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Orlando City vs. New England Revolution: Final Score 3-1 as Shorthanded Lions Bow Out of Playoffs

An early penalty awarded to New England set the tone, and when Orlando seemed to get back into the game, things got worse with another red card.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

The New England Revolution had never won a game at Orlando City before. At some point you knew that would change, but unfortunately it happened in the postseason as the Revs beat the Lions 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals at Exploria Stadium. Orlando fell behind 2-0 and battled back into it, only to see Designated Player Mauricio Pereyra sent off for an awful challenge from behind, and the Revs tacked on a late insurance goal against the shorthanded Lions.

Carles Gil’s penalty put New England up early on a fairly soft call on Uri Rosell against Tajon Buchanan in the box and Gustavo Bou added another at the end of a transition that started with what looked like Nani getting fouled in the offensive end, but no call was made. Junior Urso pulled a goal back for Orlando, but Pereyra’s red card changed the game, although the biggest talking point will be a Nani penalty that Matt Turner saved. Another talking point might be that Adam Buksa didn’t get a second yellow for taking out Brian Rowe when Daryl Dike was booked for a similar offense earlier in the match.

Whatever your favorite talking point is, it’s all academic now.

“Obviously at this moment there is a lot of pain, and there is a lot of frustration that we have been carrying in the last 10 days, probably, with things that happened and we could not apparently flush them off,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “I know how hard they worked for this objecitve and now we need to grow. Certainly this will help us, for sure.”

Without the suspended Pedro Gallese or Ruan, Pareja started Rowe in goal behind a back line of Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, and Kyle Smith. Central midfielders Rosell and Urso played in the middle of the park, alongside attackers Pereyra and Chris Mueller, with Nani and Dike leading the attack.

The first half started out looking like extra time, with the teams playing cautiously and perhaps a bit nervously. Nani provided good service into the area three minutes in, but the cross was just a bit high for Dike to reach.

The Revolution earned a corner in the 11th minute with their first foray into the attacking third. New England played the set piece short and the Revs were called for a foul in their attacking box, turning it over.

Buchanan came down the right a few minutes later and changed the game. Rosell, backing up Miller, attempted a tackle and Buchanan anticipated contact, leaving his feet and going down easy. Referee Alex Chilowicz saw enough to award a penalty and Video Assistant Referee Chris Penso didn’t see a clear and obvious error. Gil stepped up and hit his penalty right down the middle, past Rowe, who guessed left, and New England led 1-0 in the 17th minute.

Orlando tried to pull it right back, winning a corner after the restart. Nani played the corner short to Pereyra, who crossed in. Jansson collected at the far side but hit his shot into the outside netting in the 19th minute. Mueller tried a long-range shot three minutes later but didn’t get much on it and hit it right at Turner for the easy save.

New England doubled its lead in the 26th minute. Nani got double teamed in the attacking third and went down under contact. Chilowicz allowed the play to continue and the Revs broke in transition. Adam Buksa hit a sliding shot off the right post, but Bou reacted to it first, scoring into the empty net to make it 2-0.

“We conceded a goal early, but I think we were OK in the game,” Nani said. “We were pressing up. We were creating our chances. But there was a decision when the ref didn’t give a foul on me and then they scored the second goal. I think there was the key of the game.”

“Obviously the two goals that New England scored early put us in a difficult situation,” Pareja said. “

The Lions found some life in the 33rd minute, pulling a goal back. Nani sent a gorgeous cross to Mueller at the back post. Mueller picked up the loose ball in traffic between Turner and defender Henry Kessler, sending it back to Urso, who fired home for his first MLS playoff goal, making it 2-1.

Dike nearly freed himself up in traffic in a similar way to Mueller two minutes later but couldn’t bring it in. Rosell picked it up at the top of the area and fired over the bar.

The last chance of the half came in the 38th, when Rowe got a hand on a Buksa shot to parry it over the bar. New England took its 2-1 lead into the locker room.

Orlando had more first-half shots (6-5), while the Revs got more on target (3-2) and won more corners (3-1). The Lions held more possession (57.9%-42.1%) and were the more accurate passing team (86%-78%).

