Welcome to the weekend, Mane Landers. Hopefully the work week wasn’t too rough on you as we head into a chilly weekend. Or at least it will be chilly for Florida, with temperatures dipping and expected to go right back up next week. I’ll be spending most of the weekend bundled up in a blanket watching soccer and playing the new Pokemon game that just came out. So make a hot cup of coffee, crack open those windows, and enjoy some links from around the soccer world.
USMNT Cruise Past Canada at Exploria Stadium
The United States Men’s National Team took care of business last night, winning 4-1 against Canada in Orlando. That makes three wins in three games at Exploria Stadium for the USMNT as home-field helped the Yanks get revenge against Canada. Jordan Morris scored in the second minute and had an assist while Gyasi Zardes scored twice to give the Yanks a needed win in the Concacaf Nations League. For Canada, Orlando City’s Kamal Miller was an unused substitute and former Lion Richie Laryea started. The USMNT now only needs to win against Cuba on Nov. 19 to advance, but stranger things have happened.
Lewis Neal’s Orlando Chapter Closes
Orlando City scout and former player Lewis Neal’s time with the club seems to have come to an end according to a tweet from Neal.
As one chapter ends another one opens..... Thank you for everything!@MellorGary @BeswicksSports pic.twitter.com/YT2ky0vCYN— Lewis Neal (@lewis_neal24) November 15, 2019
Forever a Lion, Neal joined Orlando City in 2011 when the team was in the USL Pro and went on to play for the MLS side, Orlando City B, and the Orlando SeaWolves. He has also coached with Orlando’s academy and been a scout and a broadcaster, but now he moves on to the next chapter of his career. Neal’s contributions to the club won’t be forgotten any time soon and he was a strong candidate for The Mane Land’s OCSC Mount Rushmore. Good luck with your future endeavors, Neal.
MLS SuperDraft Event Reportedly Ending
While the 2020 MLS SuperDraft will still take place next year, but the event that features players walking across the stage to join their new teams is reportedly shutting down. Instead, the draft will be conducted over a conference call and shown on a stream. Although drafts are rare in the soccer world, they are a staple of American sports culture and happen in practically all major leagues in the U.S. While teams may not get much value in the SuperDraft, it is still a rewarding process for the players themselves as they become members of the league.
USL Team Owners Considering Women’s League
Various owners of teams in the United Soccer League are looking into creating a women’s professional soccer league that would rival and compete with the National Women’s Soccer League. It’s rather bizarre news considering how the two teams in the USL Championship final both have or will have teams in the NWSL. Perhaps those wanting to create this new league are wanting to ride a wave of momentum for the women’s game after the World Cup, but it remains unclear why collaboration with the NWSL isn’t happening. The NWSL Players Association had a clear statement and is committed to the league.
A statement from the NWSL Players on the prospect of USL forming a women’s pro league: pic.twitter.com/ZKQUkHtNu8— NWSLPA (@nwsl_players) November 15, 2019
- The W-League kicks off this weekend with five Orlando Pride players in Australia. Here is everything you need to know for the first round, including match previews, interviews, and info on how to watch.
- The Lions finished in 23rd in the final MLS power rankings of 2019, which feels a little undeserved considering the Open Cup run and improvements.
- Midfielder Brian Fernandez’ contract was terminated and he was removed from the Portland Timbers’ roster after substance abuse issues.
- Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic is the latest relatively big name out of Europe linked with a move to MLS. With Inter Miami searching for Designated Players and both D.C. United and the LA Galaxy trying to replace their stars, I’m sure we are going to see a lot of rumors like this in the coming weeks.
That’s going to be it from me, Mane Landers. I hope you all stay safe and have lots of fun this weekend!