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Lion Links: 1/11/20

Orlando Pride make moves, Muzzi confident after draft, U.S. soccer news, and more.

NCAA SOCCER: AUG 19 Women’s - Central Florida at North Carolina Photograph by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the weekend, Mane Landers. I hope the work week wasn’t too rough on you as now shift gears into kicking back and relaxing. That is unless your work extends into Saturday and Saturday, which is sadly the case for me. If you’re in that similar boat then I wish you the best of luck and a pleasant work day. Now, let’s get into today’s links from around the soccer world.

Orlando Pride Waive Danica Evans, Sign Defender

After making a trade earlier this week, the Pride made a less grand move by signing UCF graduate Carrie Lawrence as a Supplemental Player while waiving Danica Evans. Lawrence should help add depth to the defense, particularly when most of the team is away for the Olympics this summer, and she is already known by the Pride staff after training with the team in 2018.

In the other half of the move, Evans leaves the Pride after being drafted by the team in 2017 and struggling to find minutes over the course of three seasons. We here at The Mane Land wish her the best as she moves on to the next stage of her career in Europe.

Luiz Muzzi Disusses Draft Picks

While it was surprising to some that Daryl Dike fell into Orlando City’s lap in the MLS SuperDraft, it was all according to plan for Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi and Head Coach Oscar Pareja.

Adding exciting, young talent to the team is a trend of Muzzi’s and Dike joins the likes of Santiago Patiño and Benji Michel as part of Orlando’s growing offense. Muzzi also doesn’t want to pressure Dike and believes the team is built well enough that he won’t be required to score frequently right out the gate. Muzzi also discussed Orlando’s second round picks and how the club found what they believe to be great players others may not have had on their radar, including UCF captain Jonathan Dean.

Pride Player Updates and Happenings

As the world prepares for the Olympics this summer, Canada’s women’s soccer team announced its provisional squad for qualifying, with Pride defender Shelina Zadorsky earning a spot. Americans Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, and Emily Sonnett all made the cut for the United States Women’s National Team and Alex Morgan plans to take part in the Olympics after her pregnancy. Speaking of Harris and Krieger, you can check out the latest and last episode in the series they’ve been working on regarding the future of women’s sports.

The Future of Women in Sports

Female athletes across all sports are fighting for equitable treatment now. But what’s next for women in sports? #TheTea, Episode 8: “The Future of Women in Sports” with Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Breanna Stewart, Dawn Harper Nelson, and Nneka Ogwumike.

Posted by The Players' Tribune on Friday, December 27, 2019

In some more news, after the Pride traded away the first pick in the upcoming draft to the Portland Thorns,more college players added themselves to the list of eligible players. Wrapping up our little Pride section is Marta’s nine-year anniversary yesterday from when she won the fifth of five-straight FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year trophies in 2010.

Orlando SeaWolves Lose on the Road

The SeaWolves kept it close for the first two periods, but completely fell apart at the seams in the second half, allowing six goals in the third period as they lost 14-6. It was hardly the return Head Coach Tom Traxler wanted as the SeaWolves’ road woes continued and the loss keeps them near the bottom of the Major Arena Soccer League standings. The team has a quick turnaround with a game tomorrow afternoon against the Florida Tropics on the road and hopefully they will be able to keep up with their rivals for a surprising result.

U.S. Soccer Updates

The United States U-23 Men’s National Team’s path to the Olympics was revealed and the team is in a touch group with Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. The qualifying takes place in Mexico and the U.S. will start the tournament against Costa Rica on March 20.

Brian McBride is the new general manager of the USMNT, bringing many years of American soccer experience to the position and starting immediately with a conference call alongside U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart on Jan. 13. U.S. Soccer also named Matt Potter as the head coach for the U-23 Women’s National Team and there’s a nice Q&A to learn more about him. In player news, Frank Lampard expects Christian Pulisic to be out for a few weeks with Chelsea thanks to an injury.

Free Kicks
  • Here is a cool behind the scenes look at Orlando’s war room for the draft.

That’s going to be all for today, I hope you all enjoy your Saturday and maybe you even slept in. If not, it’s always nice to get an early start to the day anyway. Have a great weekend!