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Lion Links: 1/31/23

Orlando Pride name new vice president and general manager and announce preseason roster, more on-air talent announced for MLS Season Pass, and more.

Image courtesy of Orlando Pride/Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I managed to survive the latest edition of Gasparilla mostly intact, if not severely sleep deprived, but a new week means we’re that much closer to seeing our Orlando teams back in action. There’s a lot to cover today, so let’s get going.

Haley Carter Named Pride’s Vice President and General Manager

The Orlando Pride opened preseason camp on Monday morning, but that wasn’t the only big piece of news from the team to start off the week. The club announced that Haley Carter will take the reins as the Pride’s first vice president of soccer operations and general manager. Carter has playing experience in the National Women’s Soccer League and is an accredited professional football scout and a licensed attorney, among other accomplishments. Carter will oversee all aspects of the Pride’s soccer operations and reports directly to the club’s owners. This is a big and much-needed move from the Pride to solidify the club’s structure, and hopefully the on-field results will reflect the new direction.

Orlando Pride Announce Preseason Roster

As mentioned earlier, the Pride opened preseason camp on Monday, and that means the team also released its preseason roster. Of the 28 players on that roster, 21 are under contract with the team, and all five of the Pride’s draft picks are currently with the team. The group of midfielders is frighteningly thin, and only contains five people, with two of them being non-roster invitees. With that being said, several of the 10 players listed as forwards are able to play in the midfield, and a signing or two to strengthen that part of the field isn’t out of the question.

Apple & MLS Announce More On-Air Talent

We got 31 more names of on-air talent who will take to the airwaves in the very first year of MLS Season Pass. Some of the names that jump off the page are Cobi Jones, Danny Higginbotham, Heath Pearce, and former Orlando City USL player Jamie Watson. Christina Unkel comes on board as the rules analyst and Dre Cordero, Keith Costigan and Adrian Healey are some of the big names that will be doing play-by-play. On the Spanish language side, Orlando City radio broadcaster Sergio Ruiz made the cut. MLS Season Pass starts on Feb. 1, and if you’re a season ticket member, that’s when you’ll be getting information about how to redeem your free membership, so keep an eye on your email.

Sean Dyche Takes Everton Job

Everton has named Sean Dyche the newest manager of the club. Dyche takes over from Frank Lampard following his firing by the Toffees last week. Dyche joins on a two-and-a-half-year contract until June 2025 and will be in the dugout this weekend when Everton plays Arsenal at home this Saturday. Dyche previously managed Watford for the 2011-2012 season and spent a decade as the manager of Burnley before being fired last April with the club in the relegation zone. He has a tough task ahead of him with an Everton team that’s facing a relegation fight for the second straight year and has been burning through both managers and players under the ownership of Farhad Moshiri.

Free Kicks
  • Gaston Gonzalez was all smiles during training yesterday, and even snapped a few pictures himself.
  • It looks like academy player Zakaria Taifi will be with Orlando City B this year.
  • Sadly, it’ll be awhile before we see Sam Mewis back on the field, as she has had another surgery on her knee.

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.