Hello out there to all the lovely people of The Mane Land. Hope your Thursday is off to a bright start and that you accomplish all you set out to do, on what is sure to be a very lovely day outside.
Before I jump into the Lion Links for the day, I just want to take the time to address something very important. Orlando City and The Ruckus have lost a very important member of their family. Joseph Campo, who is more commonly known as Purple Deadpool, passed away in a fatal car accident Tuesday. Joey often led the wall with passion, and was a great role model in his community. He leaves behind his family, his partner, and his son. The Ruckus has organized a GoFundMe to help Joey’s family with the memorial costs, so if there is anything that you would like to — or are able to — donate, you can do so here. Rest easy, Joey.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) November 1, 2017
There will be many ways to help our fallen brother, right now the best thing we can do is help those he left behind: https://t.co/EDayBgWsMj
— The Ruckus (@RuckusOrlando) November 1, 2017
Kaká’s Strike Up For Goal of the Year
Remember that ridiculous thunderbolt of a goal that Kaká scored against Atlanta United at the end of July? You know, the one that the TV crew was too busy showing a highlight that they completely missed the goal happen? Yeah, now you remember! Well that ludicrous strike is up for MLS Goal of the Year, and it’s all handled by fan voting. So make sure you get on and vote for your captain one last time, so he can go out of MLS on top in this regard. Voting will remain open until Nov. 14.
Good Guy Antonio Nocerino
Ahead of this Saturday’s Fuerza Puerto Rico Friendly match, the Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo reports that Antonio Nocerino and his family have donated 100 tickets to the game this Saturday. He did this knowing that Orlando has a very big heart, and he wanted to help bring in as many people as possible to help Puerto Rico. A reminder that all proceeds from this game will be donated to the United for Puerto Rico initiative, which will help the island recover from the utter devastation that was caused by Hurricane Maria. Tickets are still available for this game through Ticketmaster. This is also your last chance to catch Kaká play in Orlando City purple, so this is an event you don’t want to miss, and it is for a fantastic cause.
Steph Catley is Really Busy
Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley has been around the world and back over the last year. Representing three different teams, the Orlando Pride, Melbourne City, and the Australian Women’s National Team, Catley has managed to have maybe four days off all year. She’s been on so many flights around the world that she has completely lost track of how many she’s been on. Between those three teams she has made 48 appearances this season and logged 4,280 minutes of game time. She missed only one game with the Pride, and only one minute with Melbourne City. She also played every minute of her nine appearances with the Matildas. At 23 years of age, that is quite a resume for the young Australian, and boy, does she deserve a vacation. Steph, we all salute you. I even just took a break from typing to slow clap in front of my computer, and I recommend you do the same.
Houston Dynamo Goalkeeper Tyler Deric Arrested
Reports have come out that the Houston Dynamo starting goalkeeper Tyler Deric has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault of a family member early Tuesday morning. Not much is known as of right now. All we know is that he was released on $1,000 bond, and has a court hearing on Tuesday. And as for his playing status in the Major League Soccer, he is suspended until otherwise noted, and will miss out on the Dynamo’s playoff game this Sunday against the Portland Timbers. After the first leg of the playoff match against the Timbers, the Dynamo are tied on aggregate, 0-0, so missing their shot stopper could be a problem.
More of the Same for U.S. Soccer?
We all know that Sunil Gulati is on the hot seat after the U.S. Men’s National Team crashed and burned out of 2018 World Cup qualifying. But now more and more people keep tossing their hat in the ring, at a shot to potentially become the next president of U.S. Soccer. The most recent and most interesting name is Sunil Gulati’s second in command, Carlos Cordeiro. Many believed Cordeiro would stay in support of his good friend Gulati and were shocked to find out that he announced his intention to run, and in doing so proposed a plan that will include significant structural changes to the U.S. Soccer system.
- FourFourTwo reporter Paul Tenorio made mention that not only are Crew fans at a loss if the team decides to leave Columbus, but the kids in the academy will find themselves in awful situations.
- The Philadelphia Union have announced that they will not renew the contracts of several key players. Some of the players on their way out may look relatively good in purple. Just saying.
- Yet another delay in the case of the NASL vs. U.S. Soccer. This is part of the NASL’s fight to remain at Division 2 status. We should get some more clarity on this case next week.
