How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope Thanksgiving didn’t leave you too tired as we head into a busy weekend filled with Christmas decorating and holiday shopping. Stay safe with all of your traveling as the roads are sure to be busy today and the rest of the weekend. But for now, let’s enjoy some links from around the soccer world.
Cristian Higuita Speaks About His Departure
Former Lion Cristian Higuita not only won’t be in Orlando in 2020, but the 24-year-old confirmed he won’t be in Major League Soccer next season as he doesn’t want to compete against Orlando City. He now eyes a move to Mexico or Colombia for the next step in his career and the midfielder weighed in on Orlando’s coaching struggles and what the club must do to improve in the future. While he won’t be with the Lions any time soon, Higuita does want to come back before retiring.
“I want to return one day,” he said. “My dream, as I’ve told my wife, is in a couple of years once I know that time has come, I’d like to retire here with this team and hopefully that opportunity will come.”
What Orlando Should Be Thankful For
Andrew Wiebe of MLSsoccer.com took it upon himself to decide what each MLS team should be thankful for after the 2019 season and the results were interesting. For Orlando, the club should be thankful that Club Tijuana parted ways with Oscar Pareja so that Luiz Muzzi can hire him. Even though it is not yet a done deal, the stars have really aligned for Pareja and Muzzi to reunite. I’ll be a little more thankful when the rumors become reality.
Orlando Pride Players in W-League Update
While the National Women’s Soccer League is in its off-season, the W-League down in Australia rolls on with Round 3 underway. Carson Pickett and the Brisbane Roar fell 3-1 to the Western Sydney Wanderers after North Carolina Courage forward Kristen Hamilton scored a hat trick.
Later this weekend, Camila and Canberra United travel to take on the Newcastle Jets. Claire Emslie returns from injury to join Pride teammate Emily van Egmond as Melbourne City FC hosts Adelaide United. Also coming back from injury will be Alanna Kennedy, who will lead Sydney FC into battle against the Perth Glory. Make sure to catch up on all of this round’s matches and how to watch all of the action.
U.S. Soccer Rises in FIFA Rankings
After getting revenge over Canada in a convincing 4-1 win and beating Cuba 4-0 to advance in the Concacaf Nations league, the United States Men’s National Team moved up in the FIFA Rankings to 22nd. Meanwhile, Canada drops to 73rd and is no longer one of the top six teams in the conference which could see the nation on the outside looking in when the time comes for World Cup qualifying.
In other American soccer news, nominations for Young Male, Young Female, and Player of the Year with a Disability were announced. USMNT defender Sergino Dest, Reign FC goalkeeper Casey Murphy, and 2019 Pan-American Games Golden Ball winner Michael Schmid are just a few of the players featured.
- Orlando captain Nani wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, in case you missed it.
— Nani (@luisnani) November 28, 2019
- Meet Grace Bowman, a member of the community who developed a program to help children with autism through soccer.
- Van Egmond had plenty of praise to give to the Australian Women’s National Team and Matildas fans for the team’s rise in popularity over the years.
- Former New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira is now the leading candidate for the vacancy at Inter Miami FC. The news is surprising considering the amount of names that have been associated with the job, but confirmation should come soon.
- Jesse Marsch and RB Salzburg are still kicking in the UEFA Champions League and the 46-year-old is fighting stereotypes of American coaches in European leagues.
- LA Galaxy midfielder Uriel Antuna is leaving the team for Liga MX, but the Galaxy are targeting Argentine winger Ricardo Centurion to help add offensive weapons.
That’s going to be it from me, Mane Landers. If you’re working today, I wish you the best of luck and hope that it isn’t too rough on you out there. Stay safe this weekend and enjoy all of the leftovers.
Lion Links: 9/26/23
Pedro Gallese honored, Orlando Pride and Lions celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Campeones Cup preview, and more.
Happy Tuesday, everyone. I won’t lie to you, I’m dragging a bit to start this week. I’m still recovering from being sick and frankly had to fight the urge to take Monday off. I’m soldiering on though, and there’s plenty of soccer happening this week to help keep me entertained and in good spirits. Let’s have a look at today’s links.
Pedro Gallese Recognized
Pedro Gallese turned in another superb performance during Orlando City’s 1-1 draw with Inter Miami on Sunday, and he’s been rewarded with a place in the most recent edition of the MLS Team of the Matchday. El Pulpo made four saves on the night, including a fantastic stop on a header from close range, and helped the Lions stay in the game until they could find the equalizer. Congratulations to Pedro, and here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!
Orlando Pride and Orlando City Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Orlando Pride defender Celia fielded questions for fans to learn more about both her and Spain. Celia is from Alicante, a port city in southern Spain, and shared her favorite food, music, and activity while in her home country. She also spoke on a common misconception about spices used in Spain being spicy.
Orlando City’s Facundo Torres also shared the meaning behind some of his tattoos, which include the Uruguayan flag and La Paz, the city he grew up in. Orlando City’s match with CF Montreal on Saturday will also be Hispanic Heritage Night at Exploria Stadium.
Campeones Cup Preview
You can be forgiven if you forgot that the Campeones Cup is still a thing, because I know I did. Here’s a little refresher on the annual match. It’s being played tomorrow night at BMO Stadium between LAFC and Tigres, which are the reigning MLS and Liga MX champions, respectively. The MLS representative has won three out of the four contests, with Tigres beating Toronto FC 3-1 in the first iteration of the competition in 2018. This match will also be a rematch of the 2020 Concacaf Champions League final, which saw Tigres emerge victorious 2-1 at Exploria Stadium.
Americans in Midweek Action
A number of Americans will be taking part in games for their clubs this week. Tim Weah and Weston McKennie’s Juventus will take on Lecce today in Serie A, while Chris Richards and Crystal Palace face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah have a league match when AC Milan plays Cagliari tomorrow. PSV Eindhoven has a game against Go Ahead Eagles tomorrow as well, which means Ricardo Pepi, Sergino Dest and Malik Tillman could all be involved. Friday closes out the week with Hoffenheim taking on Borussia Dortmund, which could see John Brooks matched up against Gio Reyna depending on Reyna’s fitness.
Spanish Players Will Testify Against Rubiales
Alexia Putellas, Irene Paredes and Misa Rodriguez have all been called to testify as witnesses in the case against Luis Rubiales. Jenni Hermoso’s brother and a friend of the player both testified on Monday afternoon, as Rubiales is facing charges of sexual assault and coercion. Rubiales has already testified and maintains he did nothing wrong amid uproar that has led to a number of Spanish players refusing to return to the team until changes are made, and a general overshadowing of Spain’s victory at the Women’s World Cup. Putellas, Paredes and Rodriguez will testify next Monday.
- Orlando City B came in 10th in the latest edition of the MLS NEXT Pro power rankings.
- Edgar Paez, the president of Colombian team Tigres, was shot and killed following the team’s loss on Saturday.
- Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United teammates have reportedly urged him to apologize to Erik ten Hag.
That’s all I have for today. Y’all stay safe out there!
Lion Links: 9/25/23
Orlando City draws with Inter Miami, Viviana Villacorta out for the season, OCB wins last game of the regular season, and more.
Last night’s Orlando City match wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. It’s a pretty fitting feeling on a Monday, as we all get back into the swing of the work week after a nice weekend of soccer. There are plenty of ups and downs from a rollercoaster Sunday, so let’s dive right into today’s links!
Orlando City Draws With Inter Miami
In the latest edition of the Tropic Thunder rivalry, Orlando City and Inter Miami split the points at Exploria Stadium in a 1-1 result. Miami struck first, but the Lions did well to find an equalizer, even though they couldn’t find a winner in the end. It wasn’t Orlando’s best game by any means, but it was a decent response to a 2-0 loss on the road to New York City FC. Orlando now has 51 points, tying its club record for the most points in a season, set in 2021. The Lions will have a chance to break that record on Saturday when they host CF Montreal.
Viviana Villacorta Out for the Season
Orlando Pride midfielder Viviana Villacorta will miss the remainder of the NWSL season after suffering an ACL tear in her left knee during training. The 24-year-old was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft, but was not able to make her debut until 2022 due to sustained an ACL tear in her right knee that kept her out for all of the 2021 season. This year, she has 21 appearances across all competitions for the Pride and notched the first assist of her career in a big road win against the San Diego Wave on April 29. This is a tough blow to the Pride’s midfield with just three games remaining as she has ended her season early due to injury for the third straight year. The Pride are only a point out of a playoff spot and are back in action on Oct. 2 against Angel City FC.
Orlando City B Wins On Decision Day
On the final day of the MLS NEXT Pro regular season, Orlando City B won 2-1 at home over FC Cincinnati 2. The Young Lions had already clinched a spot in the postseason heading into this match, but the win secured their spot as the fifth seed. Jack Lynn briefly held the Golden Boot lead after scoring, but ended up tied at 19 goals with New York City FC II’s Matt Myers and Colorado Rapids 2’s Remi Cabral. The trio ended in a three-way tie for the league’s Golden Boot honors. OCB will hit the road for its first MLS NEXT Pro playoff game, although the opponent is not yet known thanks to the new rule where higher seeds choose which team they want to face.
USWNT Wins in Megan Rapinoe’s Final Match
The United States Women’s National Team beat South Africa in a 2-0 win at Soldier Field. Trinity Rodman and Emily Sonnett scored and the defense did well to secure its second shutout against South Africa after a 3-0 win this past Thursday. This game also marked forward Megan Rapinoe’s final game with the USWNT, with the 38-year-old subbed off for the last time in the 54th minute. These were solid wins from the USWNT following the World Cup and it will aim to keep the momentum rolling next month in a pair of friendlies against Colombia.
- Three Orlando City academy sides came up with shutout victories this weekend.
- Before the USWNT’s friendly with South Africa, U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker stated that plans remain in place for a new head coach to be at the helm in time for the training camp in December
- American midfielder Yunus Musah did well in his AC Milan debut, playing all 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Verona.
- A match in the Netherlands between Ajax and Feyenoord had to be abandoned due to fans throwing fireworks onto the field while Feyenoord led 3-0. According to police, tear gas had to be used to stop unrest outside the stadium after the match, and Ajax later fired Sven Mislintat, its director of soccer.
- Newcastle became the first English Premier League team to have eight different players score in a match after crushing Sheffield United, 8-0.
- Atletico Madrid ended Real Madrid’s perfect start to the season by beating its rival 3-1, with Alvaro Morata bagging a brace.
That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have an easy Monday and rest of your week!
Lion Links: 9/23/22
Lions and Herons meet again, Carly Nelson is writing a book, NWSL free agency opens, and more.
Happy Founder’s Day, Mane Landers! It was on this day in 2014 that our fearless leader and Managing Editor Michael Citro started our first ever WordPress website. It’s safe to say that I’m sure The Mane Land has impacted your life as much as it has mine over the years, whether that be through daily reading or weekly podcasts. Cheers to Michael and all those who have come before me.
In my own personal news, I have been grinding away on the new EA FC 24 (the franchise formerly known as EA’s FIFA.) So far, the gameplay and updates have been great in my initial 15+ hours of play, and my online Ultimate Team is starting to really take its shape. I’m sure in a couple weeks that I’ll transition to a traditional Career Mode and take the Lions all the way to an MLS Cup and beyond.
Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a very happy birthday to everyone’s favorite defensive midfielder, Wilder Cartagena!
Third Bout for Orlando City and Inter Miami
Orlando City and Inter Miami have already met twice this campaign. Sunday’s match will look to break the deadlock between the two rivals as both clubs have a victory to their name in this year’s series. In May, the Lions grabbed a 3-1 victory over the Fort Lauderdale-based club. The two sides met for a second time in the knockout round of Leagues Cup 2023 with Inter Miami taking the 3-1 result at DRV PNK Stadium. No matter the result this time around, Orlando City has already clinched a playoff spot, however, the Herons need every point they can get to attempt to do the same.
Carly Nelson, Goalkeeper and Author
It isn’t unheard of to learn that an athlete might have tried another sport before finding soccer, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Carly Nelson came from a background of gymnastics, tennis, basketball, and baseball before her father started a club soccer team with her in mind. While Nelson might have idolized USWNT legend Hope Solo as a child, she started her playing days as a forward, winger, and midfielder. Outside of protecting the Pride’s net, Nelson is spending time writing a book about her life growing up in Utah and the issues her family faced to hopefully help others that might find themselves in similar situations.
NWSL Opens 2024 Free Agency
The National Women’s Soccer League has officially opened the league’s unrestricted and restricted free agency periods. In accordance with the NWSL Players’ Association’s collective bargaining agreement, eligible free agents can begin negotiations for their 2024 Standard Player Agreements. Players eligible for unrestricted free agency include all who have at least five years of service within the NWSL and contracts expiring in 2023, while players eligible for restricted free agency include those who have at least three years of service. For the Orlando Pride, defender Kylie Strom is set to be an unrestricted free agent and midfielder Jordyn Listro is under restricted terms. Any club that currently holds the rights of a restricted free agent has a seven-day period to match an incoming offer from another club or else the player may sign with the new club under the terms of the offer.
USMNT’s Tyler Adams Nearing Return
Tyler Adams will not make his Bournemouth debut this weekend, but he could return as early as next week. Bournemouth’s manager, Andoni Iraola, provided a positive update on the U.S. Men’s National Team captain as he finishes up rehabbing a long-term hamstring injury.
“He has started this week at least to train partially with the group, so probably we can have a chance of having him next week or two weeks, something like this. Tyler is really close because once you start training partially with the group, it’s a matter of sensations, and if you are physically good enough. He has a very good physical base. So I think it will take not a long time to see Tyler with the team.”
Adams has not played since March after having a hamstring surgery. Even with a known injury, the 24-year-old still completed a move from Leeds United to Bournemouth following Leeds’ relegation to keep him in the top flight.
MLS Weekend Preview
Aside from the Florida derby, there are plenty of matches to be excited about around the league this weekend. Personally, I’m looking forward to catching a bit of the D.C. United and New York Red Bulls match. Manager Wayne Rooney’s club is right on the bubble in a tight Eastern Conference race while the Red Bulls can do themselves a huge service and come back into the playoff picture with a win. Out in the Western Conference, there is a real buzz around a Portland Timbers squad after a manager sacking. It could be a huge win for the Timbers and likely push them above the play-in round should they find a result against the Colorado Rapids.
- FC Cincinnati has signed its captain Luciano Acosta to a contract extension through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027.
- For the third-straight vote, an Inter Miami player has Goal of the Matchday honors as Robert Taylor got 44.5% of the vote for Matchday 33.
- FC Cincinnati wingback Álvaro Barreal has been nominated for the 2023 FIFA Púskas Award and is only the second-ever MLS player to earn a nomination after Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the first in 2019 with the LA Galaxy.
- The United States, Mexico, and Canada are joining forces to tackle any “collusive schemes” involving goods or services connected to the 2026 FIFA World Cup in an effort to avoid exploitation of the major event.
- Athletico Paranaense’s18-year-old Vitor Roque has likely played his last game for the club before his move to Barcelona after the striker has reportedly torn ligaments in his right ankle.
That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday. Be safe on Sunday at the match. Stay hydrated and look out for those around you. Vamos Orlando!
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PawedCast Episode 378: Inter Miami Rewind, OCB Wins on Decision Day, Jack Lynn’s Golden Boot Chase, and More
Lion Links: 9/26/23
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