How’s it going, Mane Landers? Fall may not officially be here, but I’ve been enjoying the less oppressive heat and pumpkin spice. I recently finished the second season of The Afterparty on Apple TV+ and recommend it if you like mysteries with some humor. Every episode is told in a different genre or style, which makes for a fun watch. Now, let’s dive into today’s links from around the soccer world!
Orlando City Loses Appeal for Wilder Cartagena’s Red Card
Orlando City was reportedly unsuccessful in its appeal of Wilder Cartagena’s red card late in the Lions’ 1-0 road win over FC Cincinnati. It was Orlando’s first failed appeal, and each club is allowed two unsuccessful appeals during the season. As a result, the Peruvian midfielder will miss Orlando’s pivotal match with the Columbus Crew on Sept. 16. Cartagena was also fined an undisclosed amount for failing to leave the field in a timely fashion in the eyes of the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
Carly Nelson Nominated for NWSL Save of the Week
Orlando Pride goalkeeper Carly Nelson was up for NWSL Save of the Week for her stop against OL Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock. Nelson did well to jump and get enough on the dipping shot from distance to tip it safely over the crossbar. The 25-year-old was called into action early on in the Pride’s 1-0 loss to the Reign after Anna Moorhouse was shown a red card in the third minute. She finished third in the NWSL Save of the Week voting, with Angel City FC’s Angelina Anderson narrowly beating out Kansas City Current goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. Although Nelson didn’t win, it’s nice to see her earn some recognition for her performance off the bench in a tough environment.
Orlando City B Takes On New England Revolution II Tonight
OCB is on the road tonight for a match against New England Revolution II at 7 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. It’s a big match for the Young Lions, as a win would clinch them a spot in the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs for the first time. It will also be a tough challenge, as New England has already qualified for the playoffs and has not lost a game since June 18. OCB will likely need forward Jack Lynn to be on the top of his game. Lynn’s 17 goals this season are the most in the league alongside New York City FC II’s Matt Myers.
Houston Dash Part Ways With Sam Laity
Sam Laity is no longer the head coach of the Houston Dash, with the club parting ways with him amid an eight-game winless run in league play. The Dash are 10th in the standings and have only won four games this season, the fewest in the league. Laity joined the team in December of 2022 after years as an assistant coach with OL Reign, but struggled to find a consistent run of form in Houston. The Dash remain in playoff contention, with six points separating them from a playoff spot. An interim head coach has not yet been named for the remaining four games of the season.
Marko Mitrovic Named U.S. Men’s U-23 Head Coach
U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker has chosen Marko Mitrovic to coach the United States U-23 Men’s National Team. Mitrovic has been the head coach of the U-19 team since April of last year, and also served as an assistant for the first team’s interim head coaches this year. The U-23 team’s first training camp with Mitrovic at the helm will be next month, as it begins preparations for next year’s Olympics. Michael Nsien, who has coached the U-16 team since November, was named as the new coach for the U-19 team.
- The Lions moved up a spot to fifth in the latest MLS power rankings after beating FC Cincinnati on the road this past weekend.
- Here’s a nice breakdown of the CONMEBOL nations ahead of World Cup qualifying kicking off this week. Pedro Gallese, Cartagena, and the rest of Peru will take on Paraguay tonight, while Facundo Torres and Uruguay will play Chile tomorrow.
- Of the 30 women selected for shortlist for the 2023 Ballon d’Or, Sophia Smith is the only American. She and Debinha are also the only NWSL players on the list.
- Manchester United signed Japanese midfielder Hinata Miyazawa, who won the Golden Boot in the recent Women’s World Cup.
- The players in Liga F, Spain’s top flight for women’s soccer, are going on strike for the first two weeks of the new season after an agreement could not be reached with the league over a new minimum wage.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a great Thursday and rest of your week!
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!
Lion Links: 9/21/23
Orlando City clinches playoff berth despite loss, Eastern Conference standings remain close, USWNT plays South Africa tonight, and more.
