How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s hard to believe there are only a few days left of this year. I’m already getting sick of people telling me they won’t see me until next year, though. As stressful as this year has been for me at times, I also did a pretty great job at my resolutions from last year and plan on making more for 2023. But for now, let’s just enjoy these links from around the soccer world.
Orlando City Reportedly Interested in Mateo Barcia
According to TyC Sports reporter Cesar Luis Merlo, Orlando City made an offer for Uruguayan midfielder Mateo Barcia. The 21-year-old currently plays for Renistas, which was relegated to Uruguay’s second division after this past season.
🚨Orlando City hizo una oferta formal por el mediocampista uruguayo Mateo Barcia (21 años).
*️⃣Propone comprar el 100% del pase, perteneciente a Rentistas, que debe dar una respuesta.
*️⃣También lo quiso Independiente antes de que caiga la prohibición de fichajes.
— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) December 28, 2022
Orlando could use the depth at midfield after the departures of Junior Urso, Andres Perea, and Joey DeZart this off-season. While Barcia may not be a superstar, his name is one to keep an eye out for this off-season. Considering the success of Mauricio Pereyra and Cesar Araujo, Orlando has a pretty decent track record with Uruguayan midfielders.
Tesho Akindele Discusses Past, Present, and Future
Former Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele may be retired, but he is still hard at work. Akindele spoke about how he did not plan to play soccer for as long as he did and why he retired when he did. Rather than coaching or moving to the broadcast booth, the 30-year-old is aiming to make a difference in urban planning. Akindele’s platform as an athlete helped bring attention to issues in housing, transportation, and infrastructure that are rampant throughout the United States. He is moving to Charlotte to work with ATCO Properties & Management on a project to transform a 75-acre warehouse district into housing.
“They’re basically turning it into an ideal neighborhood and I want to be a part of that project, and things related to that,” he said of Camp North End. “Basically, I want to walk the walk. I think I’ve been talking the talk a little bit for a year – and of course, I was playing soccer, there’s nothing I could have done, really, too much back then. But I want to also walk the walk and build those buildings.”
Premier League Fan Fest Coming to Orlando
Registration is open for the Premier League Fan Fest that will take place in Orlando at Universal Resort on Jan. 21 and 22. Rebecca Lowe, Tim Howard, and the rest of the Premier League Mornings Live team will all be in Orlando for an exciting slate of English Premier League action. The first game of that weekend is a 7:30 a.m. clash on Saturday between Chelsea and Liverpool. That Sunday then finishes up with a match between Manchester United and Arsenal at 11:30 a.m. It should be a fun way to enjoy some soccer while we await the return of MLS and the NWSL.
Looking Ahead to the NWSL Draft
The NWSL Draft is set to take place on Jan. 12 and the Orlando Pride have the second and third overall picks. Registration is still open for players to make themselves eligible for the draft and it will be interesting to see which players decide to make the jump. Stanford midfielder Sierra Enge and TCU forward Messiah Bright have both played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team and will be up for selection come draft day. Duke sophomore Michelle Cooper is another player who could make an impact in the NWSL should she register this year. However, don’t expect to see UCLA midfielder Maricarmen Reyes in the NWSL next season as she decided to follow in Mia Fishel’s footsteps and signed with Tigres in Mexico. The Pride drafted Fishel with the fifth overall pick last year. Hopefully this draft goes a bit better.
- The Seattle Sounders are reportedly close to trading for New York City FC forward Heber. Should he leave NYCFC, Heber would join Maxi Moralez and Valentin Castellanos as key players who have departed the club this year.
Sources: The Seattle Sounders are closing in on a deal to acquire forward Heber in a trade with NYCFC.
Heber, 31, has 24g/6a in 3,564 MLS minutes. He won MLS Cup 2021 with NYCFC. Excelled with HNK Rijeka in Croatia before joining NYCFC in 2019. pic.twitter.com/8TTI8MgwtI
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) December 29, 2022
- Enjoy this breakdown of some MLS players who could leave the league this off-season as European clubs eye winter moves. Thiago Almada, Brenner, and former Lion Kamal Miller are a few of the notable names.
- American midfielder Malik Tillman continues to impress in Scotland. The 20-year-old scored his fourth goal of the season in Rangers FC’s 3-0 win over Motherwell.
- Erling Haaland’s breakneck scoring pace continued as he found the back of the net twice in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Leeds United.
- Neymar was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the span of two minutes in Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-1 win over Strasbourg. The Brazilian forward was carded for catching a Strasbourg player in the face and then handed another for simulation soon after.
😱 NEYMAR JR received two yellow cards in less than 2 minutes and was sent off! 🟥🚨
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) December 28, 2022
- Here’s what to watch for as La Liga returns this week, along with storylines for the rest of the season.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week!
Lion Links: 2/29/24
Lions reportedly won’t play in U.S. Open Cup, Cavalry FC reflects on its defeat, gauging the USWNT’s panic meter, and more.
Happy Leap Day, Mane Landers! It’s the rarest day of the year, as we all lean into our procrastination a bit and collectively tell March that we’ll get to it tomorrow. It’s been a pretty busy week for me, but knowing the MLS season is in full swing has helped fuel me a bit. Let’s dive into today’s links!
