilities.

Recognizing Briana Scurry

Our friends over at Stars and Stripes FC have written a great piece about Briana Scurry, the first black woman to be inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. Scurry was in between the sticks when the USWNT won the 1999 Women’s World Cup on home soil, and made a crucial save in the penalty shootout in the final against China. She was capped 173 times for the national team. Even in retirement her presence on the game continues to be felt both in her job as an assistant coach with the Washington Spirit and in her advocacy work trying to bring awareness to concussion and traumatic brain injury. Her influence transcended soccer too, as she’s been included in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. If you have a minute, take some time to read about her, she’s truly an extraordinary woman.

Free Kicks
  • More 2018 MLS jersey news:
  • Some news on Mix Diskerud following his signing with Manchester City:
  • Today’s birthdays include Bob Marley, Babe Ruth, and Axl Rose.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Don’t forget, the USSF presidential election is fast approaching, as well as a few OCSC preseason scrimmages against various MLS teams. Plenty to look forward to in the run up to the start of the season! Ciao.