How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope the work week has been easy on you as we head into this Halloween weekend. I don’t have any plans beyond working and watching some soccer, but it should still be a nice time. I’m definitely looking forward to cooler temperatures over the next few weeks, but for now enjoy these links from around the soccer world.
Orlando Pride Play Season Finale Tonight
The Orlando Pride will play their final game of the 2021 season as they host the Chicago Red Stars tonight at 7 p.m. The Pride are out of playoff contention and are entering the match on a four-game losing streak. The game will also be interim head coach Becky Burleigh’s final game with the Pride after leading the team following Marc Skinner’s departure in July. Tonight’s match will be the third meeting between the two sides this year and the first at Exploria Stadium. The Red Stars will clinch a spot in the playoffs with a result against the Pride tonight while the Pride don’t have much to play for beyond ending the season on a high note.
Orlando City Prepares to Host Nashville SC
The Lions will welcome Nashville to Exploria Stadium this Sunday in a pivotal match-up between Eastern Conference opponents. Both teams are coming off of trips to Ohio as Nashville clinched its spot in the postseason by coming back to win 6-3 on the road against FC Cincinnati, while Orlando fell 3-2 against the Columbus Crew. The Lions’ loss puts much more pressure on their shoulders ahead of this Halloween meeting as they look to secure a spot in the playoffs. With only two points to show from their past three matches, the Lions will need a strong showing against one of the best teams in the league. It will be Chris Mueller’s final regular-season game at Exploria Stadium and may also be the last time fans see some players in person before the off-season.
MLS Announces End of Year Award Nominees
Voting for the 2021 MLS End of the Year Awards will begin today at noon as the league announced the nominees for this season. Orlando’s Nani and Mauricio Pereyra were both nominated for MLS MVP while Antonio Carlos and Robin Jansson were nominated for Defender of the Year. Silvester van der Water, Pedro Gallese, Ruan, Daryl Dike, Andres Perea, and Oscar Pareja were also nominated across the various categories. Carlos is likely Orlando’s best candidate to win an award thanks to a strong year that gives him a case for Defender of the Year. The list of finalists will be announced by MLS before the playoffs begin.
Keeping Up With the USMNT
The United States Men’s National Team will play in an empty stadium when it travels to play Jamaica on Nov. 16 for a World Cup qualifier. The decision for the match to be played behind closed doors was made due to local government restrictions. It’s a slight boost for the USMNT’s qualifying campaign, but the biggest match of the upcoming window will be at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati as the U.S. hosts Mexico on Nov. 12.
Christian Pulisic may be available for the USMNT for those matches as he returned to full training with Chelsea. The midfielder hasn’t played since picking up an ankle injury on Sept. 8 in Honduras. Other Americans did well playing for their clubs this week, with Weston McKennie and Cameron Carter-Vickers scoring while Brenden Aaronson had an assist. Forward Christian Ramirez has also quietly scored in each of Aberdeen’s past three games in the Scottish Premiership. This weekend will feature plenty of Americans playing abroad and Lille forward Timothy Weah can make a splash in a game against Paris Saint-Germain today at 3 p.m.
- The Crew’s Lucas Zelarayan’s strike from distance against Orlando was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week, but it faces stiff competition from Portland forward Dairon Asprilla’s long-range bicycle kick. Both are certainly candidates for the best goal of the year, so it will be interesting to see which comes out on top.
⚡️ Sensational Stunners ⚡️
Vote now for #ATTGotW ⬇️
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 28, 2021
- The USL Championship final on Nov. 28 will air live on ESPN this year. If looking for a team to root for during the USL postseason, Orlando’s David Loera has started the past three games for Phoenix Rising FC.
- Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley will no longer lead efforts to bring MLS to the city, although he may still be a minority owner if a team does head to Nevada.
- FC Barcelona will have talks with club legend Xavi Hernandez in regards to the coaching vacancy following Ronald Koeman’s firing.
- The 2023 Women’s World Cup logo was revealed and I’m a fan of it. With the bright colors and confetti, it certainly makes the event feel festive.
ICYMI. Today we launched the new #FIFAWWC 2023 brand identity.
And Beyond Greatness™ – a new tournament slogan to unite & inspire people through the power of the tournament and women's football.
🇦🇺🇳🇿 feels just a little bit closer today. 🥳 pic.twitter.com/E3xcjpPKF6
— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) October 28, 2021
That’s going to be all for today. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend. This may be the last time Orlando teams play in the City Beautiful until 2022, which is pretty sad to think about. But it’s also a great opportunity to make the most out of these home games. Have fun and go Orlando!
Lion Links: 2/28/24
Orlando City moves on in Champions Cup, Orlando Pride unveil new kits, USMNT to play Brazil in Orlando, and more.
Hello, Mane Landers. I hope you all enjoyed watching Orlando City’s win Tuesday night in the Concacaf Champions Cup. I’ve been staying busy at Under Armour, while wrapping up covering high school basketball playoff action with the state championship this weekend. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.
