Greetings on what hopefully is a better weather day than the past two. I honestly haven't had much luck with weather in all my travels, and it seems I’ve brought some along with me back home. Thankfully it’s not the bitter 30-degree cold I’ve been in.
With it being an international week, it’s a bit slow, but you can catch up on your Pride news with the home opener only being four days away, plus at least one bit of exciting City news.
Uri Rosell Has Been Training with the Team...Finally
After being announced 49 days ago, the defensive midfielder was finally seen training with the full squad yesterday. The reports had been that he was working on fitness before being able to join the team. Honestly, I think that’s speculative at best. A professional soccer player probably doesn't need nearly two months “to get into playing shape.” Hopefully it was some paperwork issue and not a knock that was kept under wraps.
Regardless, if Uri can return next week at home vs. New York Red Bulls, that would be a huge plus to the team. Cam Lindley has attempted to play the No. 6 role to varying degrees of success. But he can’t match the experience of Rosell on any level. With the Lions desperately needing a win, gaining an impact starter back into the side will be huge.
Pride Predictions Vary Amongst Writers
At The Equalizer, Dan Lauletta and staff just put out their 2018 NWSL predictions, including a variety of league results and awards.
Lauletta has plenty of Pride players taking individual awards with Marta taking the MVP and Golden Boot, and Ashlyn Harris winning Goalkeeper of the Year. He has Orlando making it into the playoffs but losing to the eventual champion Seattle Reign, who will top the North Carolina Courage in the final.
The rest of the field is scattered. Only nine teams exist now in the NWSL and many of the teams, like the Washington Spirit, saw huge upgrades due to trades and the Boston Breakers allocation draft. Four out of five writers see the Pride in the playoffs, with two writers believing they’ll win.
Bendik Underrated, Dwyer Overrated in MLS Player Poll
On condition of anonymity, ESPN asked 104 current MLS players during the preseason who they believed were the league’s most overrated and underrated players, among a series of other questions on the state of the league. Check back on Wednesday for the full results of ESPN’s poll.
In the overrated category, receiving 2% of the vote was Dom Dwyer. To be fair, this isn't that harsh. For a variety of reasons he hasn't put together another truly great season after 2014, and he carries a fairly high price tag. Here’s hoping he bucks that trend when he comes back healthy.
There wasn’t a percentage given, but Joe Bendik was given the underrated nod by quite a few players. This one is 50/50 to me. On a team last year that had him peppered consistently, he did OK, as it’s tough for any goalkeeper to take that many shots and stay locked in. But Bendik does have quite a few flaws. Just like Dwyer, he’ll need to continue to prove himself this season.
Shelina Zadorsky Gives Her Take on the Pride’s Home Opener
- Here are some numbers to keep in mind for the Pride as they head into the season.
- Former OCB keeper Jake Fenlason made USL’s Team of the Week for St. Louis.
- Justin Meram and Yoshimar Yotun are all set with their teams during this international week.
That’s it! Have a great week, and make sure you get out this weekend to see the Pride!