How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope the work week hasn’t been too rough on you as we now head into Friday and the weekend. It may be the off-season but things feel pretty electric in Orlando thanks to the recent coaching news and a clear date on when the 2020 season will start for the Lions. The future of the Lions gets clearer each day and I’m sure we will have even more news as the rest of 2019 progresses.
Oscar Pareja Speaks to Orlando Media
Orlando City welcomed Oscar Pareja to the city and a press conference was held for Pareja and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi to speak with the media. Muzzi talked on why Pareja is such a good fit for the job, touching on their past together in FC Dallas. Pareja touched on that past MLS success as well, but had plenty to say about the team’s future with an emphasis on bringing fans to Exploria Stadium and getting the team into the playoffs and beyond.
Orlando Will Open 2020 Season Against Real Salt Lake
Pareja and the Lions will open the season at Exploria Stadium against Real Salt Lake on Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. It’s a date that only comes around for the Leap Year and fans are sure to pack the house that Saturday to kick off the season right. The Lions are undefeated in their past five season openers and will shoot for six next year. The next weekend, Orlando will travel to spoil the Colorado Rapids’ opener on March 7 for its second game of the year. Make sure to check out how the other teams in the league will start their seasons as well, with an exciting match between Inter Miami and LAFC on March 1.
Orlando SeaWolves Lose Again to Rival Tropics
The Orlando SeaWolves had a chance at revenge on their home turf against the Florida Tropics, but lost 8-5 and are now 0-2 on the season. The SeaWolves took the lead twice in the affair and kept things close until silly fouls and poor defense allowed the Tropics to go on a six-goal run. Orlando will look to right the ship when it goes on the road tomorrow for a match with the Baltimore Blast.
W-League Round 4 Underway
Two Orlando Pride players got Round 4 of the W-League started down in Australia. Carson Pickett and the Brisbane Roar earned their first win of the year after beating Camila and Canberra United, 2-1. Although her side lost, Camila won eight of her 11 duels, finished second in touches on the team with 69, and led Canberra in both crosses (seven) and chances created (four).
As for the other Pride players this week, Alanna Kennedy is expected to make her season debut for Sydney FC this week when she faces off against Claire Emslie, Emily van Egmond, and the rest of Melbourne City this weekend. However, this is the third straight week Kennedy has been expected to play so I’ll believe it when I see it.
- Andrew Wiebe evaluated the many impressive players 22 or younger in MLS and placed them into tiers. Both Joao Moutinho and Benji Michel are capable of starting, while Josué Colmán was placed under the tier of those questionable to return or make it in the league.
- Speaking of impressive youngsters, Orlando midfielder Sebas Mendez could miss time this summer if he represents Ecuador in the 2020 Copa America. Former Lion Carlos Ascues could be called up by Peru for the tournament and the two nations were drawn together in the group stage.
- Although the league hasn’t made an official announcement, all reports are pointing to Charlotte as the 30th expansion team in MLS.
- United States Men’s National Team striker Josh Sargent is out for the rest of 2019 after tearing a small muscle.
- Everton sacked Marco Silva as the club sits at the bottom of the table and flirts with relegation.
That’s all I have for you today, make sure to check back with us for more Orlando soccer news as the off-season rolls on. Have a great Friday!