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Lion Links: 4/7/18

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Rocha loaned out, Orlando City has the full squad practicing, communication issues, and more!

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Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Good morning and happy Moving Day to all you golf fans out there. Patrick Reed’s nine-birdie round propelled him into a two-shot lead. I’m hoping Rickie Fowler can make a run and win his first major.

I also want to wish a very happy birthday to Orlando City’s Yoshimar Yotún. Yoshi has not had the best season so far but last year he showed his ability. He has two goals and five assists in his relatively short time as a Lion, and here’s to hoping those numbers grow tomorrow!

Now to the links:

Tony Rocha Loaned Out

Midfielder Tony Rocha will be heading to Saint Louis FC on a short loan. Former Orlando City B head coach and current Saint Louis FC head coach Anthony Pulis will be delighted to have another former player join him — goalkeeper Jake Fenlason, midfielder Austin Martz, and forward Albert Dikwa are all former OCB players currently on Saint Louis. Pulis and Rocha were together in 2016 and 2017 in Orlando. Rocha scored one goal and added three assists in 33 USL games for OCB.

“We are excited to have Tony join us as he adds another dynamic midfielder to our roster with good experience,” said STLFC Vice-President & GM Jeremy Alumbaugh. “Our staff is very familiar with Tony, as a player and a person, and we feel that he will fit well into the group.”

This is just a short loan and Rocha is currently contracted to return to Orlando on April 15; however, his loan can be extended. This is a good opportunity for Rocha to get some minutes and earn a spot back in Jason Kreis’ lineup.

Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão: “Everybody is Available”

That’s what Leitão said yesterday morning at training and he expects big things on the horizon. It will still take some time for everybody to get completely comfortable but this weekend against Portland is a big opportunity to gain some momentum.

“You need to wait until this team gets together, they get to know each other, they get to know how to play with each other. This is one thing. The other thing, we faced some difficulties because of some injuries and players getting fit. That was another issue and problem that we faced in the beginning of the season.”

He continued to say that there are no excuses at this point and the team needs to go out and put up a good result.

Communication is Key for Orlando’s Defense

What’s the old cliché? Communication is the key for success. Communication is obviously important in all sports and for the Orlando City back line it is no exception. With so much change through the first month of the season there have been some issues, especially with the caption, Jonathan Spector, missing time.

“We need to communicate better,” said Scott Sutter. “We need to kind of be sharper and kind of push each other more on the back line. Not just the back line, but the whole team. Just kind of really push each other and demand from each other. Only that way can you improve.”

The Lions need to eliminate errors as well as defend better as a team. Portland will be a tough task but with a full roster, the biggest obstacle that will stop this team is individual errors.

Matildas Try the Whisper Challenge

Some of our favorite Australians, including Pride midfielder Alanna Kennedy and former Pride defender Steph Catley, had their communication skills tested. Check out the video below to see how they did.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you today. Before You go i want to remind you that the NFL Draft is now less than three weeks away and UCF’s Shaquem Griffin has been stealing the headlines. His NFL.com scouting report says, “He doesn’t have a left hand. That’s going to limit him with some things and that’s going to hurt his draft value.” I can just imagine him laughing at that because it is impossible to put a limit on what this guy can do.