Hello, Mane Landers! Hopefully, you got a rest on Presidents’ Day yesterday and are ready for the short week! Or if you had to go in yesterday, at least you got the signing of Nani to help get you through the day. I am counting down the days until kickoff. On this wonderful Tuesday, The Mane Land wishes a fabulous happy birthday to the Orlando Pride’s Toni Pressley and the GOAT, Marta!
Now for some links.
Nani to Orlando is Official
Rumored for a while, the Champions’ League winner is now a Lion! Orlando City signed Nani to a three-year Designated Player contract. The Portuguese star was brought over from Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer. To make room on the roster, Sacha Kljestan’s contract is expected to be bought down.
“This is an exciting day for our organization,” said Orlando City SC EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi. “Nani brings tremendous experience to our roster. He’s a dynamic winger with quality abilities to move and cross the ball, impact games and lead the offensive play.”
Mônica Leaving the Pride
Yesterday sure was filled with emotions. After hearing about Nani, the Brazilian defender announced that she will not be returning to Orlando in 2019. Mônica is one of the original members of the Pride and has made 53 appearances in her three years. She will leave with the second-most minutes in Orlando Pride history (4,148).
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It took me a little while to write this to you all because I did not know how to say bye to my purple family. When I came here, the love was instant, from people who did not even know me at the time. I lived some of the best moments of my life here, in Orlando. Here, I was treated as a professional and received from you all daily support and love that I could have never dreamed of. However, unfortunately, this year I will not be part of the purple warriors on the field but I am very happy for all those years I spent here. I am very grateful to all of you who in a certain way helped me and followed me during this time... friends, family and you, my beloved fans, thank you! I hope to come back soon, our journey did not come to an end yet. valeu @obsplayers ✅mais uma etapa concluída... #obsplayer #purple #thecrow #pridescrown #ourcityourpride #orlando #futfem #womensoccer #dreams #grateful #gratidao
U.S. Soccer has a Veep
Former USWNT player Cindy Parlow Cone was elected as the vice president of U.S. Soccer. This position has been vacant since Carlos Cordeiro was elected as the president a year ago. Cone was part of the national team from 1996-2004 and has been involved with U.S. soccer for the past 20 years.
“I am grateful to be able to continue to serve our great game as U.S. Soccer Vice President,” said Parlow Cone. “I believe with my extensive knowledge of, and experience working in, the soccer landscape of our country, from grassroots to the international level, I will help U.S. Soccer continue to build, develop, and grow soccer in the United States at every level.”
USMNT Players to Watch
Steven Goff of The Washington Post named nine players, plus a few fringe players, that USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter needs to call up. Before clicking the link, though, let’s play a game. Write down who you think the players are, see how close you were, and then leave a comment about it below. I’ll give you a hint: Seven of the nine are very obvious, and yes, Christian Pulisic is on it.
- Zlatan “will break every record in MLS,” according to Zlatan.
- The Gold Cup looks to be in its last years.
- This Italian soccer team played with just seven players...and lost, 20-0.
- How far away is the U.S. from getting promotion and relegation?
- Whose stock up and whose is down with the USMNT?
- Here is one preview of Orlando City’s 2019 season.
- Our friends over at Stars and Stripes FC give their weekly youth update on American players.
- The FA Cup quarterfinals are set. Manchester United will face Wolves and Manchester City will take on Swansea City. See the full draw here.
- Speaking of the FA Cup, here are all the goals from the fifth round.