- In light of the start of ‘Movember’ or ‘No Shave November,’ whatever you wish to call it, FOX Soccer imagined what it would be like if top clean shaven players were to participate in the event.
- Champions League action was plentiful yesterday, and, in case you missed any results, we have them all here:
Man City join Spurs, PSG and Bayern as the teams who have already clinched their spot in the Round of 16. pic.twitter.com/CwZ5DRY4JQ
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 1, 2017
That’s all the links we have for you today. Thanks for stopping by. Today I leave you yet again with another ultra corny and lame dad joke, but this time, this one just resonates with me deeply.
What do you call someone who sells their body for a bowl of spaghetti?
— thankful dad jokes (@dadtellsjokes) November 1, 2017
See you all at the stadium on Saturday for the last time in 2017.
Lion Links: 2/21/24
Orlando City takes on Cavalry FC tonight, Lions sign Jeorgio Kocevski, USWNT wins in Concacaf W Gold Cup, and more.
Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you in Florida as we get to watch the Lions in action tonight in the Concacaf Champions Cup. There’s not much new with me this week other than staying busy covering high school basketball and hockey. Let’s also wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.
Orlando City Takes on Cavalry FC Tonight
Orlando City will be in action tonight in the first round of the Concacaf Champions Cup, as it takes on Cavalry FC at Starlight Stadium at 10 p.m. This matchup will be the Lions’ first competitive match of 2024, with their MLS season opener against CF Montreal set for Saturday. The Lions were knocked out by Tigres due to away goals in last year’s Concacaf Champions League. Cavalry FC will make its debut in this competition tonight and qualified by winning the 2023 Canadian Premier League Shield. The second leg between these two sides will be on Feb. 27 at Inter&Co Stadium.
Orlando City Signs First-Round Draft Pick Jeorgio Kocevski
Orlando City signed 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick Jeorgio Kocevski to a contract through the 2024 season, with club options for 2025, 2026, and 2027. Kocevski scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time in Orlando’s final preseason match against the Colorado Rapids this past weekend. The midfielder was selected 21st overall in the first round of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft by the Lions in December. He played four years for Syracuse, recording seven goals and 18 assists in 71 matches. Kocevski is the only player the club has signed from the Lions’ 2024 draft class and will likely get some minutes with Orlando City B this season.
St. Louis City and Philadelphia Union Win in Champions Cup
Orlando City isn’t the only MLS team kicking off its Concacaf Champions Cup campaign this week. St. Louis City edged out the Houston Dynamo 2-1, with rookie Hosei Kijima scoring the winner in stoppage time. The Philadelphia Union were on the road in Costa Rica to face off against Deportivo Saprissa and won 3-2 thanks to a hat trick from Julian Carranza in the second half. As for other tournament matches this week, the New England Revolution face Independiente in Panama tonight, with Nashville playing Moca FC in the Dominican Republic and FC Cincinnati taking on Jamaica’s Cavalier SC tomorrow.
USWNT Beats the Dominican Republic in W Gold Cup
The United States Women’s National Team got its Concacaf W Gold Cup campaign off to a great start with a 5-0 win against the Dominican Republic in Group A. Olivia Moultrie scored her first USWNT goal to give her team an early lead, with Lynn Williams giving the U.S. another goal before halftime. Moultrie scored another in the second half to earn her brace, and Jenna Nighswonger converted a penalty for her first USWNT goal as well. Former Pride forward Alex Morgan replaced Mia Fishel on the roster due to injury and scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time. The USWNT’s next game will be against Argentina on Friday at 10:15 p.m.
UEFA Champions League Roundup
The UEFA Champions League had plenty of drama as the round of 16 continued. Inter Milan won 1-0 in its first leg against Atletico Madrid at home, with Mark Arnautovic scoring the only goal in the match. In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund played to a thrilling 1-1 draw. The second legs for both matchups will be played on March 13. There is more Champions League action today, as FC Porto hosts Arsenal while Napoli takes on Barcelona.
- The Orlando Pride’s Mariana Larroquette started in Argentina’s scoreless draw with Mexico in the Gold Cup.
- The latest MLS power rankings are out just before the regular season begins. Orlando City begins the season in the fifth spot.
