Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers! It's a short stint this week between games, with our Saturday (victory?) draw against Colorado just barely in the rear view and our battle against Toronto hurtling towards us, but this is the glory of soccer season -- always another game to look forward to. Enjoy it while we can, we're headed into match day 25 and we'll soon only have nine more to go! So let's get to the links!
Pride's Steph Catley Out for Season
So this broke yesterday afternoon but for anyone who was trapped under a rock, or not religiously following our Mane Land coverage, you may have missed this devastating news. Steph Catley, the Orlando Pride's workhorse defender who has proven consistency and maturity on the back line this season, broke her foot during Olympic play for the Australian Women's Soccer side, the Matildas. She is going to be sorely missed on the pitch, as Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said he's "disappointed and devastated" for the team's hopes of clinching a playoff berth, and I couldn't agree more. Everyone here at the The Mane Land wishes Steph a speedy and safe recovery and we can't wait to see her back in 2017.
Nocerino Makes Goal.com's Team of the Week
Alongside strong performers like Stefan Frei, Justin Meram, Federico Higuaín, and Jozy Altidore, Orlando City's own Antonio Nocerino has made the bench for Goal.com's Team of the Week. Obviously this substantial improvement in play from the defensive midfielder was noticed in our own The Mane Land Five Takeaways and in awarding him our Man of the Match for Saturday night's performance, but it's nice to see that his efforts are being recognized outside of our humble musings. Here's to the improved performance and to hopes that this recognition can keep propelling his momentum forward.
Toronto FC Tops MLS Power Rankings
Well, it can never be said that our Lions don't love a challenge. And hopefully they are up for it as we look forward to our midweek battle against the Reds, who have just been bumped into the top spot in the MLS Power Rankings after their 3-1 win over Philadelphia this past weekend. Orlando, by the way, sits comfortably in the middle of the pack at No. 11, ahead of strong sides San Jose Earthquakes (No. 12) and Montreal Impact (No. 13), and just one spot behind the Philadelphia Union (No. 10). Optimists unite, because with the news of likely availability of Kevin Molino and Seb Hines who have been out for injury, we're really doing okay, all things considered.
Rogers Gets Abused
It’s 2016 folks, which means that certain language and behavior is no longer tolerated, and for good reason. So it’s sad to see that former USMNT and current LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers claims a USL opponent used a homophobic slur repeatedly when Rogers lined up for LA Galaxy II against Orange County Blues while rehabbing after injury. Rogers, who publicly announced he was gay in 2013, is one of the few major pro sports athletes to play as an openly gay individual and it’s a shame that he has to take this kind of abuse. MLS has already responded by saying the league and USL are investigating the matter.
It also should not be forgotten that as well as homophobia, racism, xenophobia and other nasty elements of hate are still pervasive in the beautiful game, and it needs to be stamped out.
NYCFC Seeks Tax Bond for New Stadium
In this week's edition of #BoughtNotBuilt, Yankee Stadium LLC has requested $1.4 Billion (billion with a B) in tax-exempt revenue bonds from the New York City Industrial Development Agency in order to fund a few pet projects, some of which may have some relation to trying to eventually, possibly build an actual soccer-specific stadium for NYCFC, which is in the second of an indeterminate number of years of playing at Yankee Stadium.
As a reminder, the beautiful, brand new stadium that the Lions are currently building is estimated to cost just over a 10th of that, at $155 million, and is 100% privately funded. Ahem.
This Week's News of the Stupid
FIFA eSports Player Sean "Dragonn" Allen, who finished runner up in the 2016 FIFA Interactive World Cup and was signed to a contract with West Ham United, is in a bit of a pickle after he apparently wagered a bet against a fellow FIFA player for £100, which he apparently has now refused to pay after the Dutch beat him in two games, 2-1. Allen is claimed to have blocked his rival on Facebook when he was pursued for payment. Very important reading here, folks.
Well that's it from me, Mane Landers. Stay tuned to the site today as we get ready for Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. kickoff at
The Citrus Bowl Camping World Stadium, and fingers crossed that we can pull three points off the Canucks and put that nasty red line behind us.