Greetings and happy Tuesday, readers! I’m back from my week-long vacation and ready to give you your daily update on soccer-related news. Let’s boogie.
Larin Absent From Training Camp
Orlando City striker Cyle Larin was not in attendance as the team opened training camp Monday. Larin had a medical with Turkish club Besiktas a week and a half ago, but thus far has not been signed by the club. Lions’ Head Coach Jason Kreis had the following to say about the situation:
“First and foremost, Cyle is a contracted [Orlando City] player. He was supposed to be here. Whether or not there will be repercussions for not being here is a little above my pay grade.”
With other rumors swirling that Besiktas may no longer be interested in the player if they have to pay a substantial fee to acquire him, there are now reports that he may now be trying to move to Olympiacos in Greece. Only time will tell how the situation ends up, but your trusty writers at The Mane Land will be quick on the drop as soon as concrete news becomes available.
While Larin was a no-show, Mohamed El-Munir is expected soon, as in today or tomorrow. El-Munir’s visa was delayed. In other news from the first day of camp, former Real Salt Lake center back Chris Schuler is training with the Lions.
USSF Presidential Election is Wide Open
The race for the USSF’s presidency is, to put it in layman’s terms, a crapshoot. Many of the candidates agree on hot-button issues, and not many voters have come out and said who they’ll be voting for. That means that with the way things look right now, voters will simply have to pick whoever they think will do the best job, which won’t be the easiest thing to do.
For example, while Kathy Carter and Carlos Cordeiro have some experience working with the business side of the sport at a high level, they have the downside of being associated with the Gulati camp in a time where many people would probably prefer a fresh face. On the other hand, Eric Wynalda, Hope Solo, and Kyle Martino are all well known and, for the most part, popular faces, but don’t really have any experience in the management/business side of the game, aside from Wynalda and Martino’s time in television. With the election only a few weeks away and not much to go on currently besides one’s gut, hopefully things begin to crystallize in a good way that will ultimately help U.S. Soccer.
The Armchair Analyst’s Top 10
MLS.com’s Armchair Analyst has released his list of top 10 MLS teams as things currently stand. The top three contains few surprises, with Toronto FC, New York City FC, and Atlanta United, in that order. While I won’t spoil the list for you, I will say that I thought there were some surprises; for instance, LA Galaxy’s inclusion at No. 7. I will tell you that Orlando City does not appear on the list, and given the team’s struggles last season that’s difficult to argue with. But, hope springs eternal and MLS is a funny old league, so a word to the wise: Don’t count the Lions out yet.
Weah Sworn in as Liberian President
Yesterday former AC Milan, Chelsea, and PSG player George Weah was sworn in as Liberia’s 24th president. His election marked the African country’s first peaceful democratic transition of power in 47 years and Liberians packed out Monrovia’s Samuel Doe Stadium to witness the inauguration. Weah previously ran for president in 2005 and was defeated, but he would not be denied a second time. He has vowed to fight corruption and address the plight of Liberia’s poor during his time in office and we at The Mane Land certainly wish him luck.
- Former Orlando City forward Pedro Ribeiro has signed with USL side Fresno FC.
- The LA Galaxy have signed midfielder Chris Pontius.
- This made me chuckle:
- Today’s birthdays include Arjen Robben, J.T. Barrett, and Chesley Sullenberger.
That’s all I’ve got for you today, but keep it locked to TML for all your OCSC news. I leave you with my friendly tip for the day: If you haven’t thought about what you’re doing for your significant other for Valentine’s Day, maybe start getting some ideas together. It’ll sneak up on you. Adiós.