Happy double match day, everyone! Your Orlando Pride will host the Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m., which should allow most of you just enough time to race home to catch Orlando City at LAFC tonight at 11 p.m.
Me? I’ll be at the stadium to cover the Pride, praying to the old gods and the new that there is no weather delay so I can do the same while covering both games for this here website. I may have to skip Tom Sermanni’s postgame press conference, which sucks, but I’ve been hung out to dry by our jetsetting staff who apparently all have infinite money to travel and do fun things. OK, a few of them are working (but only a few).
Anyway, let’s get on with the linking activities.
Byrd, Sutu Join JOC’s Staff
We’ve known for a while that Daniel Byrd was coming with James O’Connor from Louisville to reprise his role as assistant coach, but Orlando City made it official yesterday. The club also announced that Thabane Sutu has joined the staff as the Lions’ new goalkeeping coach, replacing Tim Mulqueen in that role with the MLS side. It makes sense for JOC to keep his staff intact after the success the trio had together at Louisville City. Hopefully they can replicate that success with Orlando.
Trio Doesn’t Travel for Orlando City
Three Lions won’t be on hand for tonight’s match in Los Angeles. We knew that Cristian Higuita was nursing an adductor injury but right back Scott Sutter has picked up a similar knock and will miss the match. Lamine Sané was limited this week with a quad strain and he’s out as well. Those three aren’t the only ones missing, as Will Johnson sits out a yellow card suspension. James O’Connor, welcome to Orlando, where nobody seems to stay healthy very long.
Jesse Marsch Leaves New York; Armas Takes Over
The Red Bulls lost their all-time wins leader in Jesse Marsch, who went 58-35-25 in three and a half seasons in charge in Harrison, NJ. Marsch “left the organization to pursue other opportunities,” per the club. Chris Armas has been elevated from assistant to head coach for New York. The former U.S. international becomes the club’s 16th head coach just prior to the New York Derby. Red Bull Leipzig hasn’t announced anything officially yet but look for Marsch to end up there, leaving behind perhaps the hottest team in MLS right now. He also leaves with the shame of having lost his last match against Orlando City.
Zlatan, Beckham Bet on England-Sweden World Cup Quarterfinal
It must be great to have money and friends you can make bets with like this:
I’m not sure why Zlatan would want anything from IKEA, except maybe the meatballs, but hey, this was at least an interesting bet. David Beckham didn’t shy away from it either, and he is also willing to pay up.
Please let this be the premise for a future 30 for 30.
- Go inside the numbers with James O’Connor.
- Charles Boehm gives out his midseason awards — some more interesting than the typical MVP and top newcomer types of things — and gives Orlando City Stadium one of them.
- Gianluigi Buffon to PSG is official.
- Among those born on this date are baseball legend Satchel Paige (1906), science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907), Third Doctor — from Doctor Who — Jon Pertwee (1919), Ringo Starr (1940), basketball giant — literally — Ralph Sampson (1960), comedian Jim Gaffigan (1966), hockey’s Joe Sakic (1969), and figure skating’s Michelle Kwan (1980).
That’s it for me today, folks. Please enjoy our coverage of both the Orlando Pride and Orlando City matches today. Two more World Cup quarterfinals will kick off today as well.