It's finally the weekend. It happens to be the last weekend of the MLS regular season and if you're interested in some scenarios for how the playoff landscape can shake out on Decision Day, Sports Illustrated has all of that wrapped up in their power rankings. Good news is you can skip Orlando's and devote more time to reading today's links. It's also OCB midfielder Andrew Ribeiro's 26th birthday and everyone at The Mane Lane would like to wish Andrew a happy birthday!
Kaká Demands More Pressure Next Year
Orlando's captain wants to see some changes before the 2017 season rolls around. He's understandably frustrated missing out on the playoffs for the second straight season. He wants a change in mentality and the creation of set goals for the club to achieve. Kaká believes that next season will be pivotal for the organization with a revitalized roster focused on the high press and a brand new stadium without the heinous turf. He also drops the hint that he's looking to potentially extend his stay in Orlando.
Cyle Larin Talks Past, Future
His alma mater UConn is in town to take on UCF and it gave Larin a chance to connect with his past and talk about his future. Larin's old college coach, Ray Reid, says that the Canadian has changed in the last two years. Reid has noticed changes in Larin in the last two years, especially that he's not as shy as he used to be. But bigger changes could be on the horizon for Larin, who says that he plans on sitting down with the club to talk about his future. It's a bittersweet thought that there's a chance tomorrow could be his last game as a Lion.
Larin takes on Soccer Grl Probs
Soccer YouTubers Soccer Grl Probs took on Orlando City's star striker in a series of challenges. Cyle bested the girls in the crossbar challenge and shooting from distance and it came down to the classic dizzy penalty kicks for MLS's Soccer Everywhere campaign. For a guy that is famous for his turn-and-shoot ability, he skied it almost as high as Carlos Rivas.
Estudiantes in Florida Cup 2017
The Argentinean side Estudiantes has officially committed to participate in next year's Florida Cup. They join a collection of respected and established clubs from around the world, as well as the Tampa Bay Rowdies. To date, the competition will include South American teams Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro, Internacional, Vasco da Gama, River Plate, Barcelona SC, and Millonarios F.C. They will also be joined by German clubs Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg and Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG, the new home of Brazilian winger Hulk. It's sure to be a star-studded event with a plethora of talent and styles from around the globe.
Six-time Primera Division title holders Estudiantes will be in Orlando at Bright House Networks Stadium to take on Flamengo on Jan 15.
Just How Valuable is the Supporters' Shield?
It's a question that continually plagues fans of MLS. The Supporters' Shield is the trophy that mimics the top awards given out in most of the rest of the world. But it's not considered the top prize in the American game. Teams get a star on their jersey for winning an MLS Cup, not the Shield. And while winning the Shield is one part of the U.S. domestic treble, it's a rarity that a team wins the Shield and the Cup. Since 2003, only twice has a side managed to win both in the same year. So, is it worth the effort of winning the Shield if teams fall short of the ultimate prize? FC Dallas has already claimed the first trophy of the year with the U.S. Open cup, and could take home a second on Sunday. But if they can't get it done in the postseason, does it really matter?
Those are all of the links for today. Be sure to come back around tomorrow for our coverage of Orlando City's final match of 2016.