What’s up, Mane Landers? We are on the cusp of the weekend with only a day separating us from some sweet soccer action. Orlando City and the Orlando Pride are both playing tomorrow night, so make sure you knock out all of your chores today and plan accordingly. In the meantime, get your day started off right with some links, including some pretty big Orlando City news!
Orlando City Signs New Center Back
Center back Shane O’Neill was signed by the Lions yesterday in an effort to strengthen Orlando City’s defense, according to many sources. The Irish-American won’t be available for selection until the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 10, but the former Colorado Rapids Homegrown Player will give needed depth to a center back group that has struggled to stay healthy this season. More details on the signing will come when the club officially signs O’Neill and adds him to the fold.
Yoshimar Yotún Starts, Subbed Off in World Cup Loss
While most of yesterday’s World Cup coverage was focused on Croatia’s destruction of Argentina, you may have missed that Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotún and Peru were officially eliminated from the tournament after losing 1-0 to France. Yotún earned his second start of the World Cup and had a chance when he caught French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris out of position but his chip shot landed on the top of the netting. But after Kylian Mbappe scored in the first half, Yotún was subbed out at the start of the second half. Don’t worry though, the move seemed to be purely tactical and not based off of an injury Yotún may have picked up.
Orlando City Must Find Cohesion to Turn Things Around
In one of the best things I’ve read about Orlando City during the team’s six-game losing streak, Bobby Warshaw of MLSsoccer.com broke down what has ailed Orlando City and what it must do to right the ship and make the playoffs for the first time. He believes that there is a clear disconnect between the attack and defense during possessions and that the Lions will have to focus more on defending and less on “hero play” by the team’s many offensive stars.
Center Backs Offer Hope to Lions’ Future Coach
Although it has struggled over the past six weeks, the center back position could quickly become one of the club’s strongest as Jonathon Spector, Lamine Sané, and Amro Tarek all start to regain the form they had back in April. Orlando City leads the league in conceded goals with 31, but the return of some of the Lions’ strongest defensive players should turn things around for whoever winds up coaching the Lions.
The Orlando Pride Head to Washington
Sitting in third place in the NWSL standings, the Orlando Pride are a force to be reckoned with in the league, due in large part to performing well on the road. In fact, the Pride haven’t lost on the road since April 15. But one of the only two times where the Pride left an away stadium without points was against the Washington Spirit in the second game of the season. Now, the Pride look to leave Maryland SoccerPlex tomorrow night with a result and Head Coach Tom Sermanni is well aware that it won’t be easy.
- Paul Tenorio has reported that the names being tossed around the most for the Orlando City coaching gig are the Portland Timbers’ Caleb Porter, LAFC Assistant Marc Dos Santos, and James O’Connor from the USL’s Louisville City FC. (Warning: full article is behind The Athletic’s paywall.)
Orlando City has interviewed Caleb Porter for its head coaching job, multiple sources tell me. Two other candidates on #OCSC's radar come from within MLS and USL: https://t.co/cS2j1wGAS3 pic.twitter.com/C0T7gddtdD— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) June 21, 2018
- The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs are going on and Orlando City’s U-17 team is currently undefeated after a 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps young team. The team will take on Barca Academy tomorrow afternoon (4 p.m. ET) to try to win its group and advance.
- Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen has picked up a knee injury. It’s unknown how long he will be out but details should come out in the coming days.
- Finishing our links, U.S. and Paris Saint-Germain rising star Timothy Weah may be in the off-season but he played some seven-on-seven soccer in the streets of New York City.
That’s all from me folks. I hope today goes by smoothly as you enjoy yet another day of World Cup soccer. Vamos Orlando!