The Lions generated a chance out of the break in the 46th minute when the ball found its way to Nani on the left side. He tried to curl a shot to the back post but didn’t hit it right and it sailed well off target. Moments later, Rosell stole the ball in midfield and started the break, but Mueller’s cross into the area was between teammates and easily cut out. Nani then won a corner but the cross was a bit behind the attacking line and Carlos couldn’t do much with it.

Orlando kept coming. Mueller won a corner in the 57th minute and Nani sent a low pass that Pereyra fired on target, but it was deflected wide by the defense.

But just when it appeared Orlando was on the front foot, disaster struck in the 60th minute. Matt Polster brought the ball forward and Pereyra trailed, looking for a chance to nick it back as he often does. However, when the chance came and Polster showed him too much of the ball, the Uruguayan launched himself late and his studs caught Polster’s ankle instead of the ball. It was an obvious straight red and the Lions were suddenly down to 10 men with a half an hour to play.

“I know Mauro, and I know how much he will be hurt at this moment,” Pareja said after the match, not having yet spoken with his DP midfielder. “I know how he feels, but I back him up 100% all the time, knowing that [he] made a mistake.”

“Mauricio today got a red card. He has our support. I love this guy,” Urso said.

“We’re professionals and I think we have to learn and find a way and find our character and deal with all these things that are part of the game,” Pareja said of the red cards the last two games. “And certainly today was another moment where we we lost our head. I want to be responsible for all that. It’s something that cannot happen.”

The Lions continued to try to find the equalizer. Mueller tried to split two defenders in the box in the 64th minute. He was walled off and Chilowicz ignored his plea for a penalty.

The Revs didn’t attack much but looked for opportunities to kille the game, and Bou fired a long-range shot that Rowe could only fight off for a corner. New England took the corner short, passed it back to Bou and the whole sequence repeated, as the Orlando keeper couldn’t do much but parry the shots away.

After the second corner, Buksa tried to dispossess Rowe on a passing sequence at the back and clobbered the keeper. Despite showing Dike a yellow card earlier for a play with less contact, Chilowicz kept his card in his pocket. Buksa was already on a yellow and the referee opted not to even up the two teams’ manpower on the pitch with a curious decision.

Orlando finally got its chance to level it in the 73rd when Dike was run over from behind inside the area. Chilowicz didn’t hesitate to point to the spot and Nani stepped up to take it. After going right twice last week against Sean Johnson — scoring once and seeing the other stopped on a great save — the captain opted to go left, but with the same, slow, stutter-step run-up. Turner guessed correctly and Nani didn’t get his shot far enough into the corner. Turner made the save and that seemed like the final nail in the coffin, although that was yet to come.

“Sometimes you should do better and then you must accept it was not your best. And today I couldn’t take the penalty,” Nani said. “We didn’t know what’s gonna happen at the end but I feel sorry for my teammates because the dream finishes right there.”

“Nani made a mistake. He don’t score the penalty, [but] he’s our leader. We believe in him,” said Urso.

Nani is five for 10 in penalties, including making an important one last week and against LAFC in the MLS is Back Tournament.

“Nani has had the personality. He has had the responsibility,” Pareja said. “There are always two, three people who are in charge of taking the PK. In that moment, he did it and we gave [him] the responsibility. It’s something that now obviously we may think that it should have been different…but Nani had the confidence from everybody.”

The Lions went to a three-man back line, sending Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele on to try to chase the game and, like any high-risk strategy might, it ended up costing them. After Akindele got under a free header on a free kick that might have tied the match, the Revs put it away.

With more space at the back, Gil took the ball down the left side, waited for a run, and sprung Bou through the defense. The New England DP slotted a shot right through Rowe’s legs to make it 3-1 in the 86th minute.

Orlando fashioned a couple of set pieces but couldn’t do much with them and the clock ran out on the Lions’ 2020 season.

The Lions out-shot New England (11-9) but the Revs got more on goal (6-3). Orlando had more corners (6-5), held more possession (61.2%-38.8%) and, passed more accurately (86%-77%).

“I’m very proud of this group. I’m very proud of the players,” Pareja said of his 2020 team. “Today people have seen us, the people recognize this group, the people know that they are good competitors and we’re proud of that.”

