Good Monday morning, Mane Landers. Soccer action will be coming your way fast and furious as Orlando City returns home for a Wednesday midweek game against Toronto FC, the Orlando Pride will kick off a weekend full of soccer on Friday at Camping World Stadium against the Washington Spirit, OCB faces Richmond again — this time on the road — on Saturday, and the Lions hit prime time on FS1 with NYCFC coming to town Sunday. In other words, this week is going to come at you hot and fast, so let’s get right to our links.
Orlando City B Draws Richmond, 1-1
Michael Cox scored from the spot and nearly had the game winner late, but the young Lions stopped the bleeding of the last two matches with a 1-1 home draw against the Richmond Kickers. After losing twice by a combined score of 9-1 in two road games, it was good to see the reserve side bounce back and get a result against a quality USL Eastern Conference opponent.
More on Minnesota United in 2017
Last Friday the league confirmed Minnesota United would begin play in 2017. The tag of “new kids on the block” would no longer fit for Orlando City and New York City FC, but Atlanta United and Minnesota United will continue the debate between supporters of built versus bought as the Loons (Minnesota United’s nickname) now look to build the team the club plans to field.
We are reminded that an expansion draft may be happening at the end of the season and some of our Lion players may be taken from us. Additionally, with the new teams, MLS announced MNUFC (that’s a mouthful) will play in the Western Conference, while Atlanta United will certainly become a rival for Orlando City, since the clubs will face off in the Eastern Conference. With a team closer to Orlando, perhaps we’ll get to see something form similar to the Atlantic Cup between the Red Bulls and DC. Speaking of those sides, NYRB blew a 2-0 lead yesterday to draw DCU, pushing the Lions back below the red line. Jerks.
Brazilian Soccer News
Captain for gold medal-winning Brazil Neymar didn’t pull a Messi and retire from his national team, however, the Brazilian has announced he will no longer wear the captain’s armband because he’s now a champion. His decision isn’t just for the U-23 side, but also for the senior team. We’ll have to see if he follows his FC Barcelona teammate and reverse his decision.
Speaking of decisions coming from Brazil, a report states that the Brazilian Football Confederation is mulling over whether to continue funding the women’s soccer program since the next major tournament for women’s soccer isn’t until 2019. I’m not sure what would happen to the program if a decision is made to change the funding, but after such a hard fought battle for Marta and the rest of the team, who came up short in the Rio Olympics, this isn’t welcome news.
Meanwhile, in the Premier League and La Liga
Current gaffer for New York City FC, Patrick Vieira, appears to have fully embraced the City Football Group way by the current success “the Pigeons” (yes, that’s the nickname the supporters are going with) are having so far this season. Before all that, Vieira used to be a mainstay of the Gunners. So now he’s been speaking out on the lack of physicality and personality Arsenal are currently showing under Arsene Wenger.
Seems a little early to complain in my opinion, but I also think Vieira should be focusing more on his team than Arsenal, but what do I know? Meanwhile, in the land of the Red Devils, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is once again making headlines. He earned himself a brace this weekend and the Soccer God has proclaimed the vision he had of Manchester United winning the Premier League title.
Finally, La Liga has begun play again, but instead of quality soccer making headlines for the league, it is facing bad press because a referee stopped the match between visiting Athletic Bilbao and host Sporting Gijon temporarily when fans of the home team started racist chanting against Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams. The club made a PA announcement to plead with supporters not to perform racist chants. It’s unclear what La Liga will do over this incident.
Those are all the links I have for you Mane Landers. Let’s finish up our coffee and get some work done, but come back and check out more Orlando City news. Keep roaring.