Orlando City Defeats Cavalry FC in Concacaf Champions Cup
The Lions took care of business on Tuesday, defeating Cavalry FC 3-1 at Inter&Co Stadium to advance 6-1 on aggregate and reach the round of 16 in the Concacaf Champions Cup. Forward Luis Muriel got his first start as a Lion, and there was plenty of rotation from the lineup Head Coach Oscar Pareja used against CF Montreal this past weekend. It was Orlando’s first home win in the continental tournament and the Lions will face Tigres in the next round in a rematch of their series in last year’s Concacaf Champions League. The first match will be in Orlando on Tuesday, with the second leg taking place in Mexico on March 12.
Orlando Pride Unveil New Phoenix and Citrus Kits
The Orlando Pride unveiled two new kits on Tuesday as part of the NWSL’s league-wide kit reset ahead of the upcoming season. The first kit is called the Phoenix kit, which features the Pride’s two recognizable colors, purple and blue. The Phoenix kit also features a two-toned purple gradient that goes from the top right to bottom left on the jersey.
The secondary Citrus Kit is an all new color scheme that pays tribute to Florida’s citrus industry. The Citrus Kit features a new orange and iced-out green color scheme with oranges and leaves, while the letters and numbers have the same green coloring. The socks have “Pride” handwritten on the back, while a stylized “OP” is on the lower end of the jersey.
Both kits will be unveiled during the kit party at the Orlando Regional History Center later today. Fans can purchase replicas of the two new jerseys at ShopOrlandoPride.com, in the Den at Inter&Co Stadium, and on NWSLShop.com.
Philadelphia Union Advance Past Deportivo Saprissa
The Philadelphia Union survived a wild match against Deportivo Saprissa at Subaru Park, securing a 3-3 draw to advance to the next round on aggregate. There were four goals in the first 30 minutes of the match, and Mariano Torres gave Saprissa a needed third goal in the second half to send the game to extra time. Despite playing a man down after defender Jack Elliot was sent off, the Union’s Mikael Uhre scored in extra time and the defense held on to advance. There is more Concacaf Champions League action tonight, as FC Cincinnati takes on Cavalier SC, already up 2-0 on aggregate, while Nashville SC faces Moca FC with a 3-0 aggregate lead. The New England Revolution will host Independiente tomorrow.
USMNT to Play Brazil at Camping World Stadium
The United States Men’s National Team will play Brazil in the second edition of the Continental Clasico on June 12 at Camping World Stadium. Both teams will use this match to test themselves in preparation for the Copa America this summer. This will be the first meeting between these two sides since 2018, when the USMNT lost 2-0 to Brazil in a friendly at MetLife Stadium. In the first edition of the Continental Clasico last April, the USMNT played Mexico in a thrilling 1-1 draw. The USMNT has only beaten Brazil once in 19 matches, but its record in Orlando has been stellar, with a 7-2-0 record in recent years. The 2024 Copa America will kick off on June 20.
- The latest MLS power rankings have been released after opening week. Orlando City dropped three places to eighth after a scoreless draw against CF Montreal this past weekend.
- The Orlando Pride’s Rafaelle started and scored a goal in Brazil’s win against Panama in the Concacaf W Gold Cup. Pride forward Adriana came off the bench for Brazil as well.
- USMNT captain Tyler Adams is back at training with AFC Bournemouth. Adams has been sidelined since last September with a hamstring injury.
- Seattle Sounders legend Ozzie Alonso is returning to the club to sign a one-day contract to announce his retirement from professional soccer.
- Mallorca defeated Real Sociedad 5-4 on penalties to advance to the Copa del Rey final for the first time in 21 years.
- Former Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson has been hired as Sweden’s next manager and will be the first foreign-born coach to lead the men’s side.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.
Lion Links: 2/27/24
Dagur Dan Thorhallsson named to Team of the Matchday, Orlando City hosts Cavalry FC tonight, USWNT loses to Mexico, and more.
Happy Tuesday, everyone. Orlando City might not have gotten the result we were hoping for to start MLS play, but it’s a long season and it isn’t easy to play on two fronts when coming back from a long layoff. The Lions will get a chance to get back to winning ways tonight when they face Cavalry FC in Concacaf Champions Cup play. As usual, we have a lot to talk about, so let’s get after it.
Dagur Dan Named to MLS Team of the Matchday
Dagur Dan Thorhallsson has been recognized for his efforts in Orlando City’s opening game against CF Montreal with a place in the MLS Team of the Matchday. He got the start at right back and came on strong in the second half, completing three key passes and 88% of his passes on the night. He also completed a cross, a long ball, and took a team-high four shots, although he only put one on target. Sean Rollins gave him a grade of 6 out of 10 on the night, making him one of the highest-rated Lions not named Pedro Gallese.
