Here we are again, Mane Landers, but this week we’re coming off a win for the Lions. I’m sure you all enjoyed it as much as I did, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything for us to discuss. I must say though, it was easier to find the good this week thanks to the win.
Last week, we saw the full return of Dom Dwyer and Josué Colmán, and the Lions were able to get three goals from the two of them. Albeit, Colmán’s was by the skin of his neck, so to speak. The result was Orlando City’s first win of the season. Unfortunately, Amro Tarek went off injured. However, word came out this week that Jonathan Spector, Uri Rosell, Stefano Pinho, and Tarek were all training with the team on Tuesday. More importantly, Spector has cleared concussion protocol. That is good news for a squad that hasn’t been whole the entire first part of the season. If everyone is back, healthy, and fit, it only means good things going into the next match. I’m not sure that I’m used to such good news when it comes to Orlando City, but I’ll take every piece of the puzzle we can have in the 18.
I want to give an honorable mention to everyone that contributed to the funeral costs for Miguel Vasquez. That includes the $2,962 donated by rival Atlanta United FC to cover the remaining amount needed. It’s concrete gestures like this that show the greatness of the soccer community.
We’re all happy that Orlando City got the win, but it took four goals to do it. There have been some breakdowns on the back line, but they are certainly better than they were at the end of last year. One big difference has been Joe Bendik. For years Bendik has been a wall in front of goal for the Lions, stepping up when his back line was not up to the challenge. His first year with the Lions he garnered more Save of the Week awards than any other keeper in MLS. He’s had a few good ones this year, but there have been more mistakes and errors in judgement. He’s been caught in the wrong position too many times this year. Let’s hope we get the Joe we’ve been used to back soon.
The Orlando Pride were without numerous players for their match against the Washington Spirit. Marta, Poliana, and Monica were all playing with Brazil. Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond were with Australia. To top it off, Alex Morgan was out due to concussion protocol and Camila is, of course, still rehabbing her knee. This team is deeper than in previous seasons, but the Pride players haven’t had a ton of time on the field together. Without a proper preseason like the men’s squad gets, it will take some time for the players who don’t normally start to get to know each other and to get 90 minutes fit. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 80th minute that the Spirit broke through on Mallory Pugh’s goal. By that time, the Pride players were running on empty. Fortunately, the Pride don’t have another match until they go to Portland to take on the Thorns on April 15, at 6 pm. It could be the time they need to get back on track.
That will do it for this week. As always, give us your two cents in the comments below, and enjoy a weekend full of Orlando City and USWNT matches.