Happy Hump Day, everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start! Let’s go right to the links!
Melbourne Attempted to Keep OCB
In an attempt to keep Orlando City B in Melbourne, $60,000 in the form of sponsorships from taxes on hotel rooms and other tourist rentals was going to be given to the USL team from Brevard County. This, as we know, was not enough to keep them in the coast city as it was announced that Orlando City B will be playing their home matches at the brand new stadium the franchise built for their MLS team. OCB played their home matches at Eastern Florida State College at the Titan Soccer Complex. While the club was thankful of the college and said that the pitch itself was in great condition, it was the commercial aspect of the complex that was not what the organization wanted. Port-o-potties, food trucks, and no overhead covering for rainy days were some of the issues pointed out by the club.
David Villa Named MLS MVP
David Villa, the Spanish forward for New York City FC, has been named the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP. He finished the season with 23 goals and four assists, finishing second in the Golden Boot behind Bradley Wright-Phillips, who narrowly beat Villa with 24 goals. Villa has played two seasons with NYCFC; he was the first player signed by the club and is now the first player to win an individual season award for the club. He is also the first World Cup winner to win the MLS MVP. Villa has scored 41 goals over the last two seasons, which is tied for most over that span.
Fox Sports ranks MLS Designated Players
Fox Sports released their rankings of all 50 designated players in MLS. Orlando City has three designated players on their squad: Kaká, Carlos Rivas, and Bryan Róchez. The lowest ranked of the three was Róchez, who was ranked 49th as he “didn’t play at all and went out on loan.” Rivas was ranked 41st. The Colombian played in 21 matches this season, only starting eight of them. He scored three times along with four assists. And to nobody’s surprise, Kaká was the highest-ranked Orlando City member on this list. Fox listed him as No. 12. “He was let down by an Orlando team that struggled to figure things out, but he was the undisputed leader on the pitch and most of the positive things they had going in the attack ran through him.”
Landon Donovan Re-Retiring
Landon Donovan will not be returning to the LA Galaxy next year, as he will give retirement another go. Donovan first retired back at the end of the 2014 season. However, he returned to pitch in September this year for the Galaxy as the squad was decimated by injuries this year. The American played in six regular season matches this year, starting two of them and scoring one goal. He started all three of the Galaxy’s playoff games this season. Donovan and the Galaxy were knocked out by Western Conference semifinalist Colorado Rapids, after going out on penalties at the end of the second leg. This will have been Donovan’s last game as a professional footballer, unless he decides to pull a Michael Jordan and return from retirement for a second time.
Tampa Bay Rowdies Announce Intention to Join MLS
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have announced that they were starting a campaign to become an MLS team, beginning with gaining local support and followers. Bill Edwards, CEO and Chairman of the Florida club, stated that he has already met with MLS Executives to discuss the possibility of becoming yet another expansion franchise. Tampa Bay had previously been home to an MLS team, the Tampa Bay Mutiny, who were dissolved in 2001. The Rowdies will attempt to become the third MLS team in Florida, with Orlando City and Miami, who are expected to start playing 2018.
SBN Mock Draft: Orlando City Left Alone
SB Nation’s newest MLS blogs, E Pluribus Loonum (Minnesota United) and Dirty South Soccer (Atlanta United), took part in a mock expansion draft and, surprisingly, no Orlando City players were chosen. Given the fact that the Lions’ old coach is with Minnesota and the club’s former GM is with Atlanta, it’s hard to believe no one from Orlando was taken in the mock draft. That could all change with the real thing, however. You can see the results from Minnesota’s side here, and Atlanta’s breakdown is here.
Thanks for reading. Have a great rest of the week!