Happy Wednesday, folks! I’m back into travel mode, just getting back from good ole Cleveland, OH, and on to Dogfish Head Brewery this weekend. Meaning I will be having plenty of St. Patrick’s Day fun, hoping for some positive Twitter updates on Saturday. Hopefully you will be doing the same.
Let’s do this!
Rough Start Doesn't Mean Time to Panic for City
If we can’t be the voice of reason for the city of Orlando, we’re certainly trying. If you didn't like our stance, maybe you’ll take the players’ word for it instead. Will Johnson gave his take on the Lions so far this season, via ProSoccerUSA:
“Big-time disappointment,” Johnson said of the first two games. “Obviously we expected to get more out of those games, even with the injuries and suspensions, we still felt that there were enough guys that we had on our depth chart that could step on the field and get the job done.
Johnson understands — like we do — that building a winning culture doesn't happen overnight.
“We want to be a team that’s better in September and October than we are in March and April,” Johnson said. “That’s kind of where we are. There was a lot of turnover. A lot of new faces. That’s not excuses, that’s just the reality of this group right now and so we’ve got to be a better team in September and October.
“It’s not just going to be Sacha, Dom and Josué coming in and all of the sudden we’re just going to be the team to beat. That’s not how it works. It’s a progressive, long marathon of a season and we hope to peak towards the end. That being said, we’ve got to pick up points along the way.”
Orlando City to be Seen via Twitter Saturday
An always difficult find is your team’s out-of-market — or away — matches. While for right now you can still watch via MLS Live for free, there is now another method for you to utilize on the go as MLS has partnered with Univision to broadcast 24 matches, which began last weekend with LAFC at Real Salt Lake. This will be the Lions’ first appearance live on Twitter.
But if you’re lucky enough to be in New York this weekend, the club has offered some handy suggestions on what to look out for.
MLS and Liga MX Embark on New Partnership
Another big partnership news item yesterday was between the two top North American leagues, MLS and Liga MX (Mexico).
The three main components:
- MLS All-Star Game inclusion; as well as the Homegrown Game (U-20s).
- Campeones Cup: Where each champion will play a match in September. This year it will be in Toronto FC’s BMO Field against either the Apertura or Clausura champion.
- Shared business practices/social responsibility.
Overall I don’t think is a bad move for the league in most respects. I’ll be providing a deep dive into all of these next week, so I won't steal my own thunder. But there are definite pros and cons here.
U.S. Soccer GM Positions Are In Trouble
One of the most interesting — and controversial — moves by the U.S. Soccer Federation and new USSF President Carlos Cordeiro was the announcement of the new U.S. Soccer general manager positions for the men and the women.
However, Grant Wahl reports that the federation is having trouble finding suitors for a number of reasons. It’s become clear that the roles might have been hastily put together to save face rather than being true impact positions. The combination of lack of responsibility in the full soccer pyramid (youth and pro), plus the question of true overall power while answering to a CEO, has given many reasons to hesitate in pursuing this role.
The question remains, if no one steps up, will U.S. Soccer amend the responsibilities or sweep this one under the rug? This position is supposed to hire the new men’s coach and therefore is paramount to moving forward this year, unless the plan is to wait until after the World Cup to see who’s available. Regardless, this isn't a great look for U.S. Soccer.
- In today’s things that don’t mean much category: Orlando moved four spots down to No. 14 in the MLS Power Rankings. Not really that unexpected, to be fair.
- The National Soccer Hall of Fame has announced its nominees for induction in 2018. The list is loaded with names like Taylor Twellman, Brad Friedel, Lori Lindsey, Thierry Henry, and 28 others.
- Stephanie Labbe, formerly of the Washington Spirit until they acquired Pride backup Aubrey Bledsoe, has found a new gig as a member of the Calgary Foothills men’s PDL team. So awesome! Best of luck!
- Generation Adidas schedules are out. Orlando City Development Academy will play Houston, Real Salt Lake, and CF Monterrey in the Premier Division (second division).
- MLS highlights some of the best passes from this past week, including one from Cam Lindley.
- Greenville, SC, will be the one of the founding USL Division III members.
- Scott Sutter gives us his #RichieCam update.
Monthly dose of Richmond cam! pic.twitter.com/p7ASObUEg5— Scott Sutter (@scott_sutter) March 13, 2018
- Kevin Molino’s injury has Minnesota United looking to bring back MLS standout Darwin Quintero.
- The German Women’s National Team fired its head coach, Steffi Jones, after a poor SheBelieves Cup finish.
And no matter how bad your day, or if you’re like me and sometimes miss your hair, remember: Nothing can be as bad as Marouane Fellaini doing his best Mickey Mouse impersonation:
Barber: "What can I do for you Marouane?" ✂️— SPORF (@Sporf) March 13, 2018
Fellaini: "Have you ever seen Micky Mouse?”
Barber: "Say no more....” ♂️ pic.twitter.com/xjCosKCtBF
Have a great day!