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Lion Links: 10/18/19

Orlando’s off-season assessment, another honor for Marta, MLS playoffs, and more.

SOCCER: OCT 06 MLS - Chicago Fire at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What’s up, Mane Landers? We’re headed into yet another weekend, but this one will be a bit different as there is not Orlando soccer on the menu. The off-season is here in full force but at least we will have some MLS playoff action to look forward to. Here are some links from around the soccer world.

Lions on the Hunt for Answers

After missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year and firing James O’Connor as the team’s head coach, Orlando City has some sorting out to do this off-season. The 2019 season brought a group of talented players to the club but it still wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the playoffs after finishing the year with an eight-game winless streak. Orlando couldn’t win two games in a row all season long, struggled to convert chances, and posted another losing record at home.

Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi has plenty of work ahead of him, but the Lions did improve on defense over the course of the year as a small consolation to the team’s woes. The defense was definitely a bright spot on the team and you can check out Julia Poe’s player analysis as she breaks down how each Lion did in 2019. For a more in-depth look at each player, make sure to check back with us for our Season in Review series as well.

Marta Receives Courage Award

Orlando Pride forward and women’s soccer icon Marta was awarded the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award earlier this week at the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 40th Annual Salute to Women in Sports. The gala took place in New York City and Marta received the award for her exemplary actions both on and off the field. Not only is she one of the best to ever play the game, but Marta is also an advocate for female equality in sports and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Women.

MLS Playoffs Primer

The Lions may not be taking part in the playoffs, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch with exciting matches this weekend. Both LAFC and New York City FC have a bye, but NYCFC will visit the Chicago Fire for a scrimmage to stay fresh. Here’s a little breakdown of tomorrow’s action:

An impressed Bruce Arena and breakout candidate Matt Turner lead the Revolution into a tough road match against Atlanta United, which must adapt to life without Miles Robinson. It seems 90% of fans believe the Seattle Sounders will defeat FC Dallas at home, but the Texas club is confident in its young players.

While Toronto FC will have to find a way to beat D.C. United without Jozy Altidore, D.C. is determined not to let the Wayne Rooney era end tomorrow but needs fan support. Diego Valeri will be available for the Portland Timbers as they travel to face a Real Salt Lake side that is embracing a dark horse role this year.

Orlando SeaWolves Re-Sign Defender

With the Major Arena Soccer League season a little over a month away, the Orlando SeaWolves re-signed defender Drou Goff for the upcoming campaign. Goff joined the team through an open tryout last year and started in 20 of the team’s 24 games in the inaugural season. A veteran player with experience overseas, Goff made strides last year and will continue being a solid player for the SeaWolves defense.

“Drou made tremendous progress last season.” SeaWolves General Manager Chris Kokalis said. “He keeps things simple as far as his play and is that guy you look too who is willing to do whatever it takes to help the club. I expect him to build on his play from last season.”

Free Kicks
  • Orlando Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds opened up about her mother’s battle with breast cancer.
  • We’ll end our links with Pride defender Carson Pickett’s reflection on her season and year so far.

That’ll be it from me, folks. I hope you all enjoy your Friday as we head into a fun weekend of soccer where we can just sit back and relax. Have a great day!