Happy Thursday everyone. On Sunday, Orlando City travels to Kansas City to take on Dom Dwyer (spiritual resident of Orlando) and Sporting Kansas City. As such, this week's wine and food pairing is going to look at the barbecue the city is famous for. Kansas City BBQ uses sweet tomatoes and molasses. The sauce of that usually drenches ribs and pork pairs really well with a Zinfandel to really drive home the spicy smokey notes of the sauce and meat.
Now, on to the news!
Adrian Heath is Getting Used to MLS' Disciplinary Decisions
Orlando City Soccer Club Head Coach Adrian Heath gave his thoughts on the number of cards his team has seen this season and how he's coaching his players to avoid bookings.
"It always concerns me," Heath said. "But we are all in a similar boat these days. It is the same as everybody else.
"I am hearing a lot of coaches saying the same thing about the number of cards and it might just be something we’ll have to live with. Certainly we know that if you leave your feet and show your studs, you are going to get sent off, but with the yellow cards it is harder to tell."
Orlando City currently sits sixth in the disciplinary table with 21 cards (19 yellow, two red) accumulated through nine matches. League leaders Colorado currently have 28, and if the model holds, would outpace last year's leaders (Montreal, who finished with 77) by finishing with 95.
Joseé Bélanger is Becoming More Comfortable in NWSL
Orlando Pride Defender Joseé Bélanger was recently interviewed in her native Canada by Sportsnet and gave her thoughts on NWSL being a high-tempo league that requires thinking on your feet and a more dynamic, less tactical league than in Europe where she had been playing previously to joining the Pride. Bélanger also commented on the training atmosphere that Head Coach Tom Sermanni brings to his team, noting how between his vast knowledge of the game and constructive comments, he helps foster morale around the team. Bélanger then went on to talk about the difference in her roles between the Pride and the Canadian National Team, noting how Orlando doesn't play her as far forward, but gives her the freedom to do so if necessary. The interview concluded with her reaction to the NWSL attendance record-setting crowd at the Pride's home opener and her looking forward to the rest of the season in Orlando.
Tom Sermanni is Looking to Change People's Perception of Him
Tom Sermanni knows the first thing people associate with him. On April 6, 2014, Sermanni was unceremoniously let go as the USWNT coach with a record 17-2-4, after less than a year and a half on the job. After a stint in Canada as an assistant for their national team, Sermanni was brought in by Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins and the rest, as we know, is history. FourFourTwo got to talk to the Pride Coach and found out how he felt watching the USWNT win the 2015 World Cup after his dismissal and the process that brought him here to Orlando.
Ashlyn Harris and Sarah Hagen are Nominated for NWSL Weekly Awards
Sarah Hagen is nominated for her game winning header last week against Seattle, which, if you haven't seen it, is just a lovely cross from Alex Morgan and clinical header from Apple to finish. Excellent work all around.
Additionally, the old adage of "Death, taxes, and Ashlyn Harris playing absolutely out of her skin" is true again with this effort that saw the Orlando keeper backpedal to paw the ball and maintain her clean sheet.
One thing to note, Harris was very vocal about these weekly awards during her post match press conference saying:
"At the end of the day I don’t want the save of the week, I don’t want to have to make the save, If my players in front of me are doing what they should, I shouldn’t have to make ten saves a game, It shouldn’t be a highlight reel every single game if everyone is doing their job."
Harris went on to say that includes her making adjustments and communicating to her back line before plays happen. Granted, this save was only one of two that Ashlyn had to make during the match and this is absolutely a case of quality over quantity this week.
Today's birthdays include Burt Bacharach, who turns 88, George Carlin, who passed away in 2008, Steve Winwood is turning 68, Former Mighty Ducks coach Emilio Estevez is 54, and, finally, Jonah Lomu, who passed away this past November, who will forever go down in history as "Man with the Greatest Memorial Ever"...The Washington Capitals were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, and their TV crew wants you to give up on your dreams too...Don Garber said an obvious thing by stating Liga MX is better than MLS...The Villages SC beat Kraze United 1-0 in the 92' -- way to go, old people!...and the guy who didn't invent email is suing Gawker for pointing out he didn't invent email.
That's it for today.
Play us out Shades!