“I’m very proud of the team, of my teammates,” Nani said. “We talked a couple minutes ago. We had a team who’ve been working so hard, who’ve been improving so much, and everyone could see it on the field. In one season you can see so much difference on each player. And I’m so, so happy for what this team gave me. They made me believe we could win this league. They made me believe I could win a league again. Even at my age.”


Orlando City’s season is over. It doesn’t feel good right now, but it was a great season and any of us would have taken this if offered at the start of the year.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

Orlando City completes its three-matches-in-eight-days marathon with a cross-country trip to San Jose.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to your match thread for a late Saturday night matchup between Orlando City SC (3-5-4, 13 points) and the San Jose Earthquakes (3-9-1, 10 points). This is the only meeting between the teams in 2024 and the first time the teams have met since 2021.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of tonight’s match.

History

Orlando City is 2-1-3 in the previous six MLS meetings with the Quakes since the club joined Major League Soccer in 2015. The Lions have yet to win an away game in the series, however, going 0-1-2 on the road against San Jose.

The most recent meeting took place on June 22, 2021, with the Lions beating the Quakes down, 5-0. Orlando got things started with an early penalty kick goal by Nani, followed by braces from Benji Michel and Daryl Dike to easily put the game away. The lasting memory from the game is Michel’s celebratory dance wearing a cowboy hat that came out of the stands.

Prior to that Orlando City romp, the last time the teams met was on Aug. 31, 2019 when the Lions got freight trained 3-0 at Avaya Stadium, giving the Quakes their first win in the series. San Jose’s offense came via a Chris Wondolowski brace and an early opening goal by Magnus Eriksson. Orlando looked flat and weary out of the gate.

The Lions were victorious in Exploria Stadium in the 2018 meeting on April 21, a 3-2 Orlando win. It was the first win in the series for either side after three straight draws. Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan, and Dom Dwyer gave the Lions a 3-0 lead before Florian Jungwirth pulled two back in the game’s late stages.

The Lions led all of the first three matches in the second half only to see San Jose pull level, with two of those tying goals coming late. In the 2017 meeting, Carlos Rivas finally broke the scoreless tie and gave Orlando City the lead in the 81st minute, but Wondolowski spoiled the Lions’ night with an equalizer two minutes later as the teams drew at Avaya Stadium, 1-1.

In 2016, the Lions were gut-punched in the 94th minute in an emotional match that ended in a 2-2 draw. It was the first home match following the Pulse nightclub tragedy and what appeared to be a storybook ending to a cathartic win turned sour on a last-gasp equalizer by Shea Salinas. Seb Hines — now in his second full season as the Orlando Pride’s head coach — opened the scoring for Orlando, only to see Chad Barrett tie it up. Julio Baptista restored the lead in stoppage time, but Salinas ruined everything.

The two teams also drew in the first meeting, a 1-1 affair at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, with the Lions down to 10 men after Brek Shea was sent off in the first half. Kaká and Wondolowski each scored from the penalty spot four minutes apart in that initial meeting.

Overview

Orlando City is unbeaten in its last two games following a 0-0 home draw against Inter Miami Wednesday night. The Lions and Herons looked shattered in the second half of that game, and neither side would give an inch defensively. On the first clear looks at goal the teams had, both goalkeepers were outstanding, keeping the game scoreless. Orlando looks to earn points for the third straight match, but the team didn’t get to rotate much in the last week due to injuries, and things may not be back to normal just yet.

San Jose is in the Western Conference cellar with just three wins and 10 points from 13 matches. Still, the Earthquakes can score. San Jose has put the ball in the net 22 times this season. Only three Western Conference teams and five clubs in all of MLS have scored more. San Jose’s big problem has been shipping goals. The Quakes have conceded 32 times in 2024, which is dead last in Major League Soccer. The closest team to giving up that many is Portland, which has yielded 27 goals and just beat San Jose 4-2 on Wednesday night. That game was wild, with a horrible penalty throwing the Timbers a lifeline while they trailed 2-0 late. The bad call also resulted in the sending off of defender Bruno Wilson, though he will be eligible for this match after his one-game suspension was rescinded by the Independent Review Panel. Portland not only scored the penalty, but roared back to win 4-2 in a crazy game that included a second penalty on the Quakes later in the match.

