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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: James O’Connor, the Pride, and More

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This week we look at Orlando City’s new coach, a struggling Pride squad, and a messy, but beautiful World Cup.

Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Welcome back, Mane Landers! Hopefully, you had the type of job that let you be off of work and enjoy Independence Day with barbecues, beverages, and fireworks. If you had to work, at least you know we didn’t stop our coverage of all things Orlando City. Plenty has gone down since

The Good

Quite obviously it’s the arrival of the new gaffer, James O’Connor. No matter what you think of the hire, having someone in place to move things forward and provide some direction for the floundering Lions is a good thing. We’ll have to wait and see the results of O’Connor’s philosophies and tactics, but there is reason for hope. Since arriving he’s said all the right things, and the reports on how he built and ran Louisville City FC are promising. Let me be very clear, do not expect a complete 180 degree turn around. It takes time for a new coach to learn his players, and for them to learn what he expects, let alone implement it on the field. Regardless, I’m excited to see what happens.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the bad this week is the play of the Orlando Pride. With two losses in a week, and crowds that didn’t meet the expectations of captain Ashlyn Harris, things could have definitely gone better. Many have observed (and I would agree) that Tom Sermanni might do better to have Marta in a true number 10 role rather than the more forward position she’s been in. Additionally, getting Rachel Hill more minutes with the likes of Alex Morgan, and Sydney Leroux would seem to be a potential cure for the Pride’s lack of scoring. Fortunately, the Pride are still very much in a good position to make the playoffs. Here’s hoping that Tom gets things turned around this weekend against the Washington Spirit.

The Ugly

The World Cup. Now before you scroll down and start commenting that I’m crazy, hear me out. I’m loving this World Cup. It’s the wildest, most interesting that I can remember in my lifetime. There have been upsets, drama, disappointments, and glorious comebacks. However, it has been ugly for the traditional powerhouses (other than Brazil). Defending champs Germany were out after the group stage after losing to Mexico, and being unable to score on South Korea. Portugal, Argentina, and Spain all went out in the Round of 16. That means no trophies for Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. It also means that dirty player of the decade, Sergio Ramos, is thankfully headed home. Japan nearly took out Belgium, but couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead. Fan favorites Iceland, Senegal, and Peru all were sent packing after the group stage. They were joined by “our new kit is the most popular ever” side Nigeria. Why is all of this ugly? Because it’s carnage on a very enjoyable level. It hasn’t been predictable, and while ugly, it’s fantastic.

That’s going to do it for this edition, but let me know if you agree, disagree, or think I completely missed a bigger point in the comments below. Go City and go Pride!