How’s it going, Mane Landers? Last night’s result wasn’t the best outcome by any means, but losing on the road on short rest after a huge win isn’t the worst thing in the world. We’ll just have to shake that loss off and look forward to more soccer while we have it. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando City B midfielder Imanol Almaguer!
Orlando City Clinch Playoff Spot Despite Loss
The Lions weren’t able to put together a comeback in their 2-0 loss on the road to New York City FC. Playing at a narrow Citi Field, Orlando was not able to get much of anything going on offense and was shut out for the first time since July 8. The loss snapped Orlando’s six-game unbeaten streak in MLS play as well. Although the Lions are headed back to Florida emptyhanded, they did qualify for the playoffs due to other results in the league. Orlando will look to right the ship when it hosts Inter Miami this Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Eastern Conference Remains Tight After Midweek Matches
Orlando wasn’t the only Eastern Conference team to clinch its spot in the playoffs after the latest midweek matches, with the Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union both qualifying. Cucho Hernandez had a hat trick within the first 23 minutes of the Crew’s 3-0 win at home against the Chicago Fire. A penalty kick in stoppage time by Daniel Gazdag salvaged a point for the Union in a 2-2 draw with Charlotte FC. FC Cincinnati also needed a late equalizer from the penalty spot in its 1-1 draw with CF Montreal. As for how Orlando’s rivals fared, Atlanta United drew 1-1 with D.C. United and Miami beat Toronto FC, 4-0. Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba both exited in the first half and Miami Head Coach Tata Martino stated that neither will play against Orlando this weekend. Of course, that could just be misdirection. We’ll know for certain come Sunday.
USWNT Plays South Africa Tonight
The United States Women’s National Team will play its first match since the World Cup tonight when it faces South Africa tonight at 7:30 p.m. at TQL Stadium. Following Vlatko Andonovski’s departure last month, Twila Kilgore will coach the team for these friendlies. It will also be Julie Ertz’s final game after 10 years of playing for the USWNT. The 31-year-old announced her retirement last month and spoke more about her decision ahead of tonight’s match. After tonight, the USWNT will play South Africa again on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Champions League Group Stage Rolls On
More clubs got their first taste of this year’s Champions League action as the group stage kicked off this week. Arsenal’s campaign got off on the right foot, with a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven that put the English club at the top of its group after a 1-1 draw between Sevilla and Lens. Manchester United had a rougher time, falling 4-3 on the road to Bayern Munich. Goalkeeper Andre Onana struggled and blamed himself for the loss. Real Madrid needed a goal from Jude Bellingham in stoppage time to win 1-0 over Union Berlin at home, while Lautaro Martinez scored a late equalizer in Inter Milan’s 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad. Elsewhere, Napoli beat Braga 2-1, RB Leipzig won 2-0 against a Benfica side that was reduced to 10 men early on, and Galatasaray and Copenhagen split the points in a 2-2 result.
- A cheesesteak offered by Kappy’s Subs at Exploria Stadium is receiving some attention for being purple. I personally find the lack of cheese and tons of banana peppers weirder, although I’m sure it tastes pretty good.
- Most of the players on Spain’s women’s national team ended their boycott after an agreement was reached that will reportedly bring change to the federation.
- American defender Reggie Cannon will reportedly join Queens Park Rangers in the English Football League Championship.
- Tottenham midfielder Ivan Perisic will undergo surgery after suffering an ACL injury and will miss the remainder of the season.
- Marcelino has stepped down as Marseille’s head coach after less than three months at the helm. This decision comes in the midst of fans complaining about how the French club has been run.
- Here’s an interesting dive into which players have scored the most goals against a former club, with Robert Lewandowski at the top of the list for his crimes against Borussia Dortmund.
That’s all I have for you today. Be like a goldfish and enjoy your Thursday!
Lion Links: 9/20/23
Orlando City takes on New York City FC tonight, USWNT prepares for friendlies with South Africa, Boston awarded NWSL expansion team, and more.
