Welcome to Wednesday, Orlando.
We've reached midweek of the final game week of the 2016 campaign for Orlando City. It's a bit bittersweet, as the season has been as frustrating as it has been fun, but we'll cherish this last match day as it will have to hold us over for several OCSC soccer-less months.
As we await this weekend's season-ending win over D.C. United, we'll start hump day off by wishing a happy 31st birthday to Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Now let's get to those fresh links.
Kreis Pleased with Lions' Effort Over the Weekend
Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis, who issued a warning last week about easing up at the end of the season, left Philadelphia impressed with his side's effort following a 2-0 road win on Sunday. A two-goal win and a clean sheet to go with it will always please the gaffer, but Kreis added that he believes the club has a solid foundation to build upon next season.
"I think there is definitely a foundation to be built around," Kreis said. "I think there are some really, really talented players that are a big part of this club, have done a lot for this club, and given a lot for this club. We are looking to build around those types of players."
The Lions will have their final shot to prove themselves this Sunday, with players like Carlos Rivas and Rafael Ramos continuing their quests to impress the head man.
Kevin Molino Apologizes for T&T Antics
Molino has been scintillating at times for Orlando City this season, and his 10-goal, seven-assist effort has been a nice rebound from the knee injury that ruined his 2015 campaign. It's been a bit weird for Molino with his international team of late, however, with the midfielder getting in trouble for skipping out for a boat ride and again this month for going clubbing. Although Orlando chose not to punish Molino for his international exploits, he apologized publicly to his Trinidad and Tobago team yesterday via Instagram.
Playing the beautiful game is all that matters to me, especially for my country. It's what I've dreamt of all my life. My recent decisions do not reflect that, and for this I am sorry. I am also aware of the effects my choices have had on the T&T coaching staff, TTFA, my teammates, fans & friends. And I apologize for this as well. My childhood dream is still alive and I'm 100% committed to representing the red, black & white if I am lucky enough to be selected again. #let#he#who#is#without#sin#cast##the#first#stone'
Hopefully this puts an end to Molino's off-the-field troubles and he continues to make strides for both club and country, where he netted a hat trick his last time out.
Pair of Pride Players Set to Spend Off-season Elsewhere
Forward Jasmyne Spencer will return to the A-League in Australia for a third time to play for Canberra United, while midfielder Sam Witteman has been loaned to Apollon Limassol. Full details from the club right here.
Villa in Talks to Extend NYCFC Contract
In news that can be considered good for MLS as a whole but also not great for Orlando City individually, New York City FC striker David Villa told Sports Illustrated's Planet Fútbol podcast that he's in talks with the club to extend his deal beyond December 2017, which is where it's currently slated to end. Villa is happy with life in New York with his family, and his 40 goals in two seasons is proof enough that he'll still be able to play at a high level for some time. He'll try to take the golden boot from Bradley Wright-Phillips in Sunday's regular season finale.
While he's at it, Villa is apparently courting his former Spain and Barcelona teammate Andrés Iniesta to enjoy the "American experience" with him in MLS following the conclusion of his contract with Barca. Quite the recruiter.
Drogba Situation "Resolved" in Montreal
By now you've probably heard about Didier Drogba refusing to be in the Montreal Impact 18 on Sunday in its playoff-clinching draw with Toronto after he was excluded from the starting XI. According to club President Joey Saputo, the situation has been resolved and Drogba is ready for any role in the team's final regular season match and its impending elimination match in the playoffs. Quite the saga for Didier, who has put a dent in the rosy résumé he'd established with his load of goals in Montreal.
That's it for today, Lions. Have a great Wednesday and we'll see you tomorrow morning.