Former FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez is in his second season at the helm in San Jose. His team features a standout forward in Cristian Espinoza, who has two goals and a team-leading eight assists on the year. That gives him a direct goal contribution on nearly half of San Jose’s 22 goals in 2024. He’ll be the man Orlando must stop from scoring or setting up others, but the Quakes still have Jeremy Ebobisse (three goals), as well as a new No. 9, Amahl Pelligrino, who leads the Quakes with four goals on the year.

The Lions will need to avoid getting in a shootout with the Earthquakes, try to conserve energy, and play tight defense like they did on Wednesday.

“A really short period to prepare the game, but it’s the way that it is,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said about tonight’s game. “We’re traveling to the west coast, we had a very good flight, the boys look very fresh, and today we will train in the evening to keep our preparation and to keep recovering the team. So basically, that has been the routine so far and we’re just trying to get in and use this momentum to keep adding points.” 

The Lions will play this west coast game without Ramiro Enrique (right ankle), Mikey Halliday (right knee), Robin Jansson (right ankle), and Tahir Reid-Brown (left thigh). Cesar Araujo is also out tonight due to yellow card accumulation. The Earthquakes have three injuries heading into this game, with Daniel Britto (lower body), JT Marcinkowski (knee), and Jamar Ricketts (lower body) listed as out.

Match Content


Projected Lineups:

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Rafael Santos, Rodrigo Schlegel, David Brekalo, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson.

Defensive Midfielders: Wilder Cartagena, Nico Lodeiro.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, Facundo Torres.

Forwards: Duncan McGuire.

San Jose Earthquakes (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: William Yarbrough.

Defenders: Vitor Costa, Tanner Beason, Rodrigues, Carlos Akapo.

Defensive Midfielders: Niko Tsakiris, Carlos Gruezo.

Attacking Midfielder: Amahl Pelligrino, Hernan Lopez, Cristian Espinoza.

Forwards: Jeremy Ebobisse.

Referees

REF: Malik Badawi.
AR1: Ryan Graves.
AR2: Adam Garner.
4TH: Brandon Stevis.
VAR: Kevin Stott.
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert.


How to Watch

Match Time: 10:30 p.m.

Venue: PayPal Park — San Jose, CA.

TV/Live Stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+

Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Mega 97.1 FM (Spanish).

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).

Enjoy the match. Go City!

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Opinion

Examining Orlando City’s 3-5-2

Let’s talk about Orlando City’s three-center-back formations, and try to determine if they should be the new norm.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

In the last two Orlando City matches against the Philadelphia Union and Inter Miami, Oscar Pareja has deployed his team in 3-5-2, and 3-4-1-2 formations, respectively. While Papi typically prefers to set his team up in a 4-2-3-1, injuries to fullbacks Rafael Santos, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, and Mikey Halliday have necessitated some creative problem solving. The two uses of the 3-5-2 and its slightly tweaked variant have been met with success, as the Lions have taken four points from their last two games and, as a result, there’s been some calls online for the team to persist with the formation. With that being the case, let’s do some digging into how the formation has served OCSC, and try to determine if it’s a viable option going forward.

A big thing to note with Orlando’s use of a three-man back line is the presence of Wilder Cartagena as the middle center back. It isn’t his natural position, but Rodrigo Schlegel’s suspension for the Union game meant that Pareja needed to conjure another center back from somewhere, and he elected to shift Cartagena into the back line rather than use Kyle Smith or one of Abdi Salim or Thomas Williams.

Against Philly, a normal 3-5-2 was used, with Pedro Gallese in goal, David Brekalo, Cartagena, and Robin Jansson in the back line, Ivan Angulo and Facundo Torres as wingbacks, Nico Lodeiro, Cesar Araujo, and Martin Ojeda in the midfield, and Luis Muriel and Duncan McGuire up top. The only tweaks against Miami were Schlegel replacing the injured Jansson and Ojeda pushing up to sit behind the two strikers in a 3-4-1-2 formation.

