Orlando City supporters, the day has come for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We'll give you some of the big news as we lead up to the match with Jacksonville Armada FC tonight in fourth-round cup action.
Orlando City Will Honor #OrlandoUnited at June 18 Match
The Lions will dedicate their return match from the Copa América break against San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday to the #OrlandoUnited initiative, which is helping recovery efforts from the tragic events of this past weekend that rocked the city and its LGBT and Latino communities. The MLS and NWSL clubs have partnered with the NBA's Orlando Magic, ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears and AFL's Orlando Predators to sell #OrlandoUnited branded t-shirts to raise money for the OneOrlando Fund.
"Our city has endured dark moments in the past couple of days following two horrific acts of violence, and we are looking forward to using the influence of our sports team to bring some positivity into people's lives," said Orlando City SC Founder and President Phil Rawlins. "We are in the midst of tirelessly working to create a memorable gameday experience to honor the memories of our brothers and sisters on Saturday."
Orlando City will stop live play during the game to implement a 30-second moment of silence, a first for MLS. The players will wear special patches and t-shirts during walkouts. Other activities include pre-game recognition of first responders and support service personnel, as well as ticket donations for these groups. A commemorative section of the stadium will be blocked and dedicated to each victim. Orlando City Foundation, the Club's community arm, has also pledged a $100,000 donation to OneOrlando.org.
In addition, a permanent commemorative memorial will be designed in Section 12 of the new downtown soccer stadium set to debut in 2017, encompassing rainbow seats representing each victim. Finally, the club will also join as the title sponsor for Orlando Pride Week coming up this October.
Two Orlando City B Players Earn Team of the Week Honors
For the first time in Orlando City B history, two players were named to the USL Team of the Week.
Pierre Da Silva had two assists in the 2-1 victory over Charleston Battery, and goalkeeper Mark Ridgers had 10 saves in a match that saw Orlando City drop to 10 men before halftime and still grab three points on the road.
USWNT Final Olympic Tune-Up Announced
The U.S. Women's National Team will play its final send-off game for the Rio Olympics on July 22 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City. The USWNT will look to recreate the magic of the 2015 World Cup and win the country's fifth soccer gold medal. Women's soccer was originally added to the Olympic lineup in Atlanta in 1996. Only in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, did the U.S. women fail to bring home gold. The Americans finished second to rival Norway that year.
Dunga out as Brazil's Manager
Brazil crashed out of the Copa América Centenario after a 1-0 loss to Peru, and now the Seleção has sacked its manager, Dunga.
The referees looked to miss an obvious handball that gave Peru the winner. The manner in which the result came didn't do much to save Dunga, who was fired as the Brazilian manager on Tuesday. Dunga lost the job the first time around after the 2010 World Cup, where his team was eliminated by the Netherlands in the quarterfinals before he was reappointed in 2014. This is the first time since the 1987 Copa América that Brazil was unable to progress out of the group stage of the tournament. The search will begin immediately for Dunga's successor.
Argentina Coach: Messi to Pass on Olympics
There's been a sigh of relief for Barcelona fans as a report from ESPN FC says four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi will not participate in the Rio Olympics. Messi is 28 years old and could've been one of the three players over the age limit to participate for Argentina. Concerns over his fitness during the Copa América Centenario made this a logical decision.
That's it for Wednesday's links, Lions. Stay tuned to The Mane Land throughout the day as Orlando City gets set for its 2016 U.S. Open Cup debut tonight ahead of this weekend's return to league play.