Good morning, Mane Landers and happy NWSL draft day! Make sure to stay tuned to see who the Pride will draft, though they open the day with only a third-rounder and a fourth-rounder. The MLS Combine finished yesterday, and the players will be heading to Chicago for tomorrow’s MLS SuperDraft. There is plenty of other soccer news so let’s get to it.
Pride’s Emily van Egmond Out Six Weeks
Newcastle Jets captain and Orlando Pride midfielder Emily van Egmond will miss the rest of the Australian W-League season with an ankle injury. Van Egmond rolled her ankle in training and it unfortunately will finish her season down under. She should be back in training by the end of February. Get well soon, Emily.
Greg Ranjitsingh Didn’t Get Paid by T&T
One of Orlando City’s newest players is owed $2,500 from Trinidad and Tobago. Ranjitsingh is one of 10 Soca Warriors that did not get paid after beat the U.S. in World Cup qualifying. In addition to the OCSC goalkeeper, the other players that haven’t been paid are Khaleem Hyland, Leston Paul, Kevan George, Trevin Caesar, Ataulla Guerra, Marvin Phillip, Daneil Cyrus, Joevin Jones, and Aubrey David. It wasn’t the only match that T&T players have been waiting to get paid for playing, as this story points out.
“The players never hear anything from John-Williams and he never communicates with them,” said the anonymous source. “The only time he ever spoke to them directly in the last year was just before the AGM—when he wanted to make sure that everyone kept quiet until he dealt with a motion to dismiss him as president.”
New Look Crew
The Columbus Crew held its first press conference with its new staff on Wednesday. President Tim Bezbatchenko, head coach Caleb Porter, and owners Dee Haslam and Pete Edwards were welcomed in the “relaunching” of the Crew. They were joined by Taylor Twellman and Don Garber as they all spoke about the Save the Crew movement that shook the U.S. soccer world.
“[Crew fans] inspired all of us to rediscover what the Crew means to the city, and to soccer in America. . . . Something unprecedented has been accomplished,” said Garber.
Mark Geiger Retires (Kind Of)
The good news is that Mark Geiger will no longer be officiating any MLS games. However, this comes at a cost as the referee is now the director of senior match officials for the Professional Referee Organization. Geiger has been a ref for 21 years and was part of two World Cups.
“Having worked games in MLS for 15 years and internationally for 11, I felt it was time for me both personally and professionally to hang up my whistle and boots and start this new chapter,” said Geiger. “I am extremely excited to join a team that is so dedicated and committed to improving the standards of refereeing in North America. I hope that my experiences will help our referees excel and take their individual games to the next level.”
Top NWSL Draft Options
Here is a final preview of the NWSL draft. The Pride are unlikely to get any of the top 10 players, so here is Top Drawer Soccer’s number 31-40 players. Don’t expect fireworks from Orlando this year but you never know if a player will slip down the draft board or if the team will trade up. One player who won’t slip down the draft board is USWNT/Stanford defender Tierna Davidson, who declared for today’s draft just last night.
In more NWSL news, information about the NWSL 2019 salary and expense cap is out. In addition to the numbers in the tweet below there looks to be a rookie cap this upcoming season.
Looks like M. Gonzales's tweet was taken down. Here's the NWSL 2019 salary/expense cap info that she posted: pic.twitter.com/Nk8g49dm6l— Neil Morris (@ByNeilMorris) January 9, 2019
LAFC and FC Cincinnati Make an Interesting Trade
There have been many strange trades in MLS history. This trade is near the top of that list. LAFC gave up a 2019 first-round pick (No. 16) and $175,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) for just a 2019 fourth-round pick (No. 73) and Cincinnati’s Allocation Ranking in 2020. If Cincinnati has a top five allocation ranking in 2020 then it changes to 2021.
While this trade make no sense at all for LAFC, the two teams came to an agreement in the MLS Expansion Draft that Cincinnati would not take anyone from Los Angeles. The trade seems like it was only accepted because of the previous arrangement.
- Looks like Orlando Pride’s Camila has been driving around with new wheels.
- Former Orlando City player Léo Pereira looks to be joining Flamengo.
- U-20 Trinidade player Bernardo got run over by the stretcher cart when they took on Flamengo in the Copa Sao Paolo.
- Here is an update on how Alphonso Davies is faring with Bayern Munich.
- Star NWSL forward Katie Johnson got traded to the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for draft picks.