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Lion Links: 9/7/18

Orlando City B returns, Sermanni reflects on Pride season, USMNT coaching search, and more.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, Mane Landers? It’s another great Friday and we have some great links for you this morning. Both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride play tomorrow but there’s a U.S. Men’s National Team friendly tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET to hold you over until then. Now, let’s get to the stories and links that you may have missed!

Orlando City B Will Return Next Year

After going on a hiatus for 2018, Orlando City B will relaunch as one of the founding members of the USL Division III for 2019. Unlike before, the team will not play in the City Beautiful, instead playing games at Montverde Academy in a renovated stadium. However, the team will serve a different purpose next year than it has in the past, with OCB now strictly serving as a link between the the academy team and the first team instead of a place for first-team players to get playing time. Head Coach James O’Connor recently gave his thoughts on the exciting new move and what it means for Orlando City.

Dwyer and Rosell Excited for Return to Kansas City

Dom Dwyer and Oriol Rosell will be walking into tomorrow night’s match against Sporting Kansas City with a bit of nostalgia. Both were a part of the team that ended up winning the MLS Cup back in 2013 and have good memories about their time in the blue and indigo. But now they return as Lions, hungry for points and prepared to put their feelings aside to get crucial points on the road.

“It’s important for us to get some points right now, so of course I’m very excited to go back to Kansas,” Dwyer said before Thursday’s training session. “It’ll be a very fine atmosphere and a place I’m very familiar with. I’m just very excited, looking forward to it.”

Tom Sermanni Reflects on Disappointing Season

This 2018 season has been a disappointment for the Orlando Pride to say the least. After making the playoffs for the first time last season, the Pride were ready to go from playoff hopeful to title contender. But according to Head Coach Tom Sermanni, the wheels simply came off for the Pride at a critical juncture where points became necessary and the team couldn’t find its footing. Now Sermanni faces the hard task of bouncing back from this season and focusing again on getting the Pride to the postseason.

USMNT General Manager Plans to Name Coach Before 2019

For the first time since officially becoming the USMNT GM about five weeks ago, Earnie Stewart has confirmed that he has yet to interview any candidates for the head coaching job, although he plans on having the position filled by the end of the year. The news isn’t particularly shocking as Stewart and the other members of his search party have kept things close to the vest as to what they are looking for in the next USMNT head coach.

In a conversation with reporters in New Jersey, Stewart detailed that the future coach will have to speak English and that he wants someone who can manage both people and soccer games. In the meantime, interim head coach Dave Sarachan will continue to lead his young group of players into the upcoming friendlies with Brazil and Mexico.

Discovering the Purpose of Tonight’s Friendly

Even though the game against Brazil has no competitive relevance, there is still plenty of value in tonight’s game for the U.S. as the Yanks take on Brazil at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Without Christian Pulisic, the door is open for a new star to be made as some of the team’s most promising young talent will get a chance to shine. The striker and the goalkeeper positions will be the ones given the most attention in this friendly and the next as the U.S. begins its long journey to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Free Kicks
  • Video review is over a year old now and Howard Webb and Jeff Agoos both reflected on the new implementation, citing the infamous wrongfully given penalty against Orlando City as one of the worst growing pains.
  • Young U.S. goalkeepers aim to become the man between the sticks for the Yanks.
  • A friendly between Japan and Chile has been cancelled after a devastating 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit Sapporo, Japan. Seven people have been confirmed dead and our condolences go out to those affected as they deal with this tragedy.
  • We end our links with a belated anniversary as yesterday made it four years since Orlando City was named the 2014 USL PRO regular season champions. Hard to believe it hasn’t even been five years since then.

That’s all from me folks. Enjoy the game tonight and have a wonderful Friday!