Welcome back, Mane Landers! There is so much going on in the land of soccer, and plenty in our own little corner of it. May you live in interesting times is an old Chinese curse, but I’d say it’s no bad thing during the off season. Let’s see what’s been happening.
I know that it’s been the worst kept secret this decade, but it happened. It finally happened! Marc Skinner has been hired as the second-ever head coach of the Orlando Pride. Our own Sean Rollins has all the details for you, but suffice to say it’s nice to have a new skipper. The 35-year-old Englishman has been the boss at Birmingham City for the past few seasons. He will be inheriting a team that had plenty of talent last season, but far underperformed expectations in 2018. As he said in his Q&A with Orlando Pride Communications Manger, Jackie Maynard, there needs to be more.
“We have some of the world’s best players and we have to build the team mentality to support that.”
That’s a sentiment I know a lot of the Pride supporters have echoed over the last year. It would seem that the club got the coach it wanted, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Skinner is able to do.
Orlando City passed on using its 96th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Call me crazy, but why not use the pick even if you never end up signing the player? Orlando City wasn’t the only club to skip the tail end of the draft, with only 27 of the last 48 picks being used. Of course, draft picks are a bit like lottery tickets. Most of the picks won’t amount to much at the MLS level, but sometimes you get a winner. If the Lions had used that lottery ticket of a pick it likely would have been a bust, but now we’ll never know.
With the release of the 2019 MLS season TV schedule, we found out that the Lions will only be featured in seven nationally televised matches. That isn’t a lot of exposure. Now given the results of the last few seasons I can’t say it’s all that surprising, but it is still disappointing. The home opener against New York City FC will be shown on Univision, with a few on FOX, and ESPN later in the year. Orlando City supporters outside of the TV27 area better have their ESPN Plus accounts up to date for the other 27 matches.
There you have it. Let me know what you think in the comments below.