Good morning, Mane Landers, and happy Saturday. We've been without an Orlando soccer match for only five days, but it feels like a small eternity with all of the teams in full swing. Luckily, the Pride will end that drought tonight as they take on the Western New York Flash at 7:30 and tomorrow the men are back in action against Sporting Kansas City. Tonight's match is a special one for Canadian defender Josee Belanger, who will be celebrating her birthday, so a special happy birthday wish to Josee!
Orlando City Extends Footprint in Brevard
The youth player pool for the Lions got a little larger yesterday when they announced a partnership with South Brevard FC. The MLS side will provide assistance to players and coaches and ideally provide a direct pipeline for young players in Brevard to jump into the professional academy. While the team has focused on Orange and Seminole counties so far, having a link to the Space Coast will be huge for developing talent in Central Florida and scouting the talent that is already there.
Orlando City Youngsters Triumphant in Cayman Cup
Sticking with the little Lions, the Orlando City U-14 team had a huge victory in the Cayman Airways Youth Cup. They defeated the Swindon Town U-14 side, 4-0 with two goals from Andres Ojeda and one each from Roberto Ydrach and Mason Lamb. Defeating an English League One side's youth team so handily is great to see. There are several more MLS academies involved in the tournament, including the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, as well as English giants Manchester City. It will be interesting to see how the team stacks up against the international competition.
Joint World Cup?
The United States and Mexico have discussed making a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup. The corruption scandals that have rocked the soccer world have forced the decision to be made in 2020 instead of 2017, but early discussions have been held between the Mexican and American federations about a joint venture. A joint cup would not be the first of its kind -- the 2002 World Cup was held in Japan and South Korea -- and it would make for an interesting atmosphere and potentially intense travel for the teams. Regardless of whether it would be held solely in the United States or in both countries, I just hope Orlando is a host city again.
Ashlyn Harris Threepeat
The Pride goalkeeper has once again taken home the title of Save of the Week. This makes three straight victories only four weeks into the season, which is slightly astounding. Her play has been superb, before and after the whistle, and she has been a rock at the back for an expansion team. It's just one more reason to check out the Pride tonight, she's probably going to make another impossible save.
That's all the links I have for you today. Be sure to check back tonight for our full coverage of the Pride and the Flash and again tomorrow for the same treatment of the Lions. Here's hoping Josee gets three points for her birthday!