Good day, Mane Landers! It’s time for things to ramp up with not only Orlando City playing this weekend, but both the Orlando Pride and OCB starting their seasons as well. It’s a great time of the year, and I love the opportunity that is still ahead of every club at this point of the season. Let’s get to the links!
Lions at Union Storylines
Orlando City travels to the City of Brotherly Love tomorrow to take on the Philadelphia Union. Both clubs will be without several players including starting keepers Andre Blake and Pedro Gallese. Fortunately, the Lions still have Martin Ojeda and the surprisingly effective rookie Duncan McGuire. If those two are able to find the offense and if backup keeper Mason Stajduhar can maintain a clean sheet, then the Lions have a chance.
The Promise of the Pride
The fact that the Orlando Pride face an uphill challenge with a new coach, new players, and not much success in their history is not news. The fact that the club is undefeated in the preseason and getting some notice prior to the season is. Messiah Bright — a recent guest on The Mane Land PawedCast — is a dark horse candidate for Rookie of the Year. Of course, Bright is not the only dark horse candidate. Seb Hines is in the running for Coach of the Year, assuming he can get the Pride to play above their expectations. Bright also made another list of newcomer players to keep an eye on.
OCB’s Season Approaches
You may not follow Orlando City B, but you should, given that the future of the main squad may lie in the roster of OCB. The Young Lions kick off their season against Philadelphia Union II this Sunday. There are familiar faces like Javier Otero, and new faces like midfielder Juninho. We can also expect some senior team players to get some minutes with OCB. The young Lions will play on Sunday following the senior team’s match on Saturday.
Krieger Calls it a Day
Former Orlando Pride and USWNT defender Ali Krieger has announced her retirement from professional soccer. The retirement will be effective at the end of Gotham FC’s NWSL season. Krieger has had a long and distinguished career, spending four years with the Washington Spirit, five years with the Pride, and the last two with Gotham. She has 108 caps with the USWNT with one goal and nine assists. She was also a part of the 2011, 2015, and 2019 World Cup-winning squads. We at The Mane Land thank her for all she has done for the Pride, the USWNT, and women’s soccer.
- Orlando City’s U-15s and U-17s earned a clean sheet sweep of their Nashville FC counterparts. Well done, lads.
- What to watch for in the USMNT’s match against Grenada tonight in the Concacaf Nations League group stage. Grenada needs the win to keep their Gold Cup hopes alive, but the Yanks will look to knock them out of contention in this match.
- Harry Kane has broken Wayne Rooney’s scoring record for England in a 2-1 win over Italy in the EURO 2024 competition. It was also England’s first win in Italy since 1961.
- PSV may be interested in USMNT striker Ricardo Pepi who is currently on loan with FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie. It might have something to do with former USMNT sporting director Earnie Stewart joining PSV’s front office. Regardless, Pepi has earned the look.
- Former Pride player, Sydney Leroux, has a problem — and probably rightly so — regarding the rendering of women’s players in FIFA 2023. To be fair, some of them don’t have hair.
- USMNT goalkeeper, Zack Steffen has declared he does not want to return to Manchester City. He is currently on loan with Middlesbrough and has no plans to be a backup with City again. Good for him.
- Former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is now the new manager at FC Bayern.
🚨 Exclusive news confirmed: Thomas Tuchel becomes new FC Bayern head coach, full agreement in place. He has already accepted the job. #FCBayern
Contract agreed, documents are being prepared tonight. pic.twitter.com/HFnOSwoU1m
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 23, 2023
- Wrexham faces a challenge with keeper Rob Lainton ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury. In his stead, former England and previous AFC Wrexham goalkeeper Ben Foster has returned on a free transfer to help the club try to get out of the National League.
- Bojan Krkic has called it a day on his career. The former Barcelona prodigy has been without a club since January and decided he is done.
That is all I have for you today. Check back for our coverage of Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and OCB this weekend.