Good Wednesday morning, Orlando.
We don't have a hurricane bearing down on the state of Florida this Hump Day, so we'll count ourselves lucky there and look ahead to this weekend's penultimate match for Orlando City at Philadelphia. The boys in purple will be looking to play the role of spoiler, which can be surprisingly fun. For now, here are your midweek links.
Molino Thrown Out of T&T Camp
Barely a month after being fined for sneaking away from Trinidad and Tobago camp to go on a boat ride, Orlando City and T&T playmaker Kevin Molino is in hot water again with his national side. After netting a hat trick last week, Molino apparently decided he would skip out again, this time to go to a night club. Molino, who has scored 13 goals over 15 starts with T&T, was absent for a key match vs. Martinique that carried both Caribbean Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup implications. How did it go?
FINAL: Martinique 2-0 Trinidad and Tobago. #MTQvTRI #CaribbeanCup— socawarriors (@socawarriors) October 12, 2016
Certainly not the pattern of behavior that you'd like to see from one of your key contributors, both for Trinidad and Orlando City.
Kreis Watching Carefully
Speaking of players behaving unprofessionally, Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis won't tolerate any of his players packing it in early as the season comes to a close. An Orlando Sentinel report revealed the coach's thoughts on anyone who may try to cruise through the final two fixtures of the season with the Lions having been eliminated from postseason contention and seemingly not having much to play for.
"It's not that I'm worried, it's that I'm watching," Lions coach Jason Kreis said of the team as it closes out its second MLS season. "Those are the types of players that won't be back."
Although Kreis wouldn't share the names for obvious reasons, the Sentinel report says that the coach and his staff have a core group of names that will be back next season that have the winning mentality he desires in his players. While the Lions may be missing out on the postseason, this certainly gives plenty of motivation for players to continue to stay on their grind through the final whistle in 2016.
Atlanta Learning from Orlando's Mistakes
Former Orlando City General Manager Paul McDonough is using his learning experiences from his time with the Lions as he constructs another expansion roster for MLS play in 2017. McDonough insinuated that perhaps the Lions had gone too young when building their initial MLS roster, something he'd avoid while putting together Atlanta United's side. Orlando City was also influenced a bit too much by its USL success, something Atlanta won't have to deal with.
Another lesson McDonough learned is that he thinks while he was in Orlando City the franchise may have become too focused on its success in the United Soccer League. As a result, it may have taken away some of the focus on preparing for MLS. NYCFC, which came into MLS at the same time, didn't have USL, so it couldn't be distracted. It's similar to the situations for Atlanta United and Minnesota, which is finishing its final NASL season before joining MLS next year.
Our own Austin David penned a piece in relation to the youth movement yesterday. We'll have to wait until '17 to find out whether McDonough is more successful in his roster-building process in ATL than he was in the City Beautiful.
USMNT Can't Get Past New Zealand
The U.S. Men's National Team was in qualifying action last night in Washington, D.C., but the Yanks couldn't manage more than a 1-1 draw with New Zealand. Julian Green gave the U.S. a lead, but they were unable to hold on as a 72nd-minute score earned the draw for the Kiwis. Our Saul Garcia recapped the action here.
That's it for this morning's links. Have a great Wednesday, Orlando, and prepare yourselves for the home stretch of another week and another glorious weekend.