Take a deep breath, Mane Landers. Orlando City may be in a nosedive as it continues its worst league losing streak in franchise history after Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Montreal Impact, but at least we have the Orlando Pride and the World Cup to distract us for the time being.
Before I get you caught up on the latest soccer news, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to Orlando City Assistant Coach C.J. Brown who is turning 43 today! Now, let’s get to the links!
Orlando Moves Closer to Hosting a World Cup
With the 2026 FIFA World Cup officially coming to North America, Orlando has moved another step forward in its efforts toward hosting the greatest sporting event in the world. Central Florida Sports Commission CEO Jason Siegel has spearheaded Orlando’s host city bid and believes the soccer fans in Orlando are to thank for making the city a contender.
“The reason that Orlando is so well thought of and has been throughout this process is very much attributable to the passion of our soccer community,” Siegel said. “So when it comes to our professional teams, the Lions and Pride; the international teams we’ve hosted, the portfolio of positive and well-attended matches is in our favor.”
However, there is still work to be done. Final renovations to Camping World Stadium are expected in order to add luxury seating options and there are still venue requirements that will have to be met in due time. But the biggest obstacle for Orlando may be Miami. Time will tell whether or not FIFA will choose two cities from Florida, but if it’s a duel between the two cities then Miami could snag the bid. According to Siegel, a collaboration between Orlando and Miami is not in the cards.
Orlando City Announces Massive Watch Party
Fans have been invited to enjoy the World Cup from the comfort of Lion’s Pride Soccer Club and Grill at some official watch parties. There, fans can hang out with fellow supporters and watch every game on over 40 different televisions. But that’s not all. On July 7, $10 can get you admission into the best Orlando City watch party of all time. The day starts with fans gathering to see a World Cup quarterfinal match (2:30 p.m. ET) and will be followed with an Orlando City away match watch party on the video board as the Lions take on Los Angeles FC at 4:30 p.m. ET. The admission also gives you a ticket to the Pride’s match later that night against the Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m. ET, so it really will be a soccer-filled day.
Orlando Pride Aren’t Taking Sky Blue Lightly
On paper, winless Sky Blue FC should pose little threat to the Orlando Pride when the two teams face off tomorrow night in Orlando City Stadium. However, Head Coach Tom Sermanni isn’t letting his team walk into the game with its guard down and is aware of the danger that Sky Blue poses.
“It’s one of those situations they’re in at the moment where things just aren’t going right for them, but they’re still a team that is very dangerous, very well organized and a team on the cusp of getting a win, so it’s a very dangerous game for us this weekend.”
Luckily for the Pride, Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris will be returning to the team from international duty. Brazilian superstar Marta is still battling a left calf strain but Sermanni believes she isn’t far away from being match fit.
World Cup Kicks Off With Huge Russia Win
Things could not have gone much better for Russia as the country kicked off its first FIFA World Cup yesterday. The Russians throttled Saudi Arabia, 5-0 in the tournament’s first match, with Denis Cheryshev netting a brace. Not many could’ve predicted such a dominant performance, but a psychic, deaf Russian cat was able to predict who would win. It was an impressive win for the host country, but Saudi Arabian Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi believes that his team’s poor performance was the reason for the result and had nothing to do with how Russia played.
- Joe Bendik landed in this week’s highlight reel of saves for his big stops against Montreal late in Wednesday’s match. Check out his and all the other great stops in MLS this week.
- Voting for MLS Goal of the Week is live and will end this Sunday so make sure to vote. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that no Lions made the cut, but at least none of the candidates scored against Orlando either.
- The English Premier League 2018-2019 schedule was released, with the opening weekend featuring a huge match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
- You may not see a member of the USMNT at this year’s World Cup, but you will see MLS referee Mark Geiger at the tournament. You can learn all about the former math teacher thanks to the folks over at MLSsoccer.com.
- While the majority of North America celebrates getting to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Argentina legend Diego Maradona isn’t the greatest supporter of the decision.
- If you’re a fan of the quirky side of sports, then you’ll love this story about how fans and journalists are battling the language barriers and time zone problems that come from attending a World Cup in another country.
That’s all from me, Mane Landers! Enjoy today’s early morning soccer and have a fantastic Friday!