Hello, Mane Landers. I hope you all are excited for another midweek matchup for Orlando City tonight. I’ve been busy covering high school football, golf, and soccer this week and will be back working at Wrigley Field this weekend. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.
Orlando City Takes On New York City FC Tonight
Orlando City will be on the road tonight at Citi Field as it takes on New York City FC for a midweek matchup. The Lions won in thrilling fashion this past weekend, edging out the Columbus Crew, 4-3. That win was the Lions’ second consecutive win and extended its unbeaten run at Exploria Stadium to 11 matches. The Lions are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 50 points, while NYCFC sits in 12th on 31 points. NYCFC comes into this match off a scoreless draw against the New York Red Bulls. The last time these two sides met was back on May 17 at Exploria Stadium in a 1-1 draw. We could also see former Lion Andres Perea suit up for NYCFC to face his former club tonight. After tonight, the Lions will play Inter Miami on Sunday at Exploria Stadium.
USWNT Prepares to Face South Africa in Friendlies
The United States Women’s National Team will be back in action tomorrow for the first of two friendlies with South Africa. It will be the USWNT’s first match since the 2023 Women’s World Cup. South Africa achieved its best finish at a World Cup in the recent tournament, making it out of the group stage before losing 2-0 to the Netherlands in the round of 16. The roster for South Africa features 19 of the 22 players that participated in the Women’s World Cup, including Racing Louisville’s Thembi Kgatlana. The last time South Africa played the U.S. was back in 2019, losing 3-0 to the USWNT. South Africa is preparing for the 2024 CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament’s second round next month.
NWSL Will Expand to Boston in 2026
The National Women’s Soccer League officially announced that it will expand in 2026, with Boston becoming the league’s 15th club. NWSL soccer returns to Boston for the first time in six years after its previous club, the Boston Breakers, folded prior to the 2018 season. The club’s ownership group is Boston Unity Soccer Partners, with the core being all women with local ties, including Jennifer Epstein who owns a minority stake in the Boston Celtics. The expansion fee paid to the league was undisclosed, and the ownership group has 95% of its capital being invested by women and 40% from investors of color. The ownership group reportedly plans to invest significant resources into renovating George R. White Stadium in Boston. The ownership group plans to reveal the club’s branding as it gets closer to play in 2026.
UEFA Champions League Roundup
The UEFA Champions League returned with the start of the group stages and plenty of notable matches. Christian Pulisic’s AC Milan played Newcastle United to a scoreless draw at home. Paris Saint-Germain shut out Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in its opener. Manchester City was trailing 1-0 at halftime, but stormed back to beat Red Star Belgrade 3-1. Atletico Madrid was leading 1-0 late into stoppage time before Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel scored the equalizer to help his side escape with a 1-1 draw. FC Barcelona, RB Leipzig, FC Porto, and Feyenoord all won their opening matchups as well. Today’s notable games include Bayern Munich facing Manchester United, Arsenal taking on PSV Eindhoven, and Real Madrid hosting Union Berlin.
- The latest MLS Power rankings have been released. Orlando City moved up four spots to second after its comeback win against the Columbus Crew.
- In case you missed it, check out the sights and sounds as the Lions got another win against a taem from Ohio.
- Enjoy play-by-play commentator Sergio Ruiz’s reaction when Ramiro Enrique scored the winner for the Lions against the Crew.
- The Seattle Sounders have teased an announcement on social media about a possible change to their brand next week.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Three Keys to Victory
PawedCast Episode 377: NYCFC Rewind, Inter Miami Preview, and More
Lion Links: 9/22/23
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match
Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Intelligence Report
Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More
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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Five Takeaways
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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Final Score 4-3 as Lions’ Comeback Extends Unbeaten Run to Six
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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Player Grades and Man of the Match
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Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew SC: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More
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Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Intelligence Report
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Orlando City B vs. New England Revolution II: Final Score 1-1 as OCB Draws and Falls in Penalties
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