What’s up, Mane Landers? We’re headed into yet another weekend, but this one will be a bit different as there is not Orlando soccer on the menu. The off-season is here in full force but at least we will have some MLS playoff action to look forward to. Here are some links from around the soccer world.
Lions on the Hunt for Answers
After missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year and firing James O’Connor as the team’s head coach, Orlando City has some sorting out to do this off-season. The 2019 season brought a group of talented players to the club but it still wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the playoffs after finishing the year with an eight-game winless streak. Orlando couldn’t win two games in a row all season long, struggled to convert chances, and posted another losing record at home.
Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi has plenty of work ahead of him, but the Lions did improve on defense over the course of the year as a small consolation to the team’s woes. The defense was definitely a bright spot on the team and you can check out Julia Poe’s player analysis as she breaks down how each Lion did in 2019. For a more in-depth look at each player, make sure to check back with us for our Season in Review series as well.
Marta Receives Courage Award
Orlando Pride forward and women’s soccer icon Marta was awarded the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award earlier this week at the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 40th Annual Salute to Women in Sports. The gala took place in New York City and Marta received the award for her exemplary actions both on and off the field. Not only is she one of the best to ever play the game, but Marta is also an advocate for female equality in sports and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Women.
MLS Playoffs Primer
The Lions may not be taking part in the playoffs, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch with exciting matches this weekend. Both LAFC and New York City FC have a bye, but NYCFC will visit the Chicago Fire for a scrimmage to stay fresh. Here’s a little breakdown of tomorrow’s action:
An impressed Bruce Arena and breakout candidate Matt Turner lead the Revolution into a tough road match against Atlanta United, which must adapt to life without Miles Robinson. It seems 90% of fans believe the Seattle Sounders will defeat FC Dallas at home, but the Texas club is confident in its young players.
While Toronto FC will have to find a way to beat D.C. United without Jozy Altidore, D.C. is determined not to let the Wayne Rooney era end tomorrow but needs fan support. Diego Valeri will be available for the Portland Timbers as they travel to face a Real Salt Lake side that is embracing a dark horse role this year.
Orlando SeaWolves Re-Sign Defender
With the Major Arena Soccer League season a little over a month away, the Orlando SeaWolves re-signed defender Drou Goff for the upcoming campaign. Goff joined the team through an open tryout last year and started in 20 of the team’s 24 games in the inaugural season. A veteran player with experience overseas, Goff made strides last year and will continue being a solid player for the SeaWolves defense.
“Drou made tremendous progress last season.” SeaWolves General Manager Chris Kokalis said. “He keeps things simple as far as his play and is that guy you look too who is willing to do whatever it takes to help the club. I expect him to build on his play from last season.”
- Orlando Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds opened up about her mother’s battle with breast cancer.
- Minnesota United FC center back Ike Opara was named MLS Defender of the Year for the second time in his career. Hours after winning, the 30-year-old landed a multi-year deal with Minnesota.
- Speaking of awards, no Pride players made the cut for the NWSL Awards.
- Check out the schedule for the 2020 Florida Cup at Exploria Stadium.
- Orlando City B forward Luc Granitur made SIMA’s first quarter honor roll, achieving Summa Cum Laude.
- Former Orlando City draft pick Tobenna Uzo had a nice bicycle kick in the USL Championship with Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
- We’ll end our links with Pride defender Carson Pickett’s reflection on her season and year so far.
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Year 4! First and foremost above all else, I want to share how much love and joy my teammates brought me this season. I feel so fortunate to work along side the most empowering badass women in this world. We are more than teammates, we are are family. I’m so blessed that this sport gives me the opportunity to gain forever friends. Secondly I’d like to thank the coaches and support staff who stuck with us and encouraged us no matter the results. And lastly, the fans. You guys were incredible, thank you for the endless support throughout this season. It was tough, but you guys never failed to show up for us. I love this sport and I’m so excited for the future THANK YOU!
That’ll be it from me, folks. I hope you all enjoy your Friday as we head into a fun weekend of soccer where we can just sit back and relax. Have a great day!