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Lion Links: 5/9/19

O’Connor’s plan, Edmonds’ injury, Alex Morgan to grace SI Swimsuit Issue cover, and more.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Mane Landers! I felt so bad about not being able to bring you Monday’s links that I jumped at the opportunity to deliver them to you today. It’s already been an interesting week, and there’s plenty to look forward to with all three Orlando squads in action again this weekend.

O’Connor’s Player Plan

Orlando City has three matches in eight days starting this Sunday at Atlanta, followed by a trip to Seattle on Wednesday, and back home to host FC Cincinnati. James O’Connor has been managing his players to keep them fresh for the tougher parts of the season. This next stretch will demonstrate how well those plans are working, especially given how flat the Lions played against Toronto FC. Given the team will be traveling back and forth across the country, it will be very important for O’Connor to get the best from his players.

Pride’s Edmonds Injured, Pressley’s Back

The Orlando Pride’s Kristen Edmonds sustained a knee injury during training and will be out for several weeks. This is another blow to a Pride squad that has already seen Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris called up to the USWNT. The Pride’s other international players will likely get called up soon as well, leaving Orlando looking for solutions. One good note, is that Toni Pressley has returned to full training from her preseason hamstring injury.

Alex Morgan Makes SI Swimsuit Cover

Alex Morgan will once again be in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and this time she’s on the cover. Morgan is one of three who will grace the cover of the swimsuit edition in 2019. Tyra Banks and Camille Koste are the other two who have a cover shot this year. The Orlando Pride and USWNT striker was in the SI swimsuit issue in 2012 wearing body paint and she returned to the magazine for the 2014 edition. This year’s photos of Morgan were taken in St. Lucia and she’s joined in the issue by USWNT teammates Megan Rapione, Crystal Dunn, and Abby Dahlkemper. The three other players were selected by Alex herself.

“I felt like it was important to really show the diversity of this team, as well as show the youth and the experienced players,” Alex told SI Swimsuit.

Women’s World Cup Rosters

Rosters for the teams in the 2019 Women’s World Cup are coming in, including some of the big names like France, England, and the United States. The big news for Orlando Pride fans is that Chioma Ubogagu has not been called up for England. As such, she will be available for the Pride during the lean times when so many internationals will be gone. As more rosters are updated, The Mane Land will keep you informed.

Pro/Reg in Champions League?

Well, it might be something that’s being talked about, or considered, or something. If it was to happen, it would consist of four groups of eight teams starting in 2024. Of course, the details are still being worked out, and the bigger clubs throughout Europe will still have the advantage. One thing you can count on is that nothing will happen regarding such a big change any time soon.

Free Kicks
  • Orlando City’s Alex De John is making a difference in the local community.
  • Congratulations to Montverde alum Michee Ngalina for being promoted from Philadelphia’s USL side to the MLS squad.
  • Things just got a little tougher for Chelsea.
  • Finally, keep in mind that this clip is just for fun. Keep it light, everyone.
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Meanwhile in Fort Lauderdale...

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That will do it for today, Mane Landers. Check back later for all things soccer. Go City!