It was a rough week for Lion Nation but the real games start Friday, unless the players' union and MLS can't come to an agreement. Cross your fingers and hope it works out for the best so we can watch Orlando City SC embark on its first season in America's top league.
If you weren't watching Saturday...
It did not go well. Everyone's still processing what they saw, but the overall play was alarming, especially in the back four.
Speaking of the back four, the club brought in Cesar Mena on trial as a center back. He's the mystery player who came in for Eric Avila after Aurelien Collin's red card Saturday.
And for those into schadenfreude, here's a link to the game. You can help us diagnose what went wrong in Orlando's last-place showing in Charleston.
The latest on the CBA negotiations
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl interviewed Don Garber at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Friday, which touched on several subjects, including the CBA negotiations that threaten to delay the start of the season.
He said negotiations resumed on Sunday, so hopefully by Monday we'll have a good idea of which way the CBA pendulum is swinging.
Owners have taken a firm stance on free agency, if the recently fined Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen's comments are in line with the rest of the owners. Hansen believes negotiations on MLS free agency are one of those "real waste of time discussions" and it seems unlikely that he's the only one who feels that way.
Side note: This has nothing to do with the CBA negotiations, but Garber threw San Antonio a bone in the next expansion team sweepstakes and commented on the Alamodome selling out for the U.S.-Mexico clash in April, which doesn't mean much for Orlando City fans, but means a lot to someone who lives just an hour away from the Alamo City...like me.
CONCACAF U-17 Championships Update
Monterrey product Joe Gallardo Jr. scored a hat trick to bury Cuba, 5-0 in the U.S U-17s' opening match of the CONCACAF U-17 Championships on Saturday. It's a good start for the U.S. youth program, which is trying to regain its form following some disappointing years and qualify for its first U-17 World Cup since 2011.
Nathaniel Adamolekum played 75 minutes in Jamaica's 2-0 loss to Honduras in The Reggae Boyz's (seriously their nickname) first match of the tournament. The Orlando City youth academy product and Austin, TX native (I'll always shout out my fellow Texans) is hoping to put Jamaica in the U-17 World Cup for the first time since 2011 as well.
This week in Louisville City
The club announced the signing of Charlie Adams Friday. Adams is another European-trained player who has experience playing in the English youth system. Don't confuse him with Charlie Adam, the former Liverpool and current Stoke city midfielder.
If everything goes well and the season starts on Friday, I will play this at least hundred times that day.