Good Sunday morning to you, Mane Landers. Today happens to be Orlando Pride defender Toni Pressley’s 27th birthday. Toni got her biggest present recently when Tom Sermanni re-signed her for the upcoming 2017 season. Congratulations to Toni — both on her contract extension and on her birthday.
Orlando City is back in action today at Championsgate with two 90-minute scrimmage sessions against Toronto FC. The preseason sure is flying past, with only Saturday’s tune-up in the new stadium against St. Louis FC still to come before the March 5 opener against the soccer Yankees.
Let’s get to the linkin’.
Kreis Works Off Excess Stress; Ramos Returns
A younger and more energetic me once envisioned running a marathon. I took to running later in life than many and worked my way up to being able to run a 5K without dying. I lived in Texas at the time and that fall I moved to upstate New York. I kept up my running until that winter. I never returned to it. Someone who used to hate running now does it to work off the stresses of the job. Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis can often be seen running around the club’s training grounds or at the stadium and recently he spoke to Orlando Sentinel writer Alicia DelGallo about his need to get his workout in.
Additionally, DelGallo reported that right back Rafael Ramos returned to training after rolling his ankle in the last preseason match against the Philadelphia Union.
“Little bit of pain still, but I'm able to play [today],” Ramos told the Orlando Sentinel. “I had an [ankle] injury before, so that's probably why I felt it a little bit more. After the scrimmage, it was swollen but I did some rehab these last three days and it’s feeling better. Still a little bit of pain, like I said, but wrapped up it's OK.”
Orlando City Welcomes Miggy Back
Club legend Miguel Gallardo, goalkeeper for Orlando City’s USL era, is coming home. Gallardo will be joining the Lions’ crew for local broadcasts. After his most recent stint with the Jacksonville Armada, Miggy’s playing time appears to be over and Orlando City did the right thing by finding a position for one of the more notable players from the club’s early days in Orlando.
Welcome back @migallardo01!— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) February 17, 2017
Catch Miguel on all of our local broadcasts this season. #CityOn27 pic.twitter.com/pSi7KYl9Kp
Business Community Eager for Stadium to Open
We’re not the only ones who can’t wait for the first Orlando City match in the club’s new stadium. The business community is also eager for the Lions to take to the pitch in their new Parramore-based home. In addition to businesses like the jointly opened Black Cauldron Brewing-Broken Strings Brewery just a few hundred feet from the new venue, there are plans for a farmer’s market and the growth in the area should stimulate many jobs.
U-20 USMNT Falls 1-0 to Panama
Tommy Redding and the United States U-20 Men’s National Team got off to a rough start in the bid to qualify for the U-20 World Cup. The U.S. fell 1-0 to Panama on a 37th-minute shot that deflected into the corner of the net off of Marlon Fossey. Leandro Ávila got the goal and the United States must rally to finish well in order to reach the U-20 World Cup. The loss was especially painful considering the U.S. played 72 minutes with a man advantage. Panama’s Justin Simons was sent off for a challenge on Tyler Adams, leaving Los Canaleros shorthanded.
Redding, who played 69 minutes, had his best moment in the 25th minute, when he cut out a cross by Andrés Andrade that was labeled for Ronaldo Córdoba. His interception thwarted Panama’s scoring chance and kept the game 0-0 at the time. The U.S. U-20s fell to 3-2-0 all-time against Panama. The Yanks will be back in action Tuesday against Haiti at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Rough Generation Adidas Cup Weekend for OCSC Academy
Orlando City’s U15/16 team hasn’t had the best of weekends in Generation Adidas Cup play. The difficulty started in the second half of Friday’s match. After a scoreless opening period, the young Lions shipped four goals in a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia Union. Mario Licor scored the only goal for the good guys Despite scoring first yesterday, Orlando City dropped a 4-2 match to New York Red Bulls. U.S. youth international Jordan Bender opened the scoring for the Lions, who led 1-0 at the break. New York scored four straight before Andres Ojeda pulled one back late. The lads in purple have one match left Monday vs. New England Revolution.
That’s all I’ve got for you today, but I won’t leave you hanging. Joining Toni Pressley in being born on this date were: Nicolaus Copernicus (1473), Lee Marvin (1924), Smokey Robinson (1940), Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean (1946), Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi (1948), Jeff Daniels (1955), Roger Goodell (1959), Seal (1963), Justine Bateman (1966), Benicio del Toro (1967), Italian footballer Gianluca Zambrotta (1977), Steve Cherundolo (1979), Dwight Freeney (1980), Haylie Duff (1985), and Brazilian women’s soccer legend Marta (1986).
Have a great Sunday. Go City!