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Lion Links: 1/31/20

Robin Jansson prepares for 2020, SeaWolves fall at home, U.S. matches, and more.

SOCCER: AUG 06 US Open Cup Semifinals - Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How’s it going, Mane Landers? Today marks the last day of January, so hopefully you’re still staying on top of those New Year’s resolutions. If not, you won’t find any judgment from me considering I only went to the gym for about eight days. Besides, we have the rest of 2020 to get back on track. Now, let’s get to the links!

Robin Jansson Adjusting His Game

Led by the center back pairing of Robin Jansson and Lamine Sané, Orlando City allowed 52 goals in 2019, a whopping 22 fewer than in 2018. But now, Sané’s option was declined and Jansson heads into the season without that connection and with plenty of new faces on defense, including in goal. After last year’s defensive improvement, the 28-year-old sees even more room to grow and is ready to form a strong defense with the team’s new players.

“When you get new players in, you need to get the connections with them as well,” Jansson said. “It takes some time. … We need to be a team together. We play and suffer together, on and off the field.”

SeaWolves Shut Out at Home

After keeping it close in their last game, the Orlando SeaWolves just couldn’t find their footing in a lopsided 7-0 loss against the Baltimore Blast. The SeaWolves allowed three goals in the first period and were shut out for the first time since joining the MASL. It was a disappointing outing to say the least and Head Coach Tom Traxler has a week to get the team ready for the visiting San Diego Sockers. The team also added former MLS and Colombian National Team player Jaime Castrillón to help bring a needed boost in the midfield.

Emily van Egmond Nominated in W-League

Even though the W-League is on an international break, the Orlando Pride’s Emily van Egmond is still making a splash. The Australian midfielder was nominated not only for January’s Player of the Month, but also as the best player so far this season. With five goals this year, she sits third in the golden boot race and has led an unbeaten Melbourne City to the top of the table.

U.S. Soccer Weekend Games

The United States Women’s National Team continues its Olympic qualifying campaign tonight with a match against Panama at 8:30 p.m. The USWNT recently defeated Haiti 4-0 earlier this week and another win should be enough to secure a spot in the knockout rounds of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The Orlando Pride’s Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, and Emily Sonnett could all feature so make sure to tune in and lend the team some support. We’ll have full coverage later today.

On the men’s side of things, the United States Men’s National Team’s first game of 2020 happens tomorrow as the Yanks take on Costa Rica over in Carson, CA. This game should be a good start to the year before the team heads to Europe for a few more friendlies. With the Concacaf Nations League later this summer and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying soon after, the team will need all the preparation in can get.

Free Kicks
  • Check out a closer look at the Lions training during a rainy day in Cancun, Mexico.

That’s going to do it for today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a great Friday and an even better weekend.