Hello, Mane Landers! Hopefully by now you have recovered from any holiday party that you might have done. There is not much soccer news this week, but that will all change shortly. Here are your links:
Sigi Schmid Dead at Age 65
Former LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid died on Tuesday after a three-week hospital stay and Major League Soccer lost a major historical figure. No cause of death was given, but he was in need of a heart transplant. Schmid won all of the hardware in American soccer, including three Supporters Shields and two MLS Cups with two different teams (the Galaxy and the Columbus Crew). He won the U.S. Open Cup five times as a manager, the College Cup three times with UCLA, and also captured the 2000 Concacaf Champions Cup. He was named MLS Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2008. Schmid won 240 regular season MLS games — more than any other coach in league history — and 26 playoff matches. It’s safe to say that Major League Soccer lost a legend on Christmas day.
Former Orlando City coach Jason Kreis was among those who expressed an outpouring of support for Schmid and his loved ones on social media last night.
Sigi Schmid was an amazing coach, a terrific man, a mentor, a great example, and someone who would always lend an ear in a time of need. This is devastating news. You will be missed Herr Schmid!— Jason Kreis (@JasonKreis) December 26, 2018
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Sigi Schmid. https://t.co/io9YXjOqow— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) December 27, 2018
Will the Pride Ever Hire a Coach?
The Equalizer had a fun piece about the fact that the Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit have yet to hire a coach. It is a good, light read and I highly recommend it. The issue is that while this is a lighthearted piece, it is a pretty serious matter. The NWSL draft is now just 14 days away. Time is running out for the Pride to hire a coach by that important date on the soccer calendar.
Biggest Stories of 2018
MLSsoccer.com released a list of the top 10 “most stunning storylines of the 2018 MLS season.” Orlando made the list and of course it was about nothing good. Here are two quotes about the Lions:
“Orlando City SC got the worst of it with the double whammy that was their Sacha Kljestan and Justin Meram acquisitions. The duo combined to average 15 goals and 26 assists over the last three MLS campaigns. This year, the Lions got precisely seven goals and nine assists out of them (nearly all of that coming from Kljestan, the one who lasted the whole year).”
“Let’s not pretend. Virtually everyone in our soccer bubble saw all the glitzy pick-ups made by the Purple Lions last winter and figured they were headed to the playoffs for the first time. And then came the extended and crushing disappointment that was Orlando City’s season.”
Two SeaWolves Honored After Club’s First Win
The Orlando SeaWolves grabbed their first victory on Saturday against Mississauga and as a result two members of the team’s inaugural roster made this week’s MASL Team of the Week. Gordy Gurson was named to the team after scoring twice and adding two assists. Former Orlando City USL player Jonathan Mendoza was named as an honorable mention, despite scoring a hat trick and setting up one of Gurson’s goals by drawing a penalty. Congratulations to both players for their performances against the MetroStars.
The LA Galaxy Have a New Coach
After Caleb Porter opted for the Columbus Crew job instead of LA’s, the Galaxy were in a weird place and needed a head coach. It appears that Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto is going to be the new gaffer of Zlatan’s Galaxy. Schelotto is an ex-Crew player, who was part of the 2008 MLS Cup title team. He also won the 2008 MLS MVP and MLS Cup MVP.
The @LAGalaxy have reached agreement w/ Guillermo Barros Schelotto to become the team's new coach. Schelotto was manager at Argentine power Boca Juniors until Dec. 14. Another coup for GM Dennis te Kloese who, this month, also re-signed @Ibra_official to a record @MLS contract— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) December 26, 2018
Boxing Day Soccer Round Up
Boxing Day is always a fun day in the soccer world, particularly the English Premier League. Manchester City lost again and dropped to third place. This is the first time since 2016 that City lost back-to-back games. Liverpool remained unbeaten in league play and moved six point ahead of the rest of the league. Manchester United is now 2-0-0 under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while outscoring opponents 8-2 after yesterday’s 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town. Here are all the results from the day.
- Orlando City has announced dates for several upcoming events. The All-Star Soccer Ball and the Purple Pride 5K will be held Feb. 23 and the annual Pub Crawl is March 1.
- Former Lion Eric Avila has signed with USL Championship side Birmingham Legion FC.
- TopDrawerSoccer.com released a mock MLS draft. I wouldn’t put too much weight on it this early, but it’s still interesting to see where they think players will land.
- Manchester United’s Paul Pogba seems to be flourishing under his new coach.
- Words won't do this video justice, but this is just another reason why Sydney Leroux is loved by so many.