I just want to start with, I don't care if you're reading this right now as long as you and everyone you care about is safe. Not your typical writer's response, and kind of moot considering anyone who doesn't read this, well, won't read this statement. But know that all of us at The Mane Land are rooting for everyone to make it through this time as best as we can.
So stay safe, drink plenty of fluids (the hard kind), and as long as you've got power, thank you for checking in with us as we hope to give you the distraction you probably need.
New Faces the Theme at D.C. United
Tonight, Orlando City takes on D.C. United at RFK Stadium (7 p.m. ET, TV27) in a battle for good vibes with both teams firmly out of the playoff picture. But that doesn't mean you should be ignoring it. New faces to Orlando and D.C. look to rule the day as both teams are a far cry from the 2-0 Orlando win back in May.
A heavy transfer window for D.C. United saw USMNT player Paul Arriola join fellow transfers Zoltan Steiber and Russell Canouse in leading United to a three-match winning streak. Meanwhile, Dom Dwyer looks to open his account, alongside Yoshi Yotùn in their first ever match in D.C. as members of the Lions.
Orlando has scored in five of their last six matches, while D.C. United has won its three consecutive matches by a count of 1-0 each time. Something has to give here and we're hopeful the Lions can bounce back with a season sweep.
For more details, here's our match preview
Irma May Wreak Havoc for Lions Travel ; Training gets "Chippy"
Irma is providing plenty of distractions for the Lions as players have been preparing for the unknown while in D.C. this weekend. Irma intends to play further havoc on the Lions’ travel schedule, as it is unlikely they'll be able to make it back into Orlando safely after the match. The next match is away to Atlanta, which could serve as an early destination to avoid weather issues.
Kreis is quoted as saying players are getting "chippy" in training and that's a good thing as far as he's concerned. Here's hoping that fire carries through to the pitch tonight vs. D.C. United.
Alex Morgan Gives Her Thoughts on Short-Lived Excitement, Playoffs Inch Closer
The Orlando Pride had a very short-lived clinched playoff — literally to the tune of a goal celebration —- as the Seattle Reign fired right back to keep the playoffs alive for them and Sky Blue Thursday night. Listen to Alex Morgan give her take on the goal, Seattle's response, and the run ahead as the Pride inch closer to their first playoff appearance:
This leaves the Orlando Pride in the third playoff spot for now with one more match played than Chicago and Sky Blue with two tough matches ahead against the Portland Thorns at home and at the North Carolina Courage — the top two teams in the NWSL. The good news is with two games to play the Pride only need to take a couple more points from these final matches to clinch or have Sky Blue and Seattle drop points elsewhere. Seattle and Sky Blue must win out to even have a chance at taking a spot from Orlando. So, while it's looking good for the Pride there still remains some work to close out the season.
Edwards Earns USL Player of the Month
Earl Edwards Jr.'s importance to Orlando City B has been recognized this month by USL, as he earns Player of the Month for August, despite missing two-fifths of OCB's matches upon an MLS call-up.
Edwards featured three shutouts in five appearances with an 88.5% save percentage and helped the young Lions climb as high as sixth in the USL’s Eastern Conference.
Check back on Monday for an in-depth look at Edwards current situation.
Could Orlando City Stadium Host the U.S. leg of a WCQ Playoff?
The chances of the U.S. Men's National Team featuring in a World Cup qualifying playoff hasn't been this real for awhile. But the fact is that the USA has a lot of work to do and their latest two results haven't inspired confidence that clinching that third spot is automatic by any stretch.
With a playoff on the table, the USSF needs to start strategizing now on what the best options would be for the U.S. leg. Considering the scrutiny they've faced for the Costa Rica match in New Jersey, they would be wise to give considerable consideration to the best stadium for home advantage vs. revenues and TV markets. Orlando City Stadium features in this FourFourTwo article on potential venues.
- Stay safe and track the storm here.
- Didn't get enough of the USMNT? Keep tabs on all of them playing this weekend.
- Get to know Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy a little better as they answer questions for the Westside Matildas’ quick-fire Friday.
- SKC still trying to find scoring rhythm/consistency, namely on the road, without Dom Dwyer.
- Orlando City and the NCAA partner on a Youth Soccer Showcase.
And lastly, I leave with you with this: we all make mistakes. Sometimes you close down one the best roller coasters in Central Florida despite a certain writer waiting two hours to get his last ride ever because it's that good (not a mistake, I'll miss you Dueling Dragons!). And sometimes you misspell the name of your club on your badge, forcing you and your brand to refund thousands of sold kits.
Montpellier spelt Montpellier wrong on their own shirts pic.twitter.com/iRWrQ5qzJr— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 8, 2017
Stay safe Florida!