Happy Wednesday, Mane Landers. We’ve got a bunch of Hump Day links to get you over to the latter part of the week, so let’s dive right in.
Pride Training Update and Playoff Outlook
Amidst a tough finish to the season, many players look to be getting some rest ahead of the playoff hopeful run.
Orlando Pride training roll call:— Jordan Culver (@JordanCulver) August 14, 2018
Sydney Leroux is out here, but is still considered day to day.
Alex Morgan, Dani Weatherholt, Chioma Ubogagu are resting.
Ashlyn Harris not feeling well and is not here.
Shelina Zadorsky is not here with an excused absence. pic.twitter.com/UZLAEBTJEh
As for that stretch run, the club breaks down the current situation for the Pride’s hopeful second playoff appearance. In short, it won’t be easy.
PRO Continues to be a Focus in Orlando City Matches
People make mistakes. I get it. I’ve been a ref, I have many friends who are just reaching their PRO licenses. It’s tough. But the Lions once again find themselves a heavy topic of conversation thanks to refereeing mistakes, on both sides of the equation:
The decisions in question:
- Was Wayne Rooney’s tackle a foul? I don’t believe so.
- Was Luciano Acosta offside on the final goal? Honestly, super tough and we don’t get the angle here to be able to tell.
- Did Higuita deserve a send off? I think this is a no. I agree here it looks like incidental contact.
- Was Luciano Acosta offside? And did Joe Bendik deserve a send off? I think Acosta is even and again super close. As for Bendik, as a goalkeeper myself, I think that’s a red. That’s not a natural save and leaping into a player is too dangerous.
Regardless of what you think of the calls, there are five game-changing calls — really six as they don’t talk about Stefano Pinho being tripped on the Rooney play — highlighted here, and that’s just excessive. Whether it be VAR needing more angles, a clearer understanding of clear and obvious, or just better officials, Howard Webb and Co. need to clean this up.
Lions Still Pursuing Carlos Ascues
While the MLS transfer window has ended, it appears City is still trying to make a final move for Peruvian defensive midfielder Carlos Ascues:
Carlos Ascues was not signed on time due to the #MLS transfer window. Reported that Orlando City is asking for special permission from FIFA. So far it looks positive. #TransferTalk #PeruviansAbroad https://t.co/2DkmW8E5nJ— Diego Montalvan (@DMontalvan) August 14, 2018
While a DM/CB isn't exactly what City needs in my opinion, it’s still good to see the organization working to find the right pieces as it needs to look beyond this season.
Learn Some Australian Slang with the Pride
USL Files to USSF for Division III League Sanctioning
The USL has officially applied for its newest league to gain Division III status under the U.S. Soccer Federation guidelines.
“This is a landmark moment not only for the United Soccer League but also soccer as a whole in North America,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “Over the past several years, alongside the effort to elevate the USL to Division II, we developed the plan to launch a new, competitive and exciting professional third-division league that would further the growth of soccer across the U.S. The new league is announcing teams in ten thriving markets that exhibit a proven demand for the professional game. This is a truly national league with more markets set to join as we grow toward our target of 24 teams by 2021, the league’s third season.”
This is wildly important as USL looks to create a larger soccer pyramid with what is expected to be a league focused on smaller markets in the 150,000 to one million range.
The announcement was confirmed with 10 founding members — but only six in the article — for 2019, with the goal to add more before the season begins. Could one of those unnamed teams be the resurgence of OCB? GM Niki Budalic is on record saying the club is looking at a DIII league, but nothing has been confirmed. Stay tuned for news on this as teams are expected to be announced soon.
- A really great move by club operations.
Now available at Orlando City Stadium first aid stations:— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) August 14, 2018
Sensory kits for individuals with autism and other special needs. pic.twitter.com/o14xmOI5EG
- Despite MLS interest, it appears USMNT center back Geoff Cameron is set for another European league.
- The U.S. U-20 MNT draw for Concacaf championships has been announced.
- Need to keep track of all the Americans abroad? Here’s a helpful picture of all the action going down overseas.
- A UK blogger for Orlando City speculates if fitness really is an issue.
- Equalizer Soccer’s Jeff Kassouf points out — despite the U-20s’ historic fail — that the world had already caught up to the U.S. on the women’s youth side.
- As the business nerd here, this new interactive advertising by Borussia Dortmund can be revolutionary for the industry.
And I leave you — and any City marketing folks reading — with a really cool promo my lowly Cleveland Browns are doing in conjunction with league partner Bud Light.
Budweiser have installed Bud Light fridges in 10 bars in Cleveland, Ohio. When the Cleveland Browns win their first regular season game, the fridge is unlocked and the beer is free!— UNILAD Sport (@UNILADFooty) August 14, 2018
The Browns have lost 34 of their last 35 games, but now they have added motivation! pic.twitter.com/BIKkKiQX9m
Sometimes an organization struggles on the field and as a marketing team you need to get a bit creative to drum up interest (sound familiar?). While most of you reading know I’m a huge craft beer guy, I still think this is a savvy promo. And honestly, who doesn't want a free beer? So you know if Orlando City wants to give us season ticket holders some extra incentives involving beer for having to put up with this season, I’m all in!