Welcome back, Mane Landers. As I write this, we sit in the middle of the transfer window, and the MLS All-Star Game has begun. What does it all mean? What can we expect going forward into the remainder of the season? I’m not going to answer those big questions, but that doen’t mean we can’t tackle some smaller stuff.
Justin Meram returned to training on Wednesday with Orlando City, the first we’ve seen of the winger since the July 7 loss to LAFC. It seems Orlando City was dealing with what was described as an internal matter. There were also the rumors that he was on the trading block, that he was going back to Columbus, or to Cincinnati, or any number of other destinations. It seems that the reality may be that James O’Connor needed the time to work with Meram, or that Meram needed to decide whether he was committed to Orlando City. It’s no secret that O’Connor is more interested in a very dedicated player, than one who has talent, but won’t buy into what he is doing. I’m hoping that Meram returning to training is indeed a good thing. Obviously, I can’t say for certain, but he is a talented offensive player, and if O’Connor has him back on board, that is a plus for the Lions.
Orlando City has made one move this transfer window, by bringing in Shane O’Neill. As noted above, the Meram transfer rumors may have been exaggerated, or at least premature, or maybe the club took a look and couldn’t get anyone to bite on its asking price. However, with the window closing in less than a week, it’s about time for O’Connor and the front office to address the needs of a team that they say is gunning for the playoffs. There is dire need for another striker behind Dom Dwyer, as Stefano Pinho has not adjusted to MLS. Some will say that Orlando needs to address the center back position, but the reality is that the Lions need the guys they have to get healthy, and get some playing time together. Here’s hoping we get some news on the transfer front soon.
The MLS All-Star Game is an ugly joke. The idea that the best from MLS are going to compete against a top tier squad from one of the other leagues is plain sad. It’s even sadder that Juventus won’t field a full squad. There’s no Cristiano Ronaldo, and no Gonzalo Higuaín for Juventus. Additionally, Zlatan Ibrahimović will not be making the match despite being selected for the MLS side. This year’s match was held in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has artificial turf rather than real grass. If you don’t think that has something to do with some of the big names not showing, think again.
I’m not waiting for the outcome of the match because it doesn’t matter. If the MLS All-Stars won the match, it was against a team that is in preseason, and playing for nothing. If they lose, then it’s just as bad...er, ugly. I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say I’d rather have an Eastern Division versus Western Division All-Star Game, if MLS insists on having one.
There you have it, Mane Landers. Thoughts or comments? Let me know below. Until next time, go Lions and go Pride!