Orlando City Chases History
Orlando City already made history last week when the team earned its first ever Concacaf Champions Cup victory with a 3-0 win over Cavalry FC. Tonight, the Lions are looking to make a little more history by earning the club’s first home victory in the competition, as well as advancing to the next round for the first time. OCSC put itself in a good position to do exactly that, as a win, draw, or a loss by two goals or fewer will be enough to see the good guys through to the next round. Orlando defender Kyle Smith shared his thoughts on tonight’s match.
The Calgary Herald provided an interesting look at tonight’s game from the view of the visitors as well. After falling at Starlight Stadium, the Canadian club heads to a tough environment in Orlando as the underdog.
USWNT Falls to Mexico
The United States Women’s National Team lost its final game of the Concacaf W Gold Cup group stage, falling 2-0 to Mexico. Lizbeth Ovalle gave Mexico the lead in the first half and Mayra Pelayo put the nail in the coffin with another goal in stoppage time. It was the USWNT’s first time losing at home against a Concacaf team in 23 years, and first time being beaten by Mexico since 2010. It was a rough game for the USWNT, as it struggled on both sides of the ball. As a result of this loss, the U.S. finish second in its group and will play in the quarterfinals this weekend.
Americans in Midweek Action
There are a number of United States Men’s National Team players taking part in games during the working week, so make sure you don’t miss any of the action. Tomorrow sees Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessmann, and Venezia host Cittadella in Serie B action, while Giovanni Reyna, Matt Turner, and Nottingham Forest host Manchester United in the FA Cup. Things finish up on Friday, with Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah, and AC Milan facing Lazio in Serie A, and Folarin Balogun and Monaco facing off against Paris Saint-Germain.
- Forward Luis Muriel is available for selection tonight and could make his Orlando City debut.
- Orlando City placed sixth in ESPN‘s first power rankings of the season.
- Orlando Pride forward Mariana Larroquette started and had an assist in Argentina’s 3-0 win over the Dominican Republic.
- Minnesota United has officially named Eric Ramsay as the team’s new head coach.
- Everton had its points deduction reduced from 10 to six, which moves the Toffees five points clear of the relegation zone into 15th place.
That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!
Lion Links: 2/26/24
Orlando City draws Montreal, USWNT to play Mexico, USMNT news, and more.
Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers. I know that we’re all a little disappointed with the draw in the home opener, but a point is a point, and we go again tomorrow night. It hasn’t taken long for the matches to come fast and furious with Orlando City and the USWNT playing this week. I could not be happier.
We also want to wish a happy birthday to the Orlando Pride’s Morgan Gautrat and OCB’s Dominic Pereira from all of us at The Mane Land.
Orlando City Draws Montreal
It wasn’t the best match Orlando City ever played, but it also wasn’t the worst. The Lions couldn’t find the last bit of quality to get the winning goal despite having most of the possession and plenty of shots. VAR also played a part, though both offside calls were correct, if unfortunate. Pedro Gallese kept the Lions in the match to earn the first point of the season. Check out our match recap.
Lions React to the Result
David Brekalo made his first start for Orlando City and while he acquitted himself well, given his limited time with the team, he is still confident that things will get better with time. He was also impressed with the level of play in MLS and with the Orlando City facilities. Oscar Pareja was disappointed with the result but was understanding of some of the reasons for it. Now, Orlando City gets ready for the two matches this week.
USWNT vs. Mexico
The USWNT takes on Mexico at 10:15 p.m. tonight in the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The U.S. is already through to the knockout stages of the Gold Cup but is trying to win Group A with a victory over Mexico. Former Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan is with the team and has scored in the competition. The U.S. has a 16-match winning streak over Mexico and will be looking to extend that to 17.
The USMNT and Juventus were both dealt a blow when Weston McKennie dislocated his shoulder in the 3-2 win over Frosinone on Sunday. Prior to the injury, McKennie contributed two assists, allowing Juventus to stay in second place in Serie A. Now we wait to hear how long McKennie will be out. Check out his assists.
American Striker Folarin Balogun scored a high difficulty goal in Monaco’s 3-2 victory over Lens in Ligue 1. Of course, he also missed a penalty kick later in the same match. Fortunately, Takumi Minamino scored a stoppage-time goal to secure the victory. Take a look at the nice goal.
- Liverpool defeated Chelsea 1-0 to win the Carabao Cup on an extra time header by captain Virgil van Dijk. It was the 10th trophy won with Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager. Liverpool was missing 11 top players to start the game and lost Ryan Gravenberch during the match.
- Olivia Moultrie and Jaeden Shaw are making an impact with the USWNT despite being two of the younger players on the team. The impact came in the form of goals for each Moultrie and Shaw.
- Naomi Girma has impressed for the USWNT in her time so far, but she wants to do more as a part of the newer generation of stars.
- Brazil defeated Italy 6-4 in the Beach Soccer World Cup on Sunday. The competition took place in Dubai.
That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the match tomorrow night against Cavalry and the trip to Ft. Lauderdale to take on the hated Herons. Vamos Orlando!
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Lion Links: 2/28/24
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