Happy Hump Day, Mane Landers! Hopefully your week is moving at exactly the speed you need it to be. And for me, that’s lightning fast as we move towards what I hope is going to be an exciting MLS playoffs. Hint: I’m rooting for the Columbus Crew to get to the final because I not-so-secretly love chaos and would love to see them host the MLS Cup (if you don't know the new format, here it is).
But on to today's news...
Pride Players Out On Loan & W-League Looking Strong Ahead OF 10th Year
The Orlando Pride have released official news of three players going out on loan to the Australian W-League:
- Rookie Rachel Hill will join NWSL MVP Sam Kerr at Perth Glory.
- Toni Pressley will make her first stint with Canberra United.
- Steph Catley will join her Pride teammate Alanna Kennedy at two-time reigning champions Melbourne City.
Catley also recognizes the importance of the 10th season of the W-League brings and the growth the league has seen on the verge of its 10th season.
“We’ve attracted a lot of good players to the league this year and from what we’ve done on the international stage... It’s going to be a really strong league and all the teams have recruited very well, there is a lot of momentum with the Matildas so the W-League is looking really strong this year and I am excited to be a part of it.”
We wish all the Pride players best of luck in their campaigns and a healthy return for the 2018 season.
City Breaks Down 2017 Acquisitions and Sutter Reflects On Year 1
Orlando City did the dirty work for us and broke down all the final statistics for its 2017 acquisitions. With 11 moves, Orlando City stayed very active to help this third-year roster. If you want to judge the club on the effectiveness of the moves, the four main acquisitions to start the season were Donny Toia, Giles Barnes, Jonathan Spector, and Scott Sutter, who all played 25-plus matches. Add in the mid-season transfers of Dom Dwyer, Yoshi Yotún, and Dillon Powers, and you can't say Niki Budalic and co. sat still.
Sutter also gave his take on his first season with Orlando City. He was arguably one of the Lions’ most consistent players, and certainly the club’s second-best defender behind Spector.
“For me, on a personal note, I’ve loved it,” Sutter said after training last Wednesday, “I’ve enjoyed kind of every minute of it other than, obviously, the defeats. But, you know, just the transition to a new team, to a new city, it’s been great for me. I’ve really, really enjoyed being here and transition and how easy everyone’s made it for me. So, I feel right at home and I already can’t wait for next season.”
Longtime Bruce Arena Assistant Named Interim USMNT Coach
Dave Sarachan, longtime assistant of Bruce Arena, has been named by U.S. Soccer to become the interim head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team for the upcoming friendly against Portugal this November. He’s still under contract with the USSF and it made logical sense to carry on in the short term while longer-term, or permanent, solutions can be vetted.
Should we care? Maybe a little. But ultimately this period before the presidential vote in February is more of a blip on the radar that just needs someone to fill. Rumors are the U-20 coach, Tab Ramos, was strongly considered, but opted to wait instead of being judged by a tumultuous intermediate time frame.
USSF President Nominee Steve Egan Shares His Positions
As of now, we know of three nominees for U.S. Soccer president this February. Steve Gans — a lawyer from Boston with a long history in the U.S. Soccer landscape — has publicly put out his positions on a variety of topics.
My personal take? I’m not ruling him out. He has some good points, some typical fluff and generalization, but I think he’s saying some good things overall. My favorite point is his statement to take USSF’s surplus and invest some of it into scholarships for financially challenged kids.
Who’s to say what won't come out over the next few months, but Gans is a very serious candidate and you should get to know him.
De Gea Omission Probably the Biggest FIFA Awards Snub
Getting on my usual goalkeeper soapbox! OK, seriously though, how is Manchester United’s David De Gea not on the ballot for FIFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year? Gigi Buffon won on what was arguably the best year any 39-year-old has had, and I’ll admit to you that De Gea shouldn't have been a finalist. But not on the ballot at all? Not that I’m surprised at another farcical instance with FIFA, but this is like saying LeBron James or Tom Brady shouldn't be considered every year for MVP. It just shouldn't happen.
- The NASL, in the midst of its lawsuit, claims it has eight teams for 2018. Interesting.
- The NASL is also claiming MLS/SUM was trying to buy out and disband the NY Cosmos.
- MLS has more financial clout than LIGA MX? While that may not show in CONCACAF Champions League, that’s what Chivas execs contend on battle for LAFC Designated Player Carlos Vela.
- Juan Mata’s Common Goal Campaign gains six new members, including former USWNT player Heather Reilly.
- If you didn't already know, Zinedine Zidane is legendary. The FIFA Coach of the Year Award gave him a level of achievement no other player has reached.
- Columbus Crew’s Ola Kamara believes he should be playing for Norway’s National Team.
And for the daily update on enemy numero uno, Anthony Precourt, and the current situation of the #SaveTheCrew initiative, Columbus officials released this statement:
I remain hopeful that it’s more of a political play by Precourt and hopefully all this momentum will help steer back the situation onto the right course. And, of course, if that doesn't work, there’s always this:
Have a great week and enjoy the start of the MLS playoffs!