It’s been a bit since I’ve written this column thanks to the season in review articles, but it’s back just in time for some big news items. It’s a crazy time for me between the holidays, everything associated with moving to a new house, and of course waiting patiently for any Orlando City off-season moves.
The Bearded Guy (I have a beard also, though it is slightly less majestic) had it right regarding the stress of waiting for the Orlando City front office to do something. Fortunately, they have now done something. Let’s take a look.
Oscar Pareja is the guy that Orlando City — and, in particular, Luiz Muzzi — wanted to steer the ship, and yesterday they got him. Muzzi is the executive vice president of soccer operations for Orlando City, and that means he gets to make just about all the decisions if it is happening on or around the field. He gave James O’Connor a chance, but I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to suggest that Pareja has been his target coach since he took over. This hire is nothing but good. The Lions get their first choice coach, he and Muzzi can really start digging into getting the roster where they want it, and it hopefully brings some excitement back to the organization.
Many of you know that I live in Tallahassee, and as such I’ve had the pleasure of watching Deyna Castellanos play for the Florida State University women’s soccer team. Though the Seminoles didn’t make it to the finals this season, they did win it all in 2018, and Castellanos was a big part of the team’s success. If you’re not familiar with Castellanos, she has great footwork, a good eye for the field, and a monster leg.
The Orlando Pride have the first pick of the 2020 NWSL Draft, but it’s unlikely that the best player in women’s collegiate soccer will even enter the NWSL draft due to the limited amount of money she can make versus playing elsewhere.
Big decision ahead ⏱ ¿Donde les gustaría verme jugar en mi primera etapa como profesional? Los escucho Para otras opciones dejen su comentario— Deyna Castellanos (@deynac18) December 3, 2019
You’ll notice that the NWSL is not mentioned in the poll, and that is bad news for the league, and in particular for the Orlando Pride.
There are certain things you just don’t say. You shouldn’t tell your boss what you really think of his new tie. People over a certain age shouldn’t try to use hip, new lingo (that’s what the kid’s are saying nowadays, right?), and you shouldn’t use phrases made famous by the Third Reich. I’m not sure if Marco van Basten said either of the first two, but he did say “sieg heil” on a live broadcast for Fox Sports. Basten has apologized, and is suspended from broadcasting this week with pay. However, he will be donating his wages during the suspension to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. He has also been suspended by EA Sports in the FIFA 20 game until further notice. Basten explained that he didn’t mean to say anything shocking or offensive and that “it was meant to ridicule the German language of pitch-side reporter Hans Kraaij.” I’m not sure that makes it much better, but I do think it was a poor choice of words for the former player turned coach, turned pundit.
That will do it for now. As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.