Good morning, Mane Landers! Tonight there are a couple of games that will hopefully take fans' minds off of Orlando City's recent woes. The Lions will look to bounce back from their shock U.S. Open Cup defeat with a home game against the Montreal Impact at 7:30 p.m. The Orlando Pride travel to Texas to take on the Houston Dash at 8:30 p.m. Both teams have pretty favorable match-ups as both opponents are among the teams at the bottom of the table. Before we get started, we’d like to wish former Lion Kevin Molino a very happy birthday! With that said, let's get to those links.
Update on the Cyle Larin Situation
Ever since Cyle Larin's DUI Thursday morning, The Mane Land has provided extensive coverage on the matter. The latest developments include an apology from Larin, an unofficial team meeting with CEO Alex Leitão, comments from Jason Kreis and Kaká, and a statement from the Canada Soccer Association.
I think most intriguing are the remarks from Kreis and Kaká. Both had a tone of disappointment, while also stressing that they support Larin in his recovery and want to also improve the club’s image. Kreis summed up the whole issue by saying: “So, we need to be strict in our view of it and tell Cyle and the rest of the group that these decisions are poor and they affect everyone. But then we need to move on from that and say we’re family, and family members forgive.”
Orlando City Must Bounce Back From U.S. Open Cup Defeat
On Wednesday night, Orlando City lost to Miami FC by a score of 3-1 at home in the U.S. Open Cup. While a two-goal loss to an NASL team is already pretty bad, Orlando City played even worse than the scoreline suggests. Jason Kreis has taken full blame for the loss saying that it is his job to have “the players ready physically, mentally and tactically,” and that he and his staff failed at that task. He also mentioned that tonight’s game against the Montreal Impact is a “massive match” because the team needs a morale boost before its upcoming three-game away stretch. Giles Barnes also weighed in saying, “It was our duty to do him justice, and we didn’t. We didn’t do the fans justice, and we didn’t do the club justice, so we’ve got to get ready and firing again for Saturday.”
Montreal Impact to Play With Five in the Back on Saturday
In a move that would certainly be ridiculed by Bill Belichick, Impact Head Coach Mauro Biello revealed that he would be using five defenders against Orlando City in tonight’s match. When asked about how he’d set up his defense in the next game, he simply said, “It worked well for us in the last game and we’ll try it again. One of the advantages to the alignment is that it allows us to get more players defending against crosses and set pieces in the box.” If the Impact sit back and play it more like a five-back than a three-back, then it will be tough for Orlando City to score with main goal threat Cyle Larin unavailable.
Alex Morgan is Back and Ready to Win
When Alex Morgan left for Lyon, it was very disheartening for Pride fans to hear that she would miss a lot of the season. Some were skeptical of whether or not she would ever return. Luckily she is back in Orlando, though it will be a few weeks before she takes the field due to a hamstring injury. Morgan says she’s aiming for the team to go to the playoffs this year. It’ll definitely be exciting for the World Cup winner to be playing up front with the GOAT, Marta.
The Azteca Experience
USA vs. Mexico at the Azteca is always a fantastic match. This year we got exactly what we wanted, a point, though that’s not always the case. Regardless of the result, the atmosphere is always second to none. On mlssoccer.com’s series, the Hex, they give the viewer an inside look into the game.
That’s all for today’s lion links. Enjoy your soccer-filled weekend.