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Lion Links: 1/17/20

Orlando Pride’s draft day, Uri Rosell speaks up, W-League news, and more.

Freshman soccer star Taylor Kornieck during a game against Oregon in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? Hopefully the work week wasn’t too rough on you all as we transition into a weekend filled with soccer thanks to the Orlando SeaWolves and more Florida Cup action. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on the present with some links from around the soccer world.

Pride Trade Hill, Make Seven Draft Picks

Before the 2020 NWSL College Draft even began, the Orlando Pride made a move by trading away forward Rachel Hill, allocation money, and a pair of picks to the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for Chicago’s third and 26th overall picks in this year’s draft. The Pride used that third pick to select Taylor Kornieck out of the University of Colorado. At 6-foot-1, Kornieck is an aerial threat and should do well on set pieces and crosses with teammates like Marta, Camila, and Carson Pickett to provide service.

Four picks later, the Pride drafted Courtney Petersen from the University of Virginia. Versatile enough to play both in the midfield and the back line, the left-footed Petersen fits Head Coach Marc Skinner’s vision for the team moving forward. The club continued to address defense in the second round by selecting UCF’s Konya Plummer, the first Jamaican player drafted in the NWSL and the 22-year-old captain for her country, and then tough defender Phoebe McClernon. Rounding out their draft, the Pride selected another defender in Cheyenne Shorts and two possible replacements for Hill in quick forward Abi Kim as well as forward Chelsee Washington.

Uri Rosell Talks MLS, Nani, and More

Orlando City midfielder Uri Rosell featured on The Cooligans’ podcast and it’s a really entertaining listen as Rosell goes in depth on his soccer career over the years. The 27-year-old weighed in on growing up in Catalonia and his relationship with FC Barcelona and it was nice to learn a bit more about his life prior to MLS. He also talked about the transition from European soccer to MLS, his first encounter with the massive portions of The Cheesecake Factory, and the excitement reuniting with Nani in Orlando.

W-League Action and Preview

Down in Australia, two Pride teammates squared off in the W-League’s Round 10 with Alanna Kennedy and Sydney FC battling Carson Pickett’s Brisbane Roar to a scoreless draw. Pickett had another strong outing with 94 touches and a team-high seven crosses over the course of 90 minutes.

Later this weekend, Emily van Egmond and Claire Emslie will lead Melbourne City into a match with the Newcastle Jets as they try to stay undefeated this season. After ending a drought and scoring last week, Emslie opened up about her decision to come to Australia and how Melbourne City compares to her time with Manchester City.

Orlando’s World Cup Hosting Path

In case you haven’t been keeping up with it, only 10 U.S. cities will get to host matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and 17 cities are in the running, including Orlando. Not only is becoming a host city great from a fan’s perspective, but those chosen should see an economic boost during the event as well with supporters from all over the globe coming to visit. While the decision won’t come until next year, the process begins soon for each city in the running. Each location will get two visits to make their case and learn more details about how to be selected.

Orlando has a strong case, with many hosted soccer events over the years and having hosted the World Cup back in 1994. But Miami is also in the running and it’s hard to justify two host cities so close to each other. Joe Prince-Wright of NBCsports.com made an early guess on which cities would make the cut, with Orlando left out.

Free Kicks
  • New Lion Andres Perea visited Exploria Stadium for the first time, checking out the locker rooms and taking his first steps on the field.
  • Here’s a quick look at the Pride’s busy draft day to get you excited for the newest players.

That’s going to do it for today, folks. I hope each and every one of you has a great Friday and an even better rest of your weekend.