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Lion Links: 2/26/19

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Higuita honored, another Orlando City preview, a USL rebrand campaign, and more.

Orlando City SC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Good morning, Mane Landers! We are now just four days away from the season opener! The long off-season is nearly complete, and it cannot come soon enough. I am very much looking forward to putting the 2018 season completely behind us. Who knows if 2019 will be better, but I can’t imagine it being any worse.

Now for some links:

Cristian Higuita Honored

The Orlando City midfielder was recognized for reaching 100 career appearances as a Lion. Higuita has played in 94 MLS games, three U.S. Open Cups games, and three international friendlies since 2015.

“It was a very special moment for our organization when we have our very first player to reach 100 games,” Leitão said. “We love the fact that it was Cristian. He was with us since the very beginning. We’re very glad to be here and to be able to celebrate him.”

Including in USL, three other Lions have passed the century mark. Luke Boden has 150 appearances, Kevin Molino has 144, and Dennis Chin finished with 103. Will Johnson is the next closet player to hit that landmark, however he just has 57 games with Orlando.

Another Orlando City Preview’s staff previewed the Lions’ 2019 season. Ben Baer and Charlie Davies have the most faith in Orlando, predicting the Lions to finish ninth in the Eastern Conference, while no one believes Orlando will make the postseason. I have to say that I agree with them, and Orlando will struggle this year. Click here to view how else they think the Lions will do.

Berhalter Likes John Brooks

John Brooks has been a part of the United States Men’s National Team since 2013. Since then he has been given 36 caps in an injury-riddled career. It looks like that number will increase under the new USMNT head coach, as long as Brooks stays healthy, of course.

“I met John in December,” said Greg Berhalter. “He’s got a good profile, when I think of his towering frame and how he passes the ball. We’ll be coming over to watch him again because we think he has huge potential.”

The USL’s New Campaign

Orlando City B probably won’t be featured in the USL’s new campaign, titled Be Champions. This will be the new “identity” of the league after its rebranding. OCB is, of course, not in the Championship but in League One; however, it will still be worth keeping an eye out to see which teams are selected to be featured.

“There are so many important stories to tell around the Championship.” said Steele. “Whether it’s on-field successes, or the tremendous community relations work being done across the league, we view this campaign as an opportunity to amplify our clubs like never before. 2019 will be the biggest season in league history – we’re absolutely thrilled to get going.”

Free Kicks
  • Bobby Warshaw gives his top five players at each position. No, He did not have any Orlando City players. And yes, Atlanta did have the most.
  • had another 2019 season preview article. This one is about the stars of the league. And no, there still aren’t any Orlando players. Catching a theme here?
  • LAFC is going to have its own 10-episode show on ESPN+ about its creation. It will be called We Are LAFC.
  • The New York Times wrote a story about a professional soccer player. She is 13 years old.
  • VAR was supposed to solve human error, but is it now making things worse?