Happy New Year’s Day, Mane Landers! Hopefully you've had a great holiday and enjoy this — hopefully — last day off before the usual grind takes over. And as is customary, you’re probably taking this last day of “freedom” to do a variety of things: drink that last beer, eat that last doughnut, or be lazy before you fight off all the resolutioners in the gym. [side note: as an avid gym goer, I hate this time of year. Please read about gym etiquette, thank you in advance.]
Most likely, you've already started to figure out how to make 2018 the best year ever. And it’s all going to start with those resolutions. According to an article last year in NBC News these were the most popular searched resolutions:
- Get Healthy: 62,776,640 searches.
- Get Organized: 33,230,420 searches.
- Live Life to the Fullest: 18,970,210 searches.
- Learn New Hobbies: 17,438,670 searches.
- Spend Less/Save More: 15,905,290.
So, I thought, wouldn't it be fun to suggest putting a soccer-style spin on these — and others — that are much needed to make sure our 2018 as fans is as great as possible?
Get Organized...In the U.S. Soccer House With Someone New
If you are unaware, there’s a big election coming up this February for the new U.S. Soccer president. The process has been called out multiple times by candidates like Steve Gans and Paul Caligiuri. Gans called out for an independent counsel citing rule and bylaw changes, while Caligiuri accurately pointed out the disparity in the women’s professional league voting weight.
The U.S. Soccer House, its Board of Directors, and its bylaws need some reorganization. They need an “outsider” who hasn't been in the league or Federation offices. It’s a new year, we need new blood. Whether it’s Eric Wynalda, Kyle Martino, Steve Gans, or Michael Winograd, I frankly don’t care as long as Kathy Carter and Carlos Cordeiro remain on the outside looking in.
Trim the Fat...By Dropping a Designated Player
If you've read many of my articles, this will come at no surprise. But just like you’re thinking of getting rid of that dead weight holding you back, Orlando City needs to do the same. And that dead weight is none other than Orlando’s worst Designated Player: Carlos Rivas.
No more shots over the Heineken sign. No more walking 95% of the time (not fact, but it feels like it). And no more taking up the most valuable spot on an MLS roster. Whether he goes by trade, cut, or lessening his designation, we’re going to need that DP spot back Carlos.
Save...By Spending on Key Pride Players
Yes this one is a bit backwards, but hear me out. We’ve got two essential pieces to a roster that is quite frankly, the opposite of Orlando City’s and primed for a league title run. But that can’t happen if the club gets frugal and doesn't spend to keep two prominent Aussies: Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy.
Both players remain unsigned and it most likely is due to both rising starlets requiring a raise. Catley, 23, made NWSL’s Second XI honors this season with high praise from Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni.
“She’s arguably the best left back in the world, to be honest. She’s just a great attacking player, great engine and just a quality footballer. She’s just your classic attacking left back.”
Kennedy, 22, typically plays as a center back but stepped into the midfield this past season, where she excelled for the Pride. Her four goals tied for third-best on the team and she added an assist.
This isn't the time to save but to spend, and spend generously, on these two core pieces.
Live Life...To Make the Playoffs
Yes this one is very simple, lets have some real fun and get our first MLS playoff game in Orlando this year. Trade for Sacha Kljestan, find another DP for Rivas, go get some more international players. I’m not going to solve this, but it needs to be the number one priority after three straight seasons without a trip to the postseason .
Learn Some Patience and Maintain Faith
I know this one is going to be tough. I even wrote the article on how Orlando City needs to step up its game compared to its expansion counterparts. We are yelling at the club to do something while we watch Darlington Nagbe go to Atlanta United or LAFC continue to make move after move.
We need to learn that Niki Budalic and Jason Kreis need time to build a roster. It’s only been one off-season and there was a lot wrong with the team coming off of Adrian Heath and Paul McDonough. And, unfortunately, MLS roster rules don’t make it easy to turn around a team in a year. This is going to take some time so please continue to support this team and have faith it’ll turn around. Take my word for it, I’m from Cleveland after all.
Hope for Good Health...For OCB
Right now, we have no idea what is going on with the USL arm of the club, Orlando City B. All we can hope for is that OCB is alive and healthy when the new season kicks off. While this isn't looking good with only one current player on the roster, we’re hoping the club doesn't abandon this piece of the soccer pyramid which will ultimately cost the development of young players in the future.
So let me know if you agree or disagree with these resolutions! Let us know what resolutions you've got for the club or for us!
As the newbie on the staff, I can tell you that one of my goals in 2018 is to become a better writer for all of your entertainment or informational pleasure. May your 2018 be phenomenal and thanks for your continued support!