I’m afraid it was another rough weekend for Orlando soccer. It might get a whole lot rougher this weekend, given the struggles of both the men and the women, as well as who each team has up next on their schedules. Hope springs eternal, I suppose, but boy could each team really use a win or two (or five).
On a lighter note, today is birthday No. 24 for Orlando City’s own Tony Rocha, so happy birthday, Tony! Let’s get into the links.
Harris Up for Save of the Week
Another week, another Ashlyn Harris nomination for the NWSL Save of the Week. This time the outstanding save came in the 71st minute of the Pride’s Sunday match against the North Carolina Courage. With the game knotted at zero, Harris got down low to her right to make a wonderful diving save on a point-blank header that came from a free kick. Unfortunately, the save would be for naught, as the Pride would concede three goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to lose 3-0.
Time for the first of your Monday afternoon votes!— NWSL (@NWSL) August 20, 2018
Which one of these four is your #NWSL Save of the Week?
Ascues Adjusting to New Surroundings
Orlando City (finally) has a new center back, and like many Orlando City fans, Carlos Ascues wasn’t sure if he was actually going to make it to Central Florida. It turns out that Ascues was just as unsure as many Orlando supporters as to whether or not the transfer was actually happening. But as we all know, it did, and Ascues is settling into life in his new home.
Personally I was glad to hear that he says he feels comfortable playing out of the back with the ball, with composure in defense — something that the Lions desperately need. He’ll be joined soon by his children and his mother and will occupy an international roster spot on the team now that PC has recently gotten his green card. Welcome, Carlos!
Kreis Resting After Time With Orlando
Even though Jason Kreis’ time with Orlando City didn’t end the way he wanted it to, he isn’t wasting time moping about it. Instead, he’s taken some time to rest and recharge his batteries, going on several vacations to various areas around Florida, and even taking his sons to Chile on a skiing trip. With a couple other vacations in the works, he says he isn’t currently searching for a head coaching job, and spoke a little bit about the degree of difficulty when it comes to coaching in MLS, saying, “It demands your concentration, your focus, for almost every hour of the day.” Regardless of what Kreis ends up doing next, here’s wishing him all the best.
Nigeria and Ghana Facing Bans
Both Nigeria and Ghana could be slapped with bans from international competition as a result of government interference in their nations’ soccer teams. The Ghanaian government is disbanding the country’s national soccer federation as a result of a corruption investigation, which FIFA says qualifies as the government tampering with things it shouldn’t.
For Nigeria’s part, there is currently a disagreement over who is actually the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, with FIFA not recognizing Chris Giwa as the new elected leader even though local courts recently ruled in his favor. Both nations might still avoid bans and therefore be able to participate in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, but these certainly aren’t the types of headlines either country would have been hoping for.
- Cam Lindley’s sister Cassidy is the SEC Player of the Week for her one-goal and three-assist performances in her debut weekend for the Florida Gators.
- The U-18 USMNT is going to the Czech Republic to play in an international youth tournament, the name of which I am probably butchering.
- Lazio ultras want to ban women from the Curva Nord, a so-called “sacred” stand in the Stadio Olimpico.
That’s all for me. Don’t forget that the Lions have a Friday match against our neighbors from Georgia, while the Pride have a Saturday date with the Red Stars at home. That’s a game I’ll most likely be attending and I hope to see a lot of you out there if I do. Ciao.