Welcome to another matchday, Mane Landers! It seems like months since Orlando City’s last match, despite it only being a couple of weeks. It really makes you wonder how we can go a full off-season without our purple fix. Before the match tonight though, I’ll be heading outside with my buddy to get some rock climbing in. It is sunny and mid-60s here in Kentucky, so I’ll be making the most of the early fall weather.
Don’t get me wrong though, I still miss waking up and walking across the street to the beach every morning when I lived in Florida. Whatever your own location is, I’m glad we all get to call Exploria Stadium our personal “home away from home.” Now enough of the lovey-dovey reminiscing stuff, let’s get into today’s links!
Lions Kick Off Slew of Matches at Home
Orlando City resumes league play tonight at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts the Columbus Crew at Exploria Stadium. The Lions and the Crew last squared off in May earlier this season, where City fought to a second-half comeback 2-2 draw. Former Orlando City forward Ercan Kara and rookie striker Duncan McGuire scored to solidify the club’s third-straight unbeaten match against the Columbus. Today’s match is the first of three in a nine-day span for Orlando as the Lions face a quick turnaround for Wednesday’s road match against New York City FC. The team then turns around to host Inter Miami in the Tropic Thunder derby on Sunday.
Lions Hunting for Milestones
We have officially reached the latter part of the season when players and coaches can start to look down their personal goals lists to see just how well they have done this year. Head Coach Oscar Pareja is hunting two more wins to reach the milestone of 60 as the Lions’ manager. Another milestone hunter is Designated Player Facundo Torres, who currently sits level with former forward Dom Dwyer for fourth on Orlando City’s all-time scoring charts. The Uruguayn’s next goal would mark his 25th and tie him with club legend and inaugural MLS captain Kaká for third in club history. For the team as a whole, Orlando City has made it 10 straight home matches without a loss, which is the club’s longest-ever run within a single season in the MLS era.
Orlando Pride Need Wins for Playoff Run
Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines is calling all supporters for the Pride’s must-win match at Exploria Stadium on Sunday. While the Pride have shown sparks of brilliance at times this year, they’ve lost 10 of their 18 games, leaving crucial points behind along the way. The club has massive six-pointers ahead against Angel City, Racing Louisville, and the Houston Dash. Gathering these pivotal wins would be necessary for the Pride to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2017.
Orlando Pride Releases 2023 Moniker Kits
In recent years, the Orlando front office has taken its merch game up a notch with Moniker jerseys of its different start players. This season, August NWSL Rookie of the Month Messiah Bright and captain Marta each earn the special edition honors. The kit includes a special design backing and a limited edition patch only attainable through buying the Moniker kits. Bright’s design is symbolic of a stained glass window, while Marta’s depicts her being the GOAT (greatest of all-time) of professional women’s soccer.
Orlando City B Clinches Playoff Spot with 1-1 Draw at Fire II
Orlando City B drew Chicago Fire II 1-1 last night at SeatGeek Stadium to clinch its spot in MLS NEXT Pro postseason play. The Young Lions were without the services of star striker Jack Lynn, who is likely suiting up for the senior team tonight following the departure of Ercan Kara. It only took 17 minutes for the Baby Sparks to find the net as Sergio Oregel finished off Billy Hency’s cross. In the 71st minute, Wilfredo Rivera stepped up in Lynn’s absence to level the match. Following full time, OCB’s 20-year-old Venezuelan keeper, Javier Otero, made two saves to secure the extra shootout point, 4-3.
- Inter Miami has signed Ecuadorian international Leonardo Campana to a contract extension through the 2027 MLS season with an option for 2028.
- U.S. Soccer plans to construct the nation’s first-ever designated national training center in the Atlanta area, funded in part by Atlanta United owner Arthur M. Blank’s $50 million contribution.
- Premier League club Everton has been sold to private equity firm 777 Partners in a deal reportedly worth more than $685 million.
- Arsenal is confident of finalizing a contract extension with 24-year-old midfielder Martin Ødegaard, whose deal expires in 2025. It would likely need to be a significant increase on his current £120,000-a-week wage.
- Spain has granted a restraining order to prevent former football federation chief Luis Rubiales from coming near forward Jenni Hermoso.
- Spanish police arrested three Real Madrid youth players for allegedly distributing a sexual video featuring a minor.
- Barcelona will play Real Madrid on Oct. 28 in the first El Clásico matchup of the 2023-24 season.
- The father of 22-year-old student Martin Podhajsky paid Czech third division side FK Usti nad Labem around $22,000 to secure his son a place in the senior squad and guarantee him at least 10 minutes of first-team action this season. His son has never actually played soccer before.
That’s all I have for you today. Let’s all enjoy the return of some first-time action tonight. Vamos Orlando!