Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. There may be a hurricane heading this way (if you didn’t know that yet, please immediately visit your local news channel) but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t soccer news. Therefore, before you check the latest track, get your daily soccer fix with today’s Lion Links.
Young Lions Learn Lessons
The young center backs of Orlando City have been a talking point for the majority of the season and last Saturday’s 4-0 loss really highlighted their inexperience, with the ejection of Jose Aja ending any comeback opportunities for the lions. However, every mistake is being used as a teachable moment for this young side to help improve the Lions’ fortunes as the season finishes up.
Pride Playoff Chase
The Orlando Pride racked up their fifth win in a row on Saturday night with a 4-2 win over the Boston Breakers and that performance helped the Pride retain their spot at the top of the NWSL power rankings. The surging Pride are playing some beautiful soccer and could be the first team to provide playoff soccer to Orlando City Stadium and will continue their three game home stand on Saturday against the Seattle Reign should Hurricane Irma not impact the City Beautiful. The club also has an option to move the game to Friday night, if possible.
To tide you over in this period of uncertainty, enjoy this quaint interview with Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. Oh, and vote for Chi Ubogagu for NWSL Goal of the Week on Twitter.
USMNT Grabs Late Point Against Honduras
Hamburger SV forward Bobby Wood spared the USMNT’s blushes yesterday, grabbing an 85th-minute equalizer against Honduras to level the match and give the USA a precious point in in the hunt for qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The scrappy contest wasn’t one for the ages, but it means that the U.S. still controls its own destiny as the Yanks head into their final two contests. However, this lackluster qualifying campaign has led some commentators to think that the USSF needs to get better at selecting “home” venues for competition qualifiers.
Baptista Bolton Bound?
Championship side Bolton Wanderers are close to signing former Real Madrid, Arsenal. and Orlando City forward Julio Baptista. The Beast is hoping to help revive the Trotters’ fortunes as they currently lie rooted to the bottom of the Championship with two points out of a possible 15.
NASL’s Death Blow?
The United States Soccer Federation has rejected the NASL’s Division II application for 2018. The failure to get DII status places the league (and some historic franchises) in jeopardy, especially considering the USL’s successful application, even though neither league truly meets DII status under USSF rules. It will, however, mean that once again there is only one DII league next season, and that the NASL will have to fight it out with the new USL D-3 and the National Independent Soccer Association for soccer $$.
- David Villlas’ return to the La Furia doesn’t solve MLS’s worldwide perception.
- Is St. Louis still a possibility for MLS expansion?
- Orlando City Academy player Alejandro Pereira is in the 25-man squad heading to a 10-day U-17 U.S. training camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.
- Former Orlando City Academy product Juan Hernandez is enjoying success at Appalachian State.
- Is youth the key to disaster for MLS?
- Championship side Sheffield Wednesday asks “Who ate all the cake?”
- Sunday league soccer versus old age pensioner.
That’s it for me today from Mane Land HQ. We will keep you informed in regards to the Orlando Pride game on Saturday as Hurricane Irma approaches the United States. In the meantime, make sure that you have everything you need in advance with this handy list from the American Red Cross.