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Lion Links: 1/4/19

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Best goal of 2018, Pride’s draft preview, Manchester City closes the gap, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 24 MLS - Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? I hope your 2019 is going well and that your resolutions remain intact. It’s been a quiet week for the most part as attention turns to the MLS Player Combine, NWSL College Draft, and MLS SuperDraft. With 2018 behind us, it’s nice to fully focus on the upcoming season and what it will bring. Now, let’s get to the links!

Orlando City’s Best Goal of 2018

The folks over at mlssoccer.com compiled and determined each MLS team’s best goal of 2018 and Scott Sutter’s strike against Atlanta United this past August was chosen to represent the Lions.

You can check out the goals chosen as the best for the other 22 clubs in the league, but be warned as Orlando’s defense is a frequent victim.

Orlando Pride Draft Preview

The NWSL College Draft is now less than a week away, with the event taking place in Chicago on Jan. 10, and the Orlando Pride are still without a head coach. Last week it was hinted at that the club was near the end of its coaching search and an announcement was expected to be made this week. Hopefully the club will have a new Pride coach by the end of the day to help prepare for the draft and fill the team’s needs.

The Pride currently only have two picks to make in the draft and you can check out the full draft order and the list of eligible players that the Pride will choose from when their turn comes.

SeaWolf Recognized in MASL Team of the Week

Despite the Orlando SeaWolves losing 9-6 against the Florida Tropics, forward Osvaldo Rojas’ performance did not go unnoticed. The 28-year-old had a hat trick and an assist in the match and was an honorable mention for the Major Arena Soccer League’s Team of the Week. Rojas and the SeaWolves will travel on Jan. 12 for a rematch against the Tropics next weekend.

MLS Front Office Moves

As teased in yesterday’s links, a lot of MLS front office and coaching moves came to fruition yesterday around the league. Toronto FC officially appointed Ali Curtis as its new general manager with Tim Bezbatchenko leaving the club to reportedly join the Columbus Crew. Inter Miami announced that Kurt Schmid, son of the late Sigi Schmid, will be joining the club as its first technical director.

In Chicago, Head Coach Veljko Paunovic and the Chicago Fire have agreed to a multiyear contract extension despite the Fire having a disappointing season in 2018. Meanwhile, former Columbus Crew President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane will be taking his talents to the Lone Star State to become president of Austin FC

Free Kicks
  • It may have been a rough 2018 for former Lion Joe Bendik, but the goalkeeper was always known for his incredible saves. It’s no surprise he’s the first entry in the video below of MLS goalkeepers making plays with no hands needed.
  • Dave Sarachan was formally introduced as the new head coach for North Carolina FC yesterday as he fielded questions in a press conference before meeting fans in a pub afterwards.

That’s all from me, folks. Make sure to check back with us later today for more Orlando City coverage and if news breaks we’ll have you covered. Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend.