Happy Monday, all! It was great to finally get to write about Orlando City news yesterday, and I’m sure you all enjoyed the activity from the club. There were many moves around the league, and there are still more to come, as the league gets ready for the MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday. If you forgot how the Expansion Draft works, FC Cincinnati beaks it down for you.
Now, it’s time for some links!
Orlando City Half-Day Trade Window Activity
The Lions were active during the Half-Day Trade Window yesterday. No moves were announced when the window was open (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET), but two were made official after the fact.
First, Orlando City found some attacking depth in Tesho Akindele. The 26-year-old Canadian can play up top or on the wings but has played in just 133 games (67 starts) in five seasons in MLS. The Lions sent FC Dallas $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2019 and $50,000 of General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2020 for Akindele.
Then, the Lions sent PC Giro to Vancouver in exchange for a third-round draft pick in the 2019 SuperDraft. This move shouldn’t affect James O’Connor’s squad too much, as the Brazilian likely would have seen limited field action and getting value in the third round is rare.
That was the end of Orlando’s moves, but there is supposedly still another trade in the works. Young left back Joao Moutinho is rumored to be on the way to the City Beautiful while Orlando City would be working on sending Mohamed El-Munir to LAFC. This move is far from done and could take some time to be completed.
Copa Libertadores Final
After the second leg was finally played in Madrid, River Plate beat Boca Juniors, 3-1 (5-3 on aggregate) in the Copa Libertadores Final. An aggregated 180 was not enough to separate the teams, and it went into extra time. Juan Quintero was the man of the match after coming on in the 58th minute. His goal in the 109th minute was the game-winner, and it was a beauty.
Quintero just scored this golazo in the Copa Libertadores final. BANGER. pic.twitter.com/wobJD9nzVw— Football HQ (@FootbaII_HQ) December 9, 2018
U.S. U-20 WNT Beats China, 1-0
Isabella Cook’s first-time shot was enough to lift the young Americans over China. This was the Yanks’ second and final match in the 2018 Women’s Nike International Friendlies. The U.S. lost to France last week and this result means that France needs only a draw to win the tournament when it takes on China on Tuesday.
There it is! Isabella Cook slams it home in the 51st minute! leads 1-0. pic.twitter.com/WbLG4R6dOY— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) December 10, 2018
Raheem Sterling’s Story
He’s a star player on the best team in England, but it was not an easy road for Sterling. He writes about it here on The Players’ Tribune. From his dad’s murder to his mom’s “hustling” to almost going to Arsenal, this is a great read about Sterling’s journey.
Sterling was also in the news this weekend after the Chelsea game. When he was near the sideline, fans could be seen making racist remarks towards him. This was a disgusting moment, and Robbie Earle speaks from the heart about it.
Maryland Wins the 2018 NCAA College Cup
In a back-and-forth match, Maryland’s defense was the difference in a 1-0 victory over Akron. Maryland found the back of the net via penalty kick with 33 minutes left in the first half. With 15 minutes left in the game, things started to get interesting. The Terps were awarded another penalty kick but Akron goalkeeper Ben Lundt came up huge with the stop. Five minutes later, Akron went a man down, and Maryland held on to win its fourth championship.
What a tournament run. 0 goals conceded, barely even conceded any genuine chances in 5 tournament games, including wins over 3 of the top 6 seeds. #CollegeCup— Jason Anderson (@chestrockwell14) December 10, 2018
- The guys over at MLSSoccer.com have some way too early predictions. Is Orlando City in any of them? No, and to be honest the teams they have are exactly who you would expect. Here they talk about the off-season moves and here they predict the 2019 MLS champion.
- There will be a couple of Orlando Pride players in France for the World Cup. If you are interested in seeing any of them, make sure to check out the ticket info for the Matildas.
- Forward Maxi Urruti is heading north after a blockbuster trade.
- There has been some accountability after reports of abuse and harassment from officials against the Afghanistan Women’s National Team has resulted in suspensions.