In the Union game, Orlando did a great job at pushing numbers forward quickly when it won the ball, and all three of its goals came in situations where the attack was pressed quickly when the Lions won possession. The Lions took 13 shots, with eight of them from inside the box, and totaled 1.25 expected goals (xG). The team’s best chances of the night came with McGuire’s headed opener and Muriel’s second goal, as both came from inside the box and both were converted. Against Miami, the Lions took 14 shots, with seven from inside the box, and totaled .69 xG. OCSC’s best chance came from Martin Ojeda’s 32nd-minute shot from inside the box, which was well saved by Drake Callender.

In essence, Orlando created more chances against the Union, and was more clinical about finishing those chances. However, the difference in attacking output wasn’t drastic, and we might be able to put it down to Miami being a better team than Philly and the Lions playing the Herons on short rest.

Against Philly, OCSC had a rough outing defensively. While one of the Union goals came from a penalty kick, the home team took a whopping 29 shots during the game with all but eight from outside the box, for a total of 3.85 xG. Against Miami, the Herons took seven shots with six inside the box for a total of .60 xG. Aside from Gallese stonewalling Luis Suarez just minutes into the game in a 1-v-1 chance, the defense largely did a good job of limiting chances.

Even accounting for two penalty kick attempts inflating Philadelphia’s expected goals, the Lions did a far better job at limiting dangerous chances against Miami. That could be due to the team being more comfortable with the defensive setup after using it for a game or a more cautious approach by Oscar Pareja due to Miami’s considerable firepower, even without the injured Lionel Messi.

The numbers and the eye test say that there’s enough reason to consider continuing to use the formation going forward. The Lions have shown that they can create chances and score goals, and they’ve shown that they can have a solid defensive outing, although it would be nice to demonstrate both characteristics in the same game. That, my friends, is where things start to get tricky, because persisting with the 3-5-2 or a variation of it isn’t as simple as obeying what the numbers say.

Let’s talk about Orlando’s personnel. Thorhallsson and Santos both seem to be working their way back from injury, and once healthy they could theoretically slot in at the two wingback positions, which should help Orlando avoid the defensive mess we saw against the Union. That means we need to figure out what to do with Torres and Angulo. Despite his slow start to the season, Torres is a guy you have to have on the field, and in order to do that, I propose slotting him into Ojeda’s spot in the 3-4-1-2. The problem there is that he hasn’t looked super comfortable when operating as a central playmaker, but this could be resolved by instructing Muriel to drop off McGuire and play a little deeper, and giving Facu free reign to roam into the wide areas where he’s more comfortable.

Assuming Jansson will be missing for a few more games, I think you keep Cartagena at center back, considering how well he’s played there. Ojeda and Angulo come off the bench as impact subs, and you can rotate Ojeda into Lodeiro’s spot in the midfield as necessary to protect the Uruguayan’s legs. Once Jansson is back, he can slot in as the third center back, and Cartagena can move into the midfield, with Nico likely being the man sacrificed in games where Pareja wants more defensive stability, or Cartagena/Araujo dropping to the bench if Papi wants to go in guns blazing. I don’t particularly love that option though, as you generally want your best players on the field, and I have a hard time justifying breaking up the Araujo-Cartagena partnership that’s seen so much success.

The immediate problem with any three-center-back formation is Araujo’s yellow card suspension, which will mean he’s unavailable for Saturday’s game against San Jose. Theoretically, Cartagena could move up the field to take his place and Smith could slot in for the Peruvian, or Felipe could start in Araujo’s place, but if Santos and Thorhallsson are fit enough to start, I think we’ll see the return of a four-man back line. Otherwise, the same lineup would be starting its third game in eight days, and on a West Coast trip to boot. That seems like a recipe for disaster, so while I think there’s a way to trot out a 3-5-2/3-4-1-2, I don’t think we’ll see it on Saturday.


In short, the two formations have shown enough promise for them to merit some more looks, while bearing in mind that we’ve only seen a small sample size. The biggest challenge with continued use comes when Orlando has a clean bill of health and you try to figure out how to get as many of your best players on the field as you can. At that point it becomes a question of whether one of the new formations maximizes this team’s strengths, or if the best course of action is to revert to a 4-2-3-1 and keep the 3-5-2 in the back pocket for when its needed.