- Orlando City and the Orlando Pride announced fan experience upgrades at Inter&Co Stadium featuring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in merchandise shops, stadium Wi-Fi upgrades, and a jersey history experience.
- The MLS Players Association released a statement on the ongoing referee lockout.
- Here is the list of MLS Season Pass commentator assignments for opening week.
- Toronto FC has acquired center back Kevin Long from Birmingham City FC. The deal is through the 2024 season, with an option for 2025.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.
Lion Links: 2/20/24
The Wall sells out, Robin Jansson earns recognition, Concacaf W Gold cup preview, and more.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! We’re now just one day away from the first competitive Orlando City game of the year, and it can’t get here fast enough. As usual, we have plenty to cover this morning, so let’s jump straight into it.
The Wall Sells Out for Orlando City’s Season Opener
The Wall, the supporters section of Orlando City’s stadium, has sold out of single-match tickets ahead of Saturday’s home opener against CF Montreal. Limited tickets for the match are still available for the rest of the stadium, and hopefully it will fully sell out for the first match of the season. This Saturday will be the 10th consecutive time in which the Lions start their MLS season at home. It should be a great match and a chance for Orlando to get its season off to a good start between Concacaf Champions Cup matches against Cavalry FC.
Robin Jansson Praised as a Top Defender in MLS
Orlando City center back Robin Jansson was recognized as one of the best center backs in MLS by MLSsoccer.com‘s Joseph Lowery. The 32-year-old has been an integral part of Orlando’s defense since joining the league in 2019 and should continue anchoring the team’s back line this season. Not only is he excellent in terms of defense, but the Beefy Swede can also make an impact on offense with his passing and surprising runs up the field. Jansson is one of the most consistent defenders in the league and agreed to a new contract with the club earlier this month.
MLS Transfer News Roundup
The 2024 Major League Soccer season might kick off tomorrow, but transfers are still flying thick and fast, which means we have things to catch up on. We start with one of the teams opening the season tomorrow, Inter Miami, which has officially transferred midfielder Gregore to Botafogo in the Brazilian top flight. We move on to NYCFC, which has completed the signing of striker Jovan Mijatović from Red Star Belgrade. The 18-year-old Serbian youth international has inked a deal that runs through the 2028 season, with an option year for 2029. We finish up with the Houston Dynamo, which have signed Coco Carasquilla to a contract extension. The Panamanian midfielder’s deal now runs through the 2025 season and has option years for 2026 and 2027.
Concacaf W Gold Cup Preview
The inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup kicks off later today, so make sure you get up to speed on everything you need to know about the competition. The United States Women’s National Team has been grouped with Argentina, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, and will be looking for a strong showing following a disappointing campaign at last summer’s World Cup. The tournament will feature a total of 12 teams, with eight Concacaf representatives and four from CONMEBOL. The top two finishers in each of the three groups advance to the knockout round, along with the top two third-place finishers. The USWNT begin play tonight against the Dominican Republican at 10:15 p.m. from Dignity Health Sports Park.
Americans in Midweek Action
With a number of American players taking part in games during the working week, get everything marked down on your calendar so you don’t miss anything. Things get started this afternoon with a huge game, as Malik Tillman, Ricardo Pepi, Sergino Dest, and PSV Eindhoven take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League. European competition continues on Thursday as well, with Christian Pulisc, Yunus Musah, and AC Milan facing Rennes in the Europa League play. Things finish out on Friday as the red-hot Brandon Vazquez and Monterrey face Juarez in Liga MX competition.
Minnesota United Close to Coaching Hire
A coaching search that will surely go down as one of the most thorough in MLS history is nearing its conclusion, as Minnesota United is reportedly close to naming Manchester United assistant Eric Ramsay as the team’s new skipper. While nothing is official yet, Ramsay is said to be the leading candidate, and The Athletic‘s Tom Bogert says that the team is closing in on the hire. If he joins, Ramsay will become the youngest coach in league history at the tender age of 32, and he will also become Minnesota’s second coach following Adrian Heath’s departure in October of last year.
- Orlando City forward Luis Muriel thanked Atalanta fans who made a banner to bid him farewell this past weekend.
- The folks over at MLSsoccer.com have predicted Orlando City will finish third in the Eastern Conference this year.
