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Lion Links: 9/15/18

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Sermanni fired, Tim Howard is now an owner, Orlando City youth players get international call-ups, and more!

China v United States Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! One more day until game day, plus the 2017 National Champions UCF Knights game got cancelled thanks to Hurricane Florence, so overall it’s a boring sports day today. At least one of the NWSL semifinal games is still on, as the Portland Thorns host the Seattle Reign at 3:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime. If you wanted to watch the North Carolina Courage beat up on the Chicago Red Stars then you’ll have to wait until Tuesday, once again thanks to Hurricane Florence. I hope everyone in the path of Florence is staying safe!

Now, here are some links.

Sermanni and Orlando Pride Part Ways

The only coach that the Orlando Pride have ever known was fired yesterday (a.k.a. “mutually agreed to part ways”) and now the Pride will begin their search to replace Tom Sermanni. After three seasons, Sermanni was let go after failing to live up to expectations. The team had high hopes of winning the NWSL this year after some big off-season transactions but a poor run of form to end the season kept the Pride from making the postseason. Sermanni went 25-30-14 in three years, which included one playoff game.

“It’s been a great honor to be the inaugural coach of Orlando Pride and to be a part of this wonderful organization,” Sermanni said about the decision. “I’d like to thank all of our players, staff, fans, and community for their tremendous support throughout my time here. I want to wish the team and the organization great success moving forward. I look forward to being an avid supporter and following the club’s fortunes.”

Personally, I think that Sermanni was a great coach for the club and I enjoyed his time in Orlando. I hope that he ends up at another team and has great success with the rest of his career. Sermanni has no plans right now to find another job and will take his time in finding the next opportunity. If nothing comes along, then the 64-year old will be more than happy to retire in Australia and rejoin his wife.

Orlando City Youth Players Get U.S. Call-ups

Five players in the Orlando City youth academy have been called up to the United States youth national teams. Luc Granitur, Jahlane Forbes, Sahyd Nevado-Masso, Edison Azcona and Wilfredo Rivera have received call-ups for their first time and will represent the U.S.

“All of them have unique qualities that make them individually stand out as players of a high caliber,” said Mike Potempa, the Orlando City DA director and Orlando City B general manager. “It’s very good to see that U.S. Soccer and the men’s national team is recognizing what we’re doing here and is obviously excited and interested in our players.”

Tim Howard Saves English Soccer Team

The former USMNT starting goalkeeper has bought English National League team Dagenham. The team ran into financial issues and was on the brink of folding but thanks to an ownership group that Howard is part of the non-league team will continue to play.

“We are very pleased to announce that Victoria Road Football, LLC, an American entity, have completed the purchase of the majority of the shares in the football club,” read a statement. “This deal sees Dagenham & Redbridge FC Ltd, which is the Full Members company limited by guarantee, retain their portion of Dagenham & Redbridge FC 2017 Ltd while Directors David Bennett and Stephen Thompson also retain their original holdings of the club.

Orlando City Hosts College Team

Because of Hurricane Florence, the 21st-ranked NCAA men’s soccer team was forced to evacuate Myrtle Beach on Wednesday and has since been training at Orlando City’s training center, Sylvan Lake Park. Coastal Carolina’s head coach, Shaun Docking, has known Orlando City GM Niki Budalic for 20 years.

“Obviously, with Hurricane Florence touching down, we had to get out as soon as possible,” said Associate Head Coach Kyle Russell. “Orlando City was a professional team that we knew would allow us to use their facilities. They’ve been fantastic. We been able to escape the storm, come to Florida. They’ve allowed us to train here the last couple of days and they’ve also invited us to watch their training so we can show the boys, hopefully, what their future could look like one day.”

Free Kicks
  • There is a central Florida local game tonight as the UCF men’s soccer team plays at Stetson. The Knights currently have the best division record among all Florida schools.
  • Former Lion Sidney Rivera signed with Reno 1868.
  • There could possibly be some major changes in FIFA coming.
  • “An indoor soccer star has been arrested after a brutal attack left a referee in hospital.” This cup final was called off in the second half after the brutal attack that got Alcione Marcelino arrested.