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Lion Links: 1/5/19

Carlos Ascues prepping for preseason, Pride players called to USWNT camp, former Lion gets new contract, and more.

Soccer: 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship-Canada at USA Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday, everyone. Today should be interesting. I’ll be out at Orlando City Stadium for at least a chunk of the 2019 MLS Player Combine. I’ll try to keep my ears open for news and my eyes open for players who impress in their first opportunities in front of the entire league’s scouts. You can watch Copa vs. Nemeziz at 12:30 p.m. ET and watch Predator vs. Team X at 2:45 p.m.

I have absolutely no idea if Orlando City is leaning any particular direction with its first-round pick but I’m a big proponent of just taking the best player available, regardless of position. You want the best and if it ends up overloading one position down the line, at least you’ve got an asset you can trade and some options on who that asset should be. It’s all about getting better.

With all of that said, let’s get to the news of the day.

Ascues Doing Just Dandy in Orlando, Thanks

Midfielder/defender Carlos Ascues is rehabbing a quad tear that he sustained late in the MLS season while in Lima, Peru in the off-season. He told Ovacion that he’s doing fine with Orlando City, has the confidence of James O’Connor, and he’ll be returning to Orlando on Jan. 8 to prepare for the preseason.

“The league is very good, they are going very good players and hopefully continue like this,” he concluded.

Can’t wait to have you back, Carlos.

Same Old, Same Old: Pride’s Morgan and Harris Selected by USWNT

Jill Ellis has called up 26 players for a January USWNT camp and a pair of friendlies in Europe against France and Spain on Jan. 19 and 22, respectively. To no one’s surprise, Orlando Pride stars Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris are among the 26 players selected. Jane Campbell, Alyssa Naeher, and Adrianna Franch join Harris at the goalkeeping position. Danielle Colaprico and Emily Fox are back in the fold and other than that there weren’t any surprising names.

Kaká Proposes, Receives Positive Response

It appears our former captain is going to get hitched again. Based on this Instagram post, the former Orlando City star is going to be marrying model Carolina Dias. Good luck to the happy couple. They are pretty good at staging photos.

Alston Re-Signs with Orange County

Former Orlando City fullback Kevin Alston is still going strong, signing a new deal to stay with Orange County in the USL Championship. Alston helped his new OCSC on top of the USL’s Western Conference standings in 2018, with 66 points. Good luck to Kevin with his 2019 campaign.

Columbus Crew Complete Expected Hires

It seems like such old news that I was generally shocked yesterday to learn that the Crew hadn’t already officially announced Caleb Porter as the new head coach, but the Ohio club did just that on Friday. The other expected move that formally took place was naming former Toronto FC executive Tim Bezbatchenko as the club’s new president. Bezbatchenko oversaw the Reds’ rise in recent years and is a great addition to the club that just staved off a relocation to Austin.

Seven Sign as Generation Adidas Players Ahead of Next Week’s SuperDraft

The 2019 Generation Adidas class is set after seven players became eligible for next week’s SuperDraft and are participating in the MLS Player Combine at Orlando City Stadium. The newly eligible players are UCLA midfielder Frankie Amaya, Syracuse winger Tajon Buchanan, Indiana winger Griffin Dorsey, Virginia Commonwealth winger Siad Haji, North Carolina defender John Nelson, Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, and Kentucky forward JJ Williams. Good luck, young men.

Free Kicks
  • The Orlando SeaWolves went boating on Thursday.
  • On the men’s side, Indiana’s Andrew Gutman took home the big award.
  • Those born on this date include actress Jane Wyman (1917), actor Robert Duvall (1931), Steelers’ coaching legend Chuck Noll (1932), talk show host Charlie Rose (1942), actress Diane Keaton (1946), The Love Boat actor Ted “Isaac” Lange (1948), actor Clancy Brown (1959), former pro soccer player and current Arrow actor Vinnie Jones (1965), Marilyn Manson (1969), Bradley Cooper (1975), football’s Warrick Dunn (1975), January Jones (1978), Deadmau5 (1981), and Sporting Kansas City’s Krisztián Németh (1989).

That’s all I’ve got for you this morning, kids. I hope you enjoy your weekend. Me, I’ll be at the Combine today as mentioned but I’ve got a lot to do as I’ll be moving next weekend. Ugh. Anyone want to do it for me?