Happy Thanksgiving, Mane Landers! Here we are about to stuff our bellies with turkey, ham, potatoes, and pies. Or whatever traditional meal you and yours enjoy this time of the year. Whether you’re hosting family and friends or just the one bringing the bottle of wine to to the party, I hope you are doing well. As is traditional for many, I thought I’d share some things that I am thankful for, and some things we can all be thankful for when it comes to our beloved Orlando City and Orlando Pride.
A New Hope
No, I’m not referring to Star Wars, though that is a classic and I’m not opposed to watching it today. I’m referring to the fact that we’re coming off a disappointing season, with no definitive answer regarding a new coach, and no idea of all the players we will have when the season starts. Yet, I’m hopeful. I think that Luiz Muzzi is trying to build the type of team that can get this club to the promised land of the playoffs and maybe even some silverware. We’ll start seeing the pieces of the puzzle come together over the next few weeks and months, and it will give us all plenty to talk about during the off-season.
As Pride supporters, we have had and will continue to have the pleasure of watching the greatest player of all time. Of course I’m speaking about Marta. The Brazilian received a grade of 6.5 from The Mane Land staff in our season review — a bit low for her but the highest on the team. Not only is she still capable of making defenders look silly, but she is an inspiration. She inspires her teammates (even the veterans), her nation, Pride fans, and millions around the world. Can you imagine what it must be like to play with her? So many current players looked up to her, and to now be training and playing matches with or against her has to be amazing. Through it all she remains humble, yet shows passion and tenacity to constantly strive to be the best. I’m overjoyed that my stepdaughter gets to watch such a person play on our favorite team. In case you missed her post World Cup speech, check out the video below. She was talking to the young women of Brazil, but I think it’s a good message for all young women regardless of nationality.
The Beefy Swede
If you’re like me, Robin Jansson was one of your favorite new Lions this past season. Whether it’s the story of how he ended up with Orlando City, his “put it all on the line, even as far as sacrificing his own body” style of play, or his obvious love for his new club, he’s proven why he is a fan favorite. He received one of the highest grades for any player in our 2019 Season in Review. The guy couldn’t wait to let us know how excited he was to be coming back next season. I know players aren’t supposed to read the comments in social media, but I really hope Jansson did read the responses to this tweet.
Already looking forward to next season pic.twitter.com/yoLonsdHXg— Robin Jansson (@RJANSSON24) November 14, 2019
On a personal note, I’m thankful for my time so far with The Mane Land. I started with the blog in June of 2015, and here we are hundreds of articles later. I’ve also had the pleasure of co-hosting the PawedCast for just over three years, with 111 recordings and counting. I’m thankful that you, our readers and listeners, have made myself and the rest of the staff a part of your Orlando City experience. On behalf of the entire staff, you have our gratitude. With that said, let’s eat!