Hey there, Mane Landers. When I came up with the idea for this new column, I thought it would be easy enough to come up with something good, bad, and ugly. However, the Lions aren’t making it easy to find the “Good,” are they? Fortunately for me the Lions aren’t the only soccer news this week.
The USMNT roster for the upcoming friendly against Paraguay was announced this past week, and it is full of young players. That’s the “Good.” Despite Christian Pulisic not being called up, we will get to see a ton of other players that may be the future for the U.S. USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan spoke with Pulisic, and it was decided that he should stay with Borussia Dortmund for the time being. There are going to be plenty of other young guns like Tim Weah, Antonee Robinson, Tyler Adams, and Zack Steffen. This is exactly what U.S. soccer fans have wanted following the team not making the World Cup, and now they’re going to get it. What remains to be seen is if the fans will be happy if these younger players don’t deliver. Though I’m sure they’ll be reasonable.
Jonathan Spector has been a rock for Orlando City since he arrived. So much so, that he was given the captain’s armband. On Saturday night he took a knock to the head when he and New York City FC defender Maxime Chanot went up for a cross. Spector got the worst of it, and left the field for treatment. Someone looked him over and he was back on the field after not very long. He was then subbed off at halftime, and we found out later he will go through MLS concussion protocols. The “Bad” isn’t (just) that he was injured, it’s that he was sent back onto the field. When a player takes a shot to the head like that, he is supposed to be cleared before being let back into the game. Someone decided he could go back in and play, but that’s obviously not true given that Jason Kreis said he was experiencing dizziness and he is now going through the concussion protocols. This is a problem. The rules are there for a reason, and the health of Jonathan Spector was compromised. It shouldn’t happen again.
Taking one point out of nine to start the season is not ideal to say the least. However, Orlando City started last season with six out of nine points in the first three matches, and yet the the Lions finished 10th in the Eastern Conference. Might it be that early results don’t necessarily predict how a team finishes in the end? Ah yes, I haven’t told you the “Ugly” yet. I think it’s those fans who are giving up so soon. I understand the frustration. Orlando City made a ton of moves in the off-season, including some big names like Sacha Kjlestan, and Justin Meram. Along with the other moves made, expectations were high for the season. The mentality for both the supporters and the organization is playoffs or bust. Seemingly, what hasn’t been taken into account are the injuries, the suspensions, and that this team hasn’t been whole and healthy at any point so far. It’s not just that the players aren’t together on game day. They also have barely trained together through the preseason.
Personally, I feel that everyone should at least wait until all the pieces are back and playing together before jumping off the cliff or jumping on the Kreis out train. But that’s just one person’s opinion.
So, there are the picks for this week. Do you agree, disagree, or are you grabbing your pitchfork? Regardless, let me know, and don’t forget to watch the Orlando Pride in their season opener Saturday night. Go Pride!