Happy Thursday to you all, readers of our website! The weekend is in sight and things are starting to heat up on the pitch as the Lions train in Jacksonville ahead of a friendly against Jacksonville University slated for Feb. 3 at Oak Stadium.
The team isn’t yet complete but it’s coming together and it sure would be nice if the club was flush with cash from selling some player from...oh, let’s say Canada, to a team in...oh, let me pick Turkey out of a hat. Besiktas and the club’s fans can lie to themselves all they want about what constitutes a contract but they’d better realize things are going to get messier before everyone can move on.
Speaking of moving on, let’s get to today’s stories.
Serbian Defender Dušan Cvetinović Headed to Orlando?
Over in Ligue 2 in France there’s a defender by the name of Dušan Cvetinović who just might be headed to Orlando City. The 6-foot-1, 29-year-old Serbian has been with Lens since 2016, where he racked up 52 appearances in all competitions entering this season, scoring four goals. He’s appeared in 15 games this season and according to the linked story from topmercato.com, Orlando City has made an offer for Cvetinović. AEK Athens in Greece is also reportedly interested in the defender.
This is a plausible rumor because the Lions need a center back or two and he fits the experience profile that Niki Budalic and Jason Kreis are looking for to pair with Jonathan Spector in Orlando City’s central defense. Always take this with a grain of salt but Transfermarkt.com values him at 800,000 Euros. If he comes over, he should fit right in. He’s gotten 40(!) yellow cards and three red cards since 2009 (183 games).
Yoshi’s Psyched About the Season, World Cup
Perhaps the Orlando City player most excited to get 2018 going is Yoshimar Yotun, who is entering his first full season with the Lions. Oh, and he’s representing his country in the World Cup as Peru makes its first appearance in the competition in 36 years. On Wednesday, Yotun talked about the night his country clinched its spot in the competition.
“It was incredible, 36 years the country had to wait to play in the World Cup, so to win the final game of a two-game series at home was truly incredible,” Yotún said.
Mike Gramajo of ProSoccerUSA.com, who penned the linked article on Yoshi, also got clarification about some of the Lions who are closing in on their green cards.
Jose Aja, Richie Laryea and Victor PC Giro on the verge of getting their green cards. Aja tells me he will get his in beginning of February. 3 international slots will free up for Orlando City once green cards come in for reported players.— Mike Gramajo (@byMikeGramajo) January 24, 2018
A Replacement for Aubrey Bledsoe Coming?
The Orlando Pride opened their off-season business earlier this week by swapping backup goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and a draft pick — Tom Sermanni seems allergic to those darn draft picks — for defender Shelina Zadorsky. So, Orlando is in need of a backup for starter Ashlyn Harris. Could that be coming up soon?
Tom should be able to unload another of those hated future draft selections to get a new backup goalkeeper, but there’s still some time for a few more moves prior to the 2018 NWSL season and I expect business to pick up soon.
Not Cool, Revs
As you may know by now, New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen was a no-show at the start of camp after requesting a move away from Foxborough. Well, the Revs didn’t like that so much, which is understandable. After all, he’s a very good player. However, it doesn’t sound like New England isn’t too interested in even seeing what it can get for its brightest star.
Per league sources, #NERevs not even engaging with teams who are interested in trading for Lee Nguyen. It's a firm no, with not even a discussion of a price.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) January 24, 2018
Mr. Kraft, can we interest you in the MLS rights to a certain Canadian striker?
D.C. United Doesn’t Know Where its Opener Will Be Played Yet
With a new stadium slated to open in mid-July, D.C. United — Orlando City’s season-opening opponent — isn’t sure where it will play its own home opener. Major League Soccer doesn’t want the team to play at Maryland SoccerPlex, writes Steven Goff, due to “facility and security issues.” This could leave United scrambling to find a place to play its March 17 home opener against the Houston Dynamo. Exacerbating the problem is that many alternate sites in the area are unavailable. Being that Houston is a Western Conference foe, it’s not possible to simply swap home/away dates with the Dynamo.
- Jason Kreis says first-round draft pick Chris Mueller is a “soccer junkie.” My response: “same.”
- The USSF has announced it’s inaugural Fan Council. Apparently I didn’t even get any consideration.
- Juan Quintero, once linked with Orlando City and later rumored to be a Chicago Fire target, has signed with River Plate.
- Leeds United created quite the stir with their new badge, which they touted as taking six months of research and having consulted 10,000 people. You can decide for yourself if those people were sane or not, but the club is already taking another look at the crest change.
- The city of Rochester, NY, is evicting the Rhinos from Capelli Stadium.
- For realsies this time? David Beckham is set to launch his MLS franchise on Monday. Possibly. Who knows? Stay tuned.
- Among those born on this date: Benfica legend Eusébio (1942), hockey’s Chris Chelios (1962), Xavi (1980), and Robinho (1984).
That’s all my time for this morning. Enjoy your Thursday and begin your countdown for the weekend.