Welcome back, Mane Landers! Still nothing to report on the USMNT coaching search, no more Pride matches, and Orlando City is on the outside looking in once again. One might think it would be hard to find something good, but then a young USMNT gave me lifeline. Let’s see what we’ve got this week.
This week the USMNT defeated Mexico, 1-0 in a very chippy match, with both teams putting out a young squad in this so-called friendly. The moment that best personifies the re-ignition of this fierce rivalry was 6-foot-4 Matt Mizaga taunting Diego Lainez about his height following a foul by the young Mexican phenom. It wasn’t long after that Angel Zaldivar was sent off after a studs up challenge on Wil Trapp. Some might think that such actions are petty or don’t belong in the game, but I disagree. While I don’t condone the tackle that Zaldivar perpetrated, it doesn’t change the fact that both teams were playing with passion. Clint Dempsey just retired, and even though it wasn’t against Mexico, I’m certain you can picture Deuce with that look on his face in the World Cup qualifier against Jamaica. Miazga has given us another moment like that, and against Mexico to boot! An intense rivalry between the two nations’ teams is something that will keep interest on both sides, and that’s good for soccer.
Two weeks ago, I wrote the following:
Perhaps the Pride will play for pride in their last match against Sky Blue FC, but I’m not hopeful.
I was really hoping that I would be wrong, and that the Orlando Pride would be able to keep from being the only team to lose to Sky Blue FC this season. As we know, that is not what happened. A goal from Carli Lloyd, and an Orlando team that had evidently given up on the season gave Sky Blue the victory they had been looking for all year. I’m a big fan of the Pride, and I had very high hopes for the team this season, given the end of last year, and the acquisitions made. For whatever reason, this team never came together. There were flashes, but it certainly didn’t feel the same at all this season, and answers need to come this off-season. Falling from third to seventh in what seemed like a blink of an eye, was most certainly bad. Actually, there was plenty of bad to go around this year, so I’ll leave it at that.
Orlando City now has lost 10 straight away games. This is not the type of streak that you want as a team, a player, or a supporter. The Lions still have away matches against the Chicago Fire, FC Dallas, the New England Revolution, and the New York Red Bulls. The best chance for Orlando to break this losing streak comes this Sunday against Chicago, the team that is sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with Orlando City. If the Lions are unable to do so, the streak could potentially go the rest of the season, and that would be very ugly indeed. Whether that happens or not, the current 10-game run is plenty ugly in and of itself.
That’s going to do it for this week. As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for coverage of Orlando City’s match this Sunday at 5 p.m. against the Chicago Fire. Go City!