Either way, the strategy is going to be something interesting to keep an eye on going forward.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/17/24

MLSPA releases player salaries, Duncan McGuire discusses move to Blackburn, Orlando Pride prepare for the Seattle Reign, and more.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Friday! The weekend is nearly here, with plenty of soccer both here in the domestic leagues and abroad. I have a pretty packed weekend but am looking forward to watching Orlando City and the Orlando Pride in action. It should be a nice next few days, so let’s get it started with today’s links!

MLSPA Releases Player Salaries

The Major League Soccer Players Association unveiled the base salary and guaranteed compensation information for every player under contract with the league as of April 25 — except Wilder Cartagena, apparently. Luis Muriel is the highest-paid Orlando City player, and his $4.3 million in guaranteed compensation is the 12th most in the league, while his base salary is just over $2.83. As for other Orlando newcomers, Nico Lodeiro’s compensation is $800,000 and David Brekalo’s is $683,000.

Lionel Messi predictably tops the list of all players with $20.4 million guaranteed for playing with Inter Miami. To put that number into perspective, it’s more than the compensation of every team in the league except his own team (Miami), Toronto FC, Nashville SC, and the Chicago Fire. Orlando City is 22nd in the league in compensation, clocking in at $15.07 million.

Duncan McGuire Weighs In on Moving to Blackburn

Orlando City forward Duncan McGuire had a hurricane of an off-season due to a transfer saga that nearly saw him join Blackburn Rovers in England. An administration error by Blackburn prevented the move from going through, and McGuire ultimately returned to Orlando. In the time since, there have been reports that Orlando offered him a new contract and that Blackburn still wants him to join in the summer. McGuire spoke about whether he is still interested in a move to Blackburn after the difficult experience.

“It’s tough to say,” McGuire told GOAL.”That was a pretty bad mistake, a pretty bad mistake by them. I’d be open to maybe having a conversation but it would have to be a lot to get me to go back there. On the plane ride back, I just felt like my tail was between my legs. I asked my agent how often this happens and he was like ‘This doesn’t happen’.

“I didn’t burn bridges with my teammates or have it be like ‘Oh you wanted to leave and now you’re back’. When I got back, it was like I never left.”

Orlando Pride Prepare for the Seattle Reign

The Orlando Pride will take their six-game win streak on the road for a match against the Seattle Reign Sunday night. The Reign are coming off of a 4-0 loss to the Portland Thorns in their sixth defeat of the season, but Pride Head Coach Seb Hines discussed how the Reign played better in that match than the score suggests. The Pride have also never won in Washington, and the turf and atmosphere of Lumen Field could give Orlando some trouble after a long trip. Injuries, particularly to the midfield, have made things difficult for the Pride, but midfielder Morgan Gautrat detailed how the team’s chemistry has helped them get results despite the adversity.

Nashville SC Fires Gary Smith

Nashville SC has parted ways with Gary Smith, who had been the club’s only head coach while in MLS. Smith joined Nashville back in 2018, coaching the team for two seasons in the USL Championship before. With a defensive style, Smith led the team to MLS playoff appearances in all four years but couldn’t put together a deep run. Nashville is currently 10th in the Eastern Conference and Rumba Munthali will serve as the club’s interim head coach while the club searches for a new permanent coach.

Charlotte FC Transfers Enzo Copetti Out

Another Designated Player is leaving Charlotte FC, as the club transferred Enzo Copetti to Rosario Central in Argentina’s top flight. The forward recorded eight goals and three assists across all competitions while with Charlotte, and has played less than 500 minutes this season. Copetti is the latest Designated Player transferred out since Dean Smith took over as Charlotte’s head coach, with Kamil Jozwiak sent to Granada and Karol Swiderski loaned to Hellas Verona. Despite the turnover, Charlotte sits fifth in the Eastern Conference and could make some noise this season if it brings in the right players in the summer transfer window.

Free Kicks

  • Former Lion Miguel Gallardo spoke with the folks over at The Blazing Musket about the New England Revolution and the art of goalkeeping.
  • Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Derek Sanderson, who played for many teams across many leagues back in the 1980s, including the American Soccer League’s Orlando Lions.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!

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