How’s it going, Mane Landers. I hope this Friday finds you well as we get ready for a weekend filled with soccer. The MLS Cup final is set for tomorrow afternoon and there will be plenty of European soccer to enjoy as well. Let’s dive right into today’s links!
Orlando City Linked With Argentine Midfielder
According to TyC Sports reporter Cesar Luis Merlo, Orlando is interested in Argentine midfielder Martin Ojeda. The 24-year-old contributed 13 goals and 14 assists in 45 games across all competitions this year for Godoy Cruz, which plays in Argentina’s top flight. Merlo has reported on moves involving Orlando City and Argentine players before, including the signings of Gaston Gonzalez and Emmanuel Mas.
🚨 #OrlandoCity está en negociaciones por Martín Ojeda, mediocampista de Godoy Cruz que convirtió 13 goles en 45 partidos en esta temporada.
*️⃣La mitad del pase es del Tomba y la otra, de Racing. pic.twitter.com/l0WeFyT76b
— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) November 3, 2022
With experience playing out wide and as a central attacker, Ojeda would hopefully give Orlando a boost on offense should he come to the City Beautiful. This report also comes at an interesting time as rumors regarding European teams interested in Facundo Torres continue to swirl.
Seb Hines Wants to Bring Success to the Orlando Pride
After Amanda Cromwell was placed on administrative leave in June, Seb Hines served as the Orlando Pride’s interim coach for the remainder of their season. In an interview with The Equalizer ($), Hines discussed his hopes to stay with the Pride. Although Orlando missed out on the playoffs, Hines guided the team through a seven-game unbeaten run during part of his time at the helm. Pride players Erika Tymrak, Meggie Dougherty Howard, and Haley Hanson praised the job Hines did as the interim coach, and Pride General Manager Ian Fleming also spoke about how Hines helped the team grow both on and off the field. Hines has been in Orlando for quite some time, joining Orlando City on loan in 2015. After retiring in 2017, he became a youth coach with the club and joined the Pride as an assistant coach in 2020. The Pride are currently undergoing a rebuild and only time will tell if Hines will be the team’s head coach next season
Exploring Orlando’s Potential Champions League Opponents
The draw for the Concacaf Champions League takes place on Monday at 7 p.m. as the 16 teams will learn their path to glory in the tournament. After winning the U.S. Open Cup this year, Orlando City will play in the Champions League for the first time. Orlando is one of five MLS teams that will be in the tournament, the others being the Philadelphia Union, LAFC, Austin FC, and the Vancouver Whitecaps. All five of those teams are in Pot 1 and can’t be drawn with each other or Liga MX’s Atlas, Club Leon, or Pachuca. That leaves Tigres and seven clubs from Central America as potential opponents for Orlando in the Round of 16. Honduras has three representatives as Olimpia, Real Espana, and Motagua all qualified. It will be interesting to see what Orlando’s road to the final will look like.
Big Games Await as Europa League Group Stage Ends
Arsenal beat FC Zurich 1-0 at home to secure the top spot in its group as the Europa League’s group stage finished up. American goalkeeper Matt Turner didn’t play for Arsenal in the match and Kieran Tierney scored a nice goal to give Arsenal the win. Manchester United beat Real Sociedad 1-0, but it wasn’t enough to win the group over the Spanish club. AS Roma avoided disaster by coming back in the second half to win 3-1 over Ludogorets. Union Berlin and Monaco also won their matches to reach the next round, although Serie A’s Lazio was eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Feyenoord. United, Roma, Berlin, and Monaco could face the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, or Sevilla in the next round. The draw takes place Monday at 7 p.m. and there are sure to be some good match-ups.
- According to Fabrizio Romano, American striker Ricardo Pepi will reportedly leave Augsburg next summer.
Ricardo Pepi will leave Augsburg in the summer. He’s performing well in Eredivisie — and many clubs are now watching him, he will change again in June. 🚨🇺🇸 #transfers
Pepi’s expected to be one of the youngest talents to be in the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/2LtA8iaQAD
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 3, 2022
- Enjoy this trailer for an upcoming docuseries that will dive into the intense soccer rivalry between Mexico and the U.S.
- World Cup organizers are providing free travel and tickets to select fans, but only if they sign a contract that includes reporting social media posts that criticize Qatar.
- Fans attending the MLS Cup final in Los Angeles tomorrow will have a hard time finding parking due to a college football game nearby later that night. However, arrangements are being made for fans to park at Dodger Stadium and then shuttle to the game.
- Barcelona’s Gerard Pique announced that he will retire after the club’s match tomorrow against Almeria at Camp Nou.
