Greetings from Asheville, NC, folks! That's right, I’ve started off my year in classic New Year’s resolution fashion, by drinking my weight in beer and eating everything I see. But of course, if I’m on the road doing fun things, it means major stories are about to drop. And this time is no different:
Sacha Kljestan Looks Certain to join Orlando in 2018
In a “blockbuster” trade of Designated Players — well, at least one quality DP — Orlando City looks like it’ll gain 2017’s league leader in assists, Sacha Kljestan, for what I would call a near steal. Or at worst, a lopsided deal in City’s favor. While the deal isn't official, we will be on the lookout for an announcement from the club shortly if ESPN sources prove correct.
City gives away DP Carlos Rivas and U-20 USMNT center back Tommy Redding for Kljestan and $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).
While Redding is a loss as he’s shown promise at a very young age, you have to give away something to get something. If that something is 17 assists, I will take it. And if doubly it means that we get rid of Carlos Rivas, I — and others at The Mane Lane — will drive him to the airport gladly.
USMNT January Camp to Feature Dwyer?
Every year the U.S. Men’s National Team hosts a camp in January that mostly features a large collection of youth, college, and MLS-based players. If our SB Nation partner Stars and Stripes FC has anything to say about it, we will be seeing Dom Dwyer as a part of this group.
That would come as no surprise to anyone here, as Dom has been involved in recent Gold Cup and friendly competitions vs. Portugal.
As for the rest of the predictions, we should hope the Jonathan Gonzalez rumors are true. The dual international that has been a part of the LIGA MX champions Monterrey didn't receive a call-up for the Portugal friendly and was vocal about it.
But stay calm about all of this. Ultimately, the USSF presidential election and potential new GM of soccer will be happening within the next few months, meaning that a whole new coaching staff will have its own motivations for roster building.
You won't see Josh Sargent, though. He’s ready to live the dream at Werder Bremen as he officially can join the Bundesliga side.
Bledsoe and Catley Shine in W-League
I feel like we’re writing about this every week and I’m ecstatic about it. The Pride ladies on loan continue to kill it for the Australian W-League. This week it’s Aubrey Bledsoe and Steph Catley getting praise.
Bledsoe featured in the Sydney FC 1-0 stoppage time win where the Pride’s backup goalkeeper received praise for her multi-save performance.
Catley also featured in a 1-0 win where her crossing ability played into the only goal for Melbourne City FC.
- Hey, the farmers market at the stadium is set to open this week.
Free up your Saturday for the Parramore Farmers Market grand opening! #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/vdIFUZL8ao— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) January 2, 2018
- Goal.com rates their top 50 American male players. You won't find an Orlando City player, but the list features quite a few young Americans you should follow.
- A group of Egyptian one-legged players formed a league. Awesome!
- D.C. United signs Venezuelan international Junior Moreno.
- Are you looking for family-friendly reasons to see an Orlando City match? Here’s your guide.
- Soccer and beer? Two things I can get around.
And because I’m on my third brewery of the day, (while writing) and about to hit probably six more before the day is out, here’s a great example of me telling my war-torn, glory days soccer stories. Albeit not as cool. Cheers!