Happy Hump Day, constant readers of The Mane Land. Yes, it’s unusual to see my name at the top of this column on a Wednesday, but we’ve recently had a staffer move on so this spot could be yours. Let us know if you’re interested in helping us cover the only purple team in MLS. Here’s how.
If you miss Orlando City B, you’ll want to check out this week’s PawedCast, which will drop this afternoon. We spoke with USL Vice President of Division III Steven Short about the new third division league, OCB’s return, the potential for future promotion/relegation and a whole lot more.
Now, on to the news of the day.
Pride’s Alanna Kennedy Has Surgery on Her Feet
It was a tough year for the Orlando Pride, and for defender/midfielder Alanna Kennedy after her return from the Women’s Asian Cup. I’m not sure how much it affected her play this season but the Australian international apparently has been dealing with some issues with her feet.
We wish Alanna a speedy and full recovery.
Whitecaps Fire Robinson, Former OCSC Goalkeeper Coach Stewart Kerr
Yesterday Vancouver announced that the club has axed head coach Carl Robinson, assistant coaches Martyn Pert and Gordon Forrest, and goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr with five matches left in the season. You may recall that Kerr was Orlando City’s goalkeeper coach from December of 2015 to January of 2017. Robinson had been with the Whitecaps since December of 2013.
“With five games left, we remain focused on our opportunity to make the playoffs. As we look to 2019 and beyond, we are committed to being a championship contender and a global search for a coach to lead this vision will start today.”
Ultras in the United States
This piece by The Guardian takes a look at fan culture in North America, and specifically focuses on Ultras — a notorious class of supporter usually associated with misbehaving. One of the incidents mentioned is the New York City FC fan who tried to steal a seat from our stadium. It’s an interesting read, even if it at times doesn’t appear to be necessarily the most informed story, but it does include some items about Orlando City and in a positive way — notably about our safe pyro at Orlando City Stadium.
USL Rebrands for the Future
The United Soccer League unveiled plans for a rebranding, with three leagues coming together under one umbrella in a new way. The second division league will be the USL Championship, with the D3 league changing into USL League One and the PDL will become USL League Two. USL CEO Alec Papadakis said the move will “uniquely represent the USL’s vision for the future and give rise to local passion in new cities currently without professional soccer.”
“We are repositioning the competition under MLS with a new strategy, new names and logos,” concluded Papadakis. “As we look to the future, the USL is ready to put its fingerprints on U.S. Soccer’s drive toward becoming the best in the world, and its pursuit of winning a FIFA Men’s World Cup.”
OCB will be part of USL League One starting next season. Check out the PawedCast later today for more about the rebranding.
- Italy and former Genoa star Giuseppi Rossi faces a ban for doping.
- Oscar Pareja said he has not met with anyone about the USMNT job.
- Minnesota United CEO Chris Wright gave Adrian Heath the dreaded vote of confidence.
- Those born on this date include Johnny Appleseed — who I honestly believed was a fictional person — (1774), poet T.S. Eliot (1888), NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. (1909), Roxy Music vocalist Bryan Ferry (1945), Olivia Newton-John (1948), football’s Craig “Ironhead” Heyward (1966), actor Jim Caviezel (1968), hockey-playing twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin (1980), Serena Williams (1981), and Portuguese international Ricardo Quaresma (1983).
That’s all I’ve got for you today, folks. Don’t forget, tonight is the U.S. Open Cup final between the Philadelphia Union and Houston Dynamo. Also, there’s a league game between the Chicago Fire and New York City FC. Have a great day.