Orlando City Reportedly Won’t Play in 2024 U.S. Open Cup
The latest reports involving Major League Soccer’s participation in this year’s U.S. Open Cup indicate that Orlando City, along with a majority of MLS teams, won’t be playing their first teams in the tournament. According to ESPN‘s Jeff Carlisle, the Houston Dynamo and the seven best teams from last season that aren’t taking part in the Concacaf Champions Cup will have their first teams take part. The format will reportedly be announced soon and we’ll see if Orlando City B and other MLS NEXT Pro teams will be in the tournament.
It will be pretty disappointing if Orlando’s first team doesn’t end up playing. Even though the Lions suffered an early exit last year, they won in 2022 and Head Coach Oscar Pareja has a penchant for excelling in the U.S. Open Cup.
Cavalry FC Reflects on Loss to Orlando City
Although Cavalry FC lost in both legs against Orlando City in its first Concacaf Champions Cup campaign, the Canadian club can hold its head high. Cavalry Head Coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. spoke on the team’s tactics in the second leg in Orlando to overcome the hefty aggregate deficit.
“Strategically, we wanted to frustrate them in the first half with an extra defender, and often at times we were in a back five,” Wheeldon said. “And second half, we wanted to unleash with more attackers and have a go, because it was 0-0. We thought … one, we wanted to make history with our first goal, and two, we wanted to get a result here.”
That first goal did come with Myer Bevan making some history for his team to take back to Canada. All in all, Cavalry did pretty well as the underdog and it’s unfortunate it didn’t get a true home game in Calgary. Cavalry’s defense is the real deal and I doubt this is the last time it makes an appearance in the Champions Cup.
Assessing the Fallout From the USWNT’s Defeat
The United States Women’s National Team suffered a shocking defeat to Mexico earlier this week that’s brought on varying levels of panic. The clock is ticking before the Olympics and the USWNT struggled to bounce back after trailing in the first half and had difficulties on both sides of the ball. While the issues at center back will likely be solved once Naomi Girma and Tierna Davidson play, the midfield has plenty of question marks and a weird balance of youth and experience. It’s an awkward stage for the USWNT, as Emma Hayes doesn’t arrive until May and won’t have much time to get the team ready for Paris. Of course, the USWNT could still win this tournament and the return of Mallory Swanson may heal most wounds this summer, leaving this loss as just a minor blemish when the year is up. Only time will tell and the USWNT has plenty of opportunity to right the ship.
FA Cup Quarterfinals Are Set
It was a pretty wild day in the FA Cup, with some of England’s top teams fighting their way into the quarterfinals. Chelsea needed a late winner from Conor Gallagher to beat Leeds United 3-2 at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United’s match against Nottingham Forest also had a dramatic finish, as United’s Casemiro scored the game’s only goal in the 89th minute. Wolverhampton ousted Brighton thanks to an early goal, and Liverpool got the job done against Southampton.
In the quarterfinals, Newcastle will travel to take on Manchester City, Wolverhampton will host the second division’s Conventry City, Chelsea will take on Leicester City, and Manchester United will face off against Liverpool. All four matches will take place on March 16.
- After getting married, Orlando Pride defender Emily Madril will have a new name on the back of her jersey this season.
- Former Pride midfielder Becky Edwards is an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee and shared details about her time as both a player and coach with the U.S. U-20 team.
- Enjoy this captured moment of Orlando midfielder Wilder Cartagena being awesome.
- LAFC forward Mateusz Bogusz’s strike against the Seattle Sounders won the first MLS Goal of the Matchday of the season, claiming 35.4% of the vote.
- FC Cincinnati beat Cavalier 4-0 in the Champions Cup to advance to the round of 16, where it will take on Brandon Vazquez and Monterrey.
- Spain beat France 2-0 to win the inaugural Women’s Nations League final, with Aitana Bonmati and Mariona Caldentey both scoring.
- American midfielder Johnny Cardoso was named La Liga’s U-23 Player of the Month after a strong February with Real Betis.
- After missing the past weekend, American forward Folarin Balogun will no longer be taking penalty kicks for AS Monaco.
- Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly the frontrunners to land striker Victor Osimhen, who just had a hat trick in Napoli’s 6-1 win over Sassuolo.
- Former Manchester United defender John O’Shea will serve as Ireland’s interim head coach for a pair of friendlies in March.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a pretty great Leap Day and that the rest of the week goes smoothly.
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!
Orlando City at Inter Miami: Three Keys to Victory
Lion Links: 2/29/24
SkoPurp Soccer Episode 33: Megan Montefusco’s Injury, New Kits, the Player We’re Most Excited to See, and More
Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Five Takeaways
Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Player Grades and Man of the Match
Orlando Pride Unveil New Kits Ahead of 2024 NWSL Season
Orlando City4 days ago
Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Five Takeaways
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City Officially Announces Luis Muriel Signing
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City vs. Cavalry FC, Concacaf Champions Cup: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More
Orlando City2 weeks ago
Orlando City Unveils New Legacy Kit Ahead of 2024 MLS Season
Lion Links1 week ago
Lion Links: 2/19/24
Orlando City5 days ago
Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More
Orlando City1 week ago
Orlando City vs. Cavalry FC, Concacaf Champions Cup: Final Score 3-0 as Torres Brace Leads Lions to Road Win
Opinion1 week ago
Orlando City’s 10th Anniversary is the Time to Remember the Club’s Originals