As temperatures once again cool in Central Florida, the Mane Land is here to keep you warm in the knowledge that you know everything you need to know about MLS, Orlando and soccer in general as you head out the door. Happy Hump Day!
It was confirmed yesterday that Kaká will be the captain for Orlando City during the club's inaugural season in MLS. It doesn’t really come as a surprise that the Brazilian talisman was named captain for the season, since the team is basically built around him, he has worn the armband during preseason, and he personally speaks the majority of languages that are spoken by other players on the team.
The only surprising thing is that the team didn’t go with someone that was going to be with the team longer, but Orlando is choosing to make the most of Kaká while he is around, and his experience and maturity will be integral to getting Orlando City off to the best start in MLS.
Hines for Center Half
Orlando wasn’t finished yesterday with the Kaká announcement, also confirming the well-known secret that English-American central defender Seb Hines has officially signed on loan with an option to extend from Middlesbrough, a team in the English Championship. The signing of Hines helps shore up the central defender position whilst also not costing the club an international spot due to his American connections.
A FIFA task force announced on Tuesday that it recommends moving the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to a winter schedule. The recommendation all but confirms that the tournament will therefore be played in a November-December slot. This major news will create havoc among most European leagues and will potentially have a wide ranging effect on the MLS playoffs, should MLS continue its current schedule.
This decision also continues to cast doubt on the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar in the first place, when it was so obvious that the tournament would be unable to be held during its traditional summer position of June-July. Stay tuned for more information as the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes are investigated further and on the FIFA presidential election.
MLS makes the leap across the pond
As Major League Soccer enters its 20th season, Taylor Twellman yesterday confirmed that Sky Sports, one of Europe’s largest cable providers, will start showing two MLS games per week. In a time when TV revenue is so important to the league, it makes sense that MLS is trying to cash in and attract European soccer fans. Obviously one problem will be the time difference of games, however, it is good to know that Orlando City will be able to develop a following both at home and overseas, especially since so many Britons are attracted to the Central Florida area.
New Jersey Week
MLS also confirmed that once again Jersey Week will be returning in the week run-up to opening day games. Overall, 16 teams will unveil new jerseys during Jersey Week, including Orlando City, who will be revealing their secondary team kit at the Soccer in the City event, which also begins the week-long Kick-Off events being promoted by the club.