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Lion Links: 8/17/18

Orlando’s newest Lion, Pride prepare for playoff push, U.S. coaching licenses, and more!

Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Merry, fantastic Friday? Nah, I give up. Here we are most of the way through the week with no Orlando City game in sight, though we do get a wicked Orlando Pride match-up against the North Carolina Courage this weekend. In the meantime, let’s see what’s going in our purple world.

Peruvian Part Two

Orlando City has signed Peru international center back and defensive midfielder Carlos Ascues on loan from Alianza Lima. While it’s true that Orlando City is in need of another striker, another attacking midfielder, and a left back, it’s still good to have another quality center back. Ascues has experience in Europe, South America, and as a teammate of Yoshimar Yotún on the Peruvian National Team. The signing was kind of transfer window related, but it took a whole lot more than usual, including getting an exemption from FIFA, the U.S. Soccer Federation and MLS. Maybe that’s why Don Garber doesn’t like Orlando? Let’s hear from the new addition (you might need to translate).

Determined Pride Squad

Despite the loss to the Portland Thorns and a match against top of the table North Carolina Courage tomorrow, the Orlando Pride are determined to make the playoffs. If the Pride are able to win all three of their remaining matches, it’s a good bet they make the top four. If they get seven points out of nine, then they might make the top four (or at least be close). Anything less than that would require quite a bit of help from other teams. Fortunately, one of those teams is the Chicago Red Stars, who are currently tied on points with the Pride with a game in hand. The Pride own the first tiebreaker (head-to-head results). Of course it all starts tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET at the WakeMed Soccer Complex.

U.S. Soccer and English Food. A Comparison?

All writers come up with some interesting comparisons sometimes. This article is a good example of that truth. There are many things that need to happen for soccer to reach the heights that we all hope it will in this country. Evidently, the development of U.S. Soccer is eerily similar to the quality of English food over the years. I suppose that is to mean it sucks, but is getting slowly better. I promise there’s quite a bit more info on what would help U.S. Soccer, but if I had to read through the English food stuff, so do you.

Coaching Licenses...Good? Bad?

U.S. Soccer’s Nico Romeijn (Chief Sport Development Officer) and Ryan Mooney (Chief Soccer Officer) sat down with SoccerAmerica to talk about coaching education in America. Coaching licenses determine who can coach in the U.S. and at what level. There are some who think it limits those who could help advance the sport in this country, and then those that feel such oversight is necessary. It’s a complicated issue, and a complicated process, but one that is incredibly important to the development of generations of American soccer players.

Free Kicks
  • Jozy Altidore has had a good few years at Toronto FC. Good enough that it’s generating some rumors about him heading to Serie A or Ligue 1 in Europe. Personally, I hope he leaves Toronto.
  • Speaking of Serie A, the league may be postponing the start of its season because of the collapse of the Ponte Morandi bridge that left at least 39 dead and more injured. Our condolences to all affected by this tragedy.
  • Under the heading of “Wow that’s a bit early, isn’t it?” seems that Romelu Lukaku plans to retire from international play after the next European Championship.
  • USMNT U-17 player Giovanni Reyna is following in Christian Pulisic’s footsteps as he is headed to Borussia Dortmund’s academy.
  • Finally, while we have reported on the Special Olympics Unified Team, it’s worth mentioning the team, and following the link in the tweet to check out more about them.

That’s going to do it for today. It’s always fun to do this on a day that isn’t my normal day. Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.