- The U.S. Open Cup has reportedly gotten the green light to take place this year, although it will have a format different than in past years.
- Thorgan Hazard dedicated a goal celebration to his family’s parakeet that passed away.
- Crystal Palace has hired Oliver Glasner as the team’s new coach after Roy Hodgson stepped down from the role.
- Napoli announced the firing of Walter Mazzari just two days before the team’s Champions League tie against Barcelona, making him the second coaching casualty of the Italian Champions’ campaign.
- Continuing the coaching carousel trend, Marseille has fired Gennaro Gattuso after just five months into the job.
That’s all I have for this morning. Vamos Orlando!
Lion Links: 2/19/24
Orlando City wins preseason finale, post-match concert artists named, U.S. Open Cup in jeopardy, and more.
Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. We’re about to get to see Orlando City play matches in both the MLS regular season and the Concacaf Champions Cup. Cavalry FC is up first on Wednesday and CF Montreal on Saturday. That’s a whole lot of Canada to start things off, eh? Before we get to the links, please join us in wishing a happy birthday to Orlando Pride star Marta, who turns 38 today.
Orlando City Defeats the Rapids in Preseason Finale
The Lions won their final preseason match against the Colorado Rapids 3-2 at Inter&Co Stadium on Saturday. Kyle Smith got the scoring going mere seconds into the match and Facundo Torres doubled the lead on a penalty kick before the end of the first half. The Rapids tied it up in the second half, but Orlando City rookie Jeorgio Kocevski scored a late winner in stoppage time to keep the Lions unbeaten in the preseason. Orlando ended the preseason schedule with a record of 4-0-1.
Orlando Postgame Concert Announced
As I get older, I see each decade get its time in the nostalgic spotlight. Evidently, it is the 1990s’ turn. Orlando City announced a concert that will follow the Austin FC match at Inter&Co Stadium on March 23. You didn’t ask for it — and neither did anyone else — but Vanilla Ice, Rob Base, and Montell Jordan are headlining an “I Love the 90s” post-match concert. I’m not entirely certain if everyone will be required to stop, collaborate, and listen, but it’s certainly a possibility.
PRO Referee Strike Looms
Normally, if I told you that Orlando City didn’t have to worry about the Professional Referees Organization (PRO), I’m willing to bet you’d be pretty happy. Now it’s a real possibility that the Lions’ first match will likely have stand-in referees. The Professional Soccer Referees Association rejected a new collective bargaining agreement with PRO, meaning that there will be a lockout. PRO has identified “qualified replacements” ready to make sure that matches will be able to be played.
Open Cup in Jeopardy
The start of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is only a month away, although that isn’t a certainty. U.S. Soccer and MLS are still not seeing eye to eye regarding how many of the senior squads will participate. On the other side of the equation, the USL is pushing back against the demands from MLS.
Ultimately, this is a power struggle between the upper levels of organized soccer in this country. If a compromise solution can’t be found, it could mean that the Open Cup won’t take place this year. If that happens, it won’t help any of the involved parties and it will be devastating to the supporters of all the clubs at every level.
- Thanks to Zakaria Taifi’s mother, Alyssa Taifi, we know that Orlando City B defeated Philadelphia Union II by a score of 4-0 in a preseason scrimmage, and that there was some chippiness in the match.
- Inter Miami is under pressure to get roster compliant. As such, Federico Redondo will not be joining the Herons due to Miami’s inability to bring him in because of MLS regulations regarding payment methodology.
- Inter Miami midfielder Victor Ulloa announced he is retiring, which will also help Miami’s roster cap problems.
- Someone needs to tell Lionel Messi that there are financial roster rules in MLS. I know he probably doesn’t know, given how many rules were bent to bring him to MLS. Now he wants Neymar too. It’s getting ridiculous.
- Bundesliga fans don’t want a proposed private equity investment in the league and they let everyone know it at Bayern Munich’s 3-2 loss to Bochum. The protest delayed the match by 13 minutes and involved tennis balls.
- Luton Town defender Tom Lockyer has not ruled out a return to Luton Town after he suffered a cardiac event in a match against Bournemouth last December.
That will do it for today. Check back for our coverage of Orlando City’s two matches this week. Vamos Orlando!
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