- Germany’s Timo Werner is the latest player who will miss out on the World Cup. The forward suffered an ankle injury in RB Leipzig’s Champions League match earlier this week.
- English left back Ben Chilwell could also be out for the tournament as he may miss up to three months due to a hamstring injury.
- Environmental activists have filed complaints over FIFA’s claims that the World Cup will be carbon-neutral.
That’s all I have for you today. Have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend.
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!
Lion Links: 9/22/23
Orlando City prepares for Inter Miami, MLS NEXT Pro Decision Day is Sunday, USWNT wins against South Africa, and much more.
Happy Friday! It’s been a pretty busy week of apartment hunting and work for me, so I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation this weekend. I don’t have many plans, but I did make sure to carve out a few hours to make a drink and get some reading done. My book club is fairly low maintenance, but I’ll be behind if I don’t finish Fourth Wing before the second book in the series comes out in November. Let’s get into today’s links!
Orlando City Takes On Inter Miami This Weekend
Following a 2-0 loss on the road to New York City FC earlier this week, Orlando City will aim to bounce back when it hosts rival Inter Miami this Sunday. Orlando has a chance to set club records for the most wins and points in a season since it joined MLS in 2015. It will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season, with Orlando beating Miami 3-1 in May before falling 3-1 in the Leagues Cup’s knockout stage. Although Miami will be without Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba according to Head Coach Tata Martino, the Herons still have plenty of attacking talent in the form of Sergio Busquets, Leonardo Campana, and Josef Martinez.
Orlando City B Readies for MLS NEXT Pro Decision Day
Sunday will also be the final day of the MLS NEXT Pro regular season, with nearly every team in action. Here’s everything you need to know about Decision Day across the league, with playoff spots still up for grabs. Orlando City B has already clinched its spot in the postseason, but can secure fifth in the Eastern Conference when it takes on FC Cincinnati 2. However, the difference between fifth and a lower seed won’t matter too much due to a new rule this year where the second and third seed in each conference choose which lower seed it wants to host in the playoffs. The Golden Boot race is competitive as well, with OCB’s Jack Lynn tied at the top with New York City FC II’s Matt Myers. We’ll see if Lynn takes part in Sunday’s match after giving the first team needed depth last weekend.
USWNT Beats South Africa in Julie Ertz’s Finale
The United States Women’s National Team won 3-0 against South Africa in the first of two friendlies this month. All three of the USWNT’s goals came in the first half, with Lynn Williams bagging a brace. In her final USWNT game, Julie Ertz started and earned plenty of applause from the crowd at TQL Stadium when she was subbed off in the 36h minute. M.A. Vignola made her USWNT debut in the match as well, coming on at halftime. The two nations will play again on Sunday in what will be forward Megan Rapinoe’s last game with the USWNT.
Europa League Group Stage Kicks Off
The first round of Europa League group stage matches is over, with all 32 teams getting things started across Europe. Brighton & Hove Albion’s first Europa League match was a rough one, as the English club fell 3-2 at home against AEK Athens. The Spanish clubs also struggled, with Villarreal getting shut out 2-0 by Panathinaikos and Real Betis losing 1-0 to Rangers. Elsewhere, AS Roma beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-1 thanks to a winner from Romelu Lukaku, Liverpool won 3-1 over Austrian club LASK after trailing early on, and Marseille drew 3-3 with Ajax in a thriller. West Ham, Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen, and SC Freiburg also won their group openers.
- Enjoy the sights and sounds from the Orlando City Foundation’s annual celebrity golf and footgolf tournament.
- Borussia Dortmund reportedly has no interest in signing Jadon Sancho from Manchester United. The 23-year-old spent four years with the German club before making the move to United in 2021.
- American defender Mark McKenzie scored a late equalizer in Genk’s 2-2 draw with Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League.
- Xavi Hernandez has reportedly signed a one-year contract extension with Barcelona.
- Here’s an interesting look into the shortage of referees in Europe and how abuse at the youth levels may be to blame.
That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and rest of your weekend!
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Five Takeaways
Lion Links: 9/25/23
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Final Score 1-1 as McGuire’s Goal Lifts Lions to Home Point
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More
Orlando City B vs. FC Cincinnati 2: Final Score 2-1 as OCB Clinches Fifth in Eastern Conference with Home Win
Orlando City at New York City FC: Five Takeaways
Orlando City1 day ago
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Five Takeaways
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Final Score 4-3 as Lions’ Comeback Extends Unbeaten Run to Six
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew SC: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Three Keys to Victory
Orlando City5 days ago
Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More
Orlando City6 days ago
Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Intelligence Report