Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope that you all are having a great start to the weekend.
As the Lions are training up in Jacksonville, working on their game and their team bonding, the Pride have added a key piece to their defense helping solidify their dominant squad. There have been some great things happening this week and Friday did not disappoint either. Oh and if it helps, only five more Saturdays until Orlando City soccer returns, so get pumped!
On to the links!
The Cyle Larin Saga reaching its end?
Yesterday morning, there were multiple reports out of Turkey claiming that Orlando City and Besiktas had reached an agreement for a fee regarding Cyle Larin. Many of us were thinking, ‘yay the saga is over,’ however, not so fast! Shortly after these reports came out, Prosoccerusa.com quoted a team spokesman saying that the club had no deal in place with Besiktas and nothing was finalized. So, it would appear that the saga goes on for now, with a resolution coming soon, hopefully. Also, it appears that Cyle was taking in Besiktas’ game against Kasimpasa. He looks a little chilly to me.
MLS to Miami Shares Big Invite for Monday
MLS soccer appears to be returning to Miami with an official announcement coming Monday. The MLS movement to bring soccer back to Miami has been an ongoing discussion over the last few years with the bid being led by David Beckham. Guests such as MLS Commissioner Don Garber, David Beckham, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure are expected to be in attendance. Free tickets can be claimed on their new website, as this event will be a fun one to witness. I for one, am very excited for an in-state rival as it’ll give our fans a chance to show their true colors and develop a true, hardy rivalry.
Anonymous Group Forms to Save the Boston Breakers
It would appear that the Boston Breakers may not be dead after all. A report was released that a small group of anonymous local investors are attempting to band together and put forth the money in order to keep the club afloat and competitive. It came out earlier this week that the Breakers were going to fold due to financial difficulties, though no official announcement came from NWSL (there were various tweets claiming players and coaches were informed that the club would fold). NWSL was expected to announce the folding yesterday but this group of investors has prolonged the announcement for the time being. If the Breakers can stay afloat, it would really show the grit of the league and further prove its importance in women’s soccer. And it would allow the league to remain at 10 teams, so one team wouldn’t be off every weekend.
Anthony Precourt in Talks with Local Columbus Investors
The #SaveTheCrew movement has been weighing on many MLS fans’ minds. It was announced last season that the Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt had a clause in the purchase contract of the club which stated the team could be moved to Austin, TX. Since the Crew’s playoff run, it’s been assumed by most that the club is pulling up stakes and moving to Texas after the 2018 season. Some players, such as Ola Kamara and Justin Meram began asking for trades ahead of the move after this season. It was reported yesterday that Precourt was talking with various investors about the club, taking positive steps toward keep the club in Columbus and one potential Austin stadium site is now off the table. Here’s to hoping that the Crew can continue playing in Columbus!
Gregg Berhalter Should be in the USMNT Coach Conversation
Continuing on the Columbus Crew train, Sam Stejskal with MLS soccer and a writer with FourFourTwo, wrote a story about how Gregg Berhalter, the manager of Columbus Crew, should be considered for the USMNT coaching job when the USSF holds its election and narrows down its coaching search. Stejskal writes that out of all the managers in MLS, Berhalter has some of the best experience with coaching and playing in the top league in soccer. He currently sits as the manager and technical director of the Columbus Crew. Berhalter has expressed interest in the job but feels he isn’t ready to take that step yet.
Berhalter seems like he’d be a solid choice to help U.S. Soccer fix some of its problems in boys’ youth development. Through working in MLS and observing U.S. Soccer (where, it should be noted, his brother, Jay, is a high-powered executive), Berhalter likely has an idea of where some of the holes are and has an idea of how he’d like to correct them. At the same time, he’s not in too deep. He didn’t work to build the current system, and I doubt he’d have any compunction about making necessary changes.
Berhalter is one of several MLS coaches that will be considered when it comes time to choose a skipper for the USMNT, but I would argue an underrated choice. Berhalter could be just what the national team needs to reboot itself and climb out of the massive hole that U.S. Men’s Soccer is currently in.
- Semi-professional Soccer is coming to Lincoln, NE! Bugeaters FC (I’m not joking with that name) will be starting league play in April, joining the United Premier Soccer League for this upcoming season. They held a small launch party with 100 supporters in attendance.
- Carlos Carmona’s time at Atlanta United has come to an end as the Chilean will return to Chile so he can be closer to his family. This rumor has been around for a few weeks but some details of the impending transfer have surfaced via Sam Stejskal. This could be a sizable hit to Atlanta’s defensive efforts as Carmona was a key piece for them.
- Mlsoccer.com named a list of five players with a new opportunity next season. Players on the list include Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids), Nouhou (Seattle Sounders), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes), and former Orlando City player Carlos Rivas (New York Red Bulls). On the list of “Honorable mentions” is Orlando City player Dillon Powers, along with Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers) and Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas).
- The U-20 USWNT has made the U-20 World Cup which will be held in France later this year. The Yanks blew a 1-0 lead to the 10-player Haitians in stoppage but then edged them out in penalties, winning the shootout, 3-0, and bringing the team back to the U-20 World Cup.
This week for my positive media of the week, I share Will Johnson’s comments on the upcoming season for Orlando City. He says a lot of positive things about the team coming into camp and really displays his passion for this team. Please give it a watch regardless of your feelings for Johnson. It’s a good watch for sure!