Happy game day, happy St. Patrick’s Day, and a big happy birthday to Orlando Pride’s Dani Weatherholt. Weatherholt was drafted by Orlando with the 31st pick back in 2016 and has gone on to make 32 appearances — only five players have more. She turns 24 today, a week before the Pride kick off their season at home.
The Lions play in their first away game of the season today, traveling to New York City to take on its 2015 expansion rivals. In the meantime, here’s some reading material.
PC Gets Another Game Suspension
After PC was issued a straight red by the use of video review in the season opener, the Brazilian was handed another game suspension and fined an undisclosed amount. PC did swing his arm , but only after getting pushed in the back by DC United’s Yamil Asad. The bigger issue is why it took the league’s disciplinary committee 13 days to release this information. Another, even bigger, issue is why Darren Mattocks got only a yellow card for an incident that was just as flagrant, if not worse, when he swung an elbow at Yoshimar Yotun.
Lions Prepping to Stop David Villa
Orlando City has a tough task ahead today as the Lions try to stop one of Major League Soccer’s strikers in the person of David Villa. The team is well aware of the difficulty in stopping Villa but at least Orlando is getting a pretty good player back when Sacha Kljestan makes his debut for the lads in purple. Kljestan had some things to say about Villa and New York City FC — his former bitter rival when he was with the Red Bulls.
“David Villa has got to be the first and foremost thing on everybody’s minds, especially defenders. Got to know where he is at all times. They have got players all around the field and a good tactical system. I think Patrick Vieira has instilled in them a good passing ability.
“The way they play out of the back. The way they play through midfield and counterattack pretty fast, they’re a very good team. I think they’ll be towards the top of the East all season.”
#SaveTheCrew Seems to Be Fading
Precourt Sports Ventures has sent a four-page letter titled “Commitment to the Community” to the city of Austin to detail how adding an MLS team will benefit the city. Hopefully, there will be a late stand but the #SaveTheCrew crowd must act quickly as the Austin city council will be meeting on March 22. Luckily, they just might have found it.
“We strongly believe, based on polling, other research, demographics and the dynamic personality of Austin, this community is an ideal fit for Major League Soccer — young, multicultural, digitally sophisticated, and a great 21st Century American metropolitan area to live, work and play,” the letter read. “If we earn the privilege, our club, which will become the hometown club for all of Austin to embrace, will be a great contributor to this community for generations to come, bringing all Austinites together under a common cause.”
The UEFA Champions League held its quarterfinal draw yesterday and some big games can be expected. The most notable will be a rematch of the 2017 final when Juventus takes on Real Madrid. The Guardian does a break down of each game.