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Lion Links: 4/5/18

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Orlando City Development Academy fully moves to Montverde, Will Johnson’s goal a testament to great final third play, Alex Morgan to star in a movie as herself and more.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Orlando City SC Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Mane Landers! It is great to be writing on the Thursday following a victory. As we approach the match-up against the Portland Timbers, Orlando City is starting to get healthier and jell as a team, so big things could be coming. First, Orlando City is once again linked to another Werder Bremen player, Zlatko Junuzovic:

Let’s get to the Links!

Orlando City Development Academy Moves to Montverde Academy

Effective about two months from now on June 1, Orlando City’s U-12 through U-19 teams will all be based at Montverde Academy. The move comes after Orlando City and the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (SIMA) announced a collaboration this past January, which led to the U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams moving over immediately after. SIMA has earned multiple national titles and holds the longest active unbeaten streak in the history of high school soccer in the U.S. First team assistant coach Bobby Murphy and director of SIMA and former U.S. youth national player Mike Potempa will oversee the development of the Academy’s players.

Will Johnson’s Goal a Product of Solid Final Third Play

As noted by Sacha Kljestan, Dom Dwyer has to be watched at all times by defenses, and against the New York Red Bulls, that was evident. Will Johnson’s goal in the 15th minute made this obvious. Dwyer drew attention from defender Connor Lade, who didn’t notice Johnson running into the penalty area, resulting in an easy goal. Justin Meram praised Dwyer for running without the ball, something that can help Orlando City create more chances like the Johnson goal. The presence of players like Dwyer and Meram is what Orlando City has needed, and it showed in the 4-3 victory over the Red Bulls and should continue with the team getting healthier.

Alex Morgan to Play as Herself in a Kids’ Movie about Soccer

The Orlando Pride and USWNT star will play herself in a new kids’ movie called Alex & Me, which also stars Nickelodeon star Siena Agudong. The movie’s premise is that Siena hits her head and when she wakes up, Alex Morgan comes out of the poster on her wall and teaches her how to become a well-rounded soccer player. The film also delves into the pay-to-play nature in the American youth system, which does hinder some of our youth from playing soccer. The movie seems to be a very positive movie for young girls to watch as well as soccer fans in general. The movie is slated to come out later this year. Here is the trailer, if you’d like to watch.

Bruce Arena Almost Took National Team Job before Klinsmann Sacking

In his new book, Bruce Arena reveals that he almost took over the United States Men’s National Team job from Jurgen Klinsmann six months before he was sacked. Arena states that plans for him to take over for Klinsmann started six months before it eventually happened, but due to Dan Flynn needing heart surgery, the sacking was postponed:

“I felt a little bad for Sunil. He wanted to make a change and replace Klinsmann, but he was nervous about pulling the trigger. The timing was already going to be awkward, with Copa America [Centenario] coming up in June. Now Dan was gone for two months. It didn’t feel right to move ahead at that time. ... Events had already been set in motion, though.” -Bruce Arena

Arena’s book is called What’s Wrong With US? A Coach’s Blunt Take on the State of American Soccer After a Lifetime on the Touchline and is available for purchase.

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Hope you all have a great Thursday!