Happy Sunday, Mane Landers. I say we drop the formalities and hop right into your Sunday serving of Links. Let’s do this.
OCSC Goalkeeper Coach Loves the Open Competition
With the departure of two of the goalkeepers from last season in Joe Bendik and Earl Edwards Jr., the Lions’ keepers have found themselves in an interesting (and somewhat nerve wracking) competition between Adam Grinwis, Mason Stajduhar, Greg Ranjitsingh, and trialist Brian Rowe. All four have seen minutes in City’s preseason clashes, and according to goalkeeper coach Thabane Sutu, it’s currently too close to call in terms of who has the edge.
“As far as standing out, we’ve played two games and all of them have been involved in the games and all of them have been doing quite good. It’s a close one to call, so we’ll see.”
To add to that, Sutu also briefly spoke about how high the level of play is between the goalkeepers, and that although the competition is in full throttle, they still all help each other and provide a support system for each other.
“It’s very, very high, but friendly at the same time,” Sutu said about the competition so far. “Guys [are] getting along really well. They’re helping each other out. It’s been good to see, but, obviously, each one of them wants to be the No. 1, but we’ll get to see that on March 2. For now, the competition is really high, and it’s been fantastic to see.”
Let’s hope the upcoming season will be, too.
Lions in the Running to Land Nani
Cheers to hoping OCSC lands Portuguese winger Nani. The former Manchester United midfielder hasn’t asked for a transfer but Orlando City is interested in the Portuguese winger. Nothing is imminent but Nani would fill a need for the Lions. We’ll keep our eyes on this one.
Regarding Nani: A club source confirmed Nani is on Orlando City’s scouting radar, along with other players, but added it’s a difficult deal to get done.— Jordan Culver (@JordanCulver) February 9, 2019
FC Dallas Defender Reggie Cannon Reflects on Time with National Team
The Gregg Berhalter era as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, as we all know, got off to an excellent start with two consecutive friendly wins against Panama and Costa Rica. Reggie Cannon, a 20-year-old wing back, has provided insight into what it was like working under the new coach, even talking about the tactics and positioning that Berhalter wanted to deploy.
“It was interesting playing with a coach like that,” Cannon told ProSoccerUSA. “He’s a very tactical-sided coach and he has a certain way about going about things. He wants the fullbacks to come inside and play that center-mid role and it’s something I quite haven’t adapted to much yet. . .It’s good to get that adaptation in and I’ve learned a lot in that camp.”
To add to that, Cannon also touched on the attitude and culture that Berhalter has brought with him to the national team setup.
“We spent a lot of training doing tactical stuff,” Cannon said. “It’s good coming back to FC Dallas, where Luchi has that more grit side that Oscar had. It’s even with Luchi; It’s all about grit and effort, but it’s also about having that tactical balance to be able to disrupt the team and be comfortable where you play. Gregg was more on the side of, obviously valuing effort, but tactics is where the majority of his premise sits. Gregg is a great coach, it’s just going to take a lot longer to adapt to that position.”
Stories like this are a good sign — they show the promise and dedication that Berhalter exudes. Perhaps the Yanks might qualify for the next World Cup (too soon?).
World Cup Veteran Fernando Clavijo Passes Away at 63
A member of the 1994 World Cup squad, Fernando Clavijo has passed away after a five-year battle with multiple myeloma. Known globally for his passion, dedication, and commitment to the sport we love, Clavijo was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005. Born in Maldonado, Uruguay, the defender began an illustrious 22-year career at the tender age of just 16, signing with Uruguayan club Atenas de San Carlos. From there, Clavijo made his move stateside, earning accolades in American Soccer League and in indoor circuits. By 1987, Clavijo acquired his U.S. citizenship...and the rest was history, as the versatile defender found his way into the national team setup, and later parlayed his success on the field to success off the field, becoming a manager of several MLS and indoor clubs throughout this later years. The impact he had on the sport in this country was important, and we’re all devastated by his passing.
“All of us in the U.S. Soccer family are deeply saddened by the passing of Fernando Clavijo, one of the pioneers of soccer in the United States,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro said. “As a player, a coach, a mentor and a friend, Fernando impacted the lives of generations of people involved in the sport to which he dedicated his life. Our thoughts today are with his family and friends as we reflect on his great legacy.”
We’ve lost a good one, that’s for sure. Rest in peace, Fernando. You will be missed.
- Darlington Nagbe is apparently attempting to force a move to the Columbus Crew, with his absences from the Atlanta United’s recent preseason friendlies raising questions as to what’s going on with the defending MLS champions and their influential midfielder.
- Major props to the Philadelphia Union for releasing a fan-inspired jersey celebrating their 10th season. The jersey includes an MLS first — customizable back tags. The available tags include local athletes Zach and Julie Ertz and Jorge Alfaro, rapper Freeway, alternative rock group The Wonder Years, club Chief Tattoo Officer Bonedaddys Tattoo, Phang, as well as the club’s supporter group, the Sons of Ben (as voted on by the fans).
- Speaking of the Union...the club’s recent signing of Marco Fabian is making major waves in the City of Brotherly Love, and he already feels comfortable in his new home.
- Another recent MLS move, Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez to Atlanta United, is garnering praise as well. Pity, while a very different player than the recently departed Miguel Almiron, is impressing his new teammates.
- Real Salt Lake will advance to the Pacific Rim Cup final against V-Varen Nagasaki after they notched a 2-1 win against Iwaki FC. The Vancouver Whitecaps lost to Nagasaki, failing to reach the final of the preseason tournament.
- And speaking of the Whitecaps...the club has secured a year-long loan of FC Chiasso striker Joaquín Ardaiz with an option to make the move permanent. The young Uruguayan will occupy one of the club’s Young Designated Player slots.
- Liv Cooke is a beast. Proof:
No doubt in my mind - I’m still the best pic.twitter.com/7C0ISEh8VG— Liv Cooke (@LivCookefs) February 8, 2019
Before I make my leave, I want to leave you with this absolute gem. Well played, mom. Well played.
Enjoy your Sunday and have an excellent week!