Happy Tuesday, everybody. We’re officially below the one-month mark until MLS opening day, and I’m ready for it to just be here already. I had quite the busy weekend as I was working the UDA National Dance Team Championships over at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, so I was fairly out of the news loop for the last few days. There’s plenty to catch up on though, so let’s get going.
Orlando City Back From Bradenton
Orlando City has returned to training at Sylvan Lake Park following its two-week stay at IMG Academy. Both Shane O’Neill and new signing Tesho Akindele spoke about their belief that the time away helped the team bond and come together, something they think will help this season. The Lions trained twice a day for most days and concluded their time in Bradenton by drawing 1-1 with the New York Red Bulls in a closed-door scrimmage. The team has another month of preseason training before opening day against NYCFC on March 2, with the next immediate test being another closed-door scrimmage against Louisville City FC tomorrow.
USMNT January Camp Lessons
Gregg Berhalter’s first January camp in charge of the United States Men’s National Team is in the books, and by all accounts it was a successful one. The team won both of its games, although they were against admittedly not the strongest opposition, but you can only beat who’s put in front of you. There were plenty of positives to be taken from the camp, as some young players showed their potential, Berhalter demonstrated his tactical acumen, and creativity was on display in stops and starts. Certainly there is still plenty of work to be done, but it was about as good of a start as could have been asked for.
MLS Transfer News
A few MLS transfers were finalized yesterday, both Designated Player signings. New York City FC acquired Alexandru Mitrita to a DP contract, reportedly dishing out an $8.5 million transfer fee in order to do so. Mitrita, a striker, comes from Universitatea Craiova in Romania, and becomes the club’s third Designated Player alongside Maxi Moralez and Jesus Medina. Additionally, Real Salt Lake signed Liberia’s Sam Johnson as the team’s final DP. The forward comes from Norway’s Valerenga and will occupy an international slot for the time being.
New Kits Released
A few MLS team’s released their new kits for the upcoming MLS season yesterday. Sporting Kansas City released a primary kit in its traditional sky blue with a couple gray sashes going across the front, giving it some pop. The Columbus Crew also revealed their primary shirt, going with a bright gold kit that looks similar enough to past iterations but with a subtle checkerboard motif and several nods to the club’s history. The Portland Timbers dropped a green-on-green primary kit, with a lighter green base that’s accentuated by darker green hoops complete with gold and white trim around the collars and sleeves. The Red Bulls also released a secondary shirt termed the “Glitch Kit,” which features very thin gray and white pinstripes going diagonally across the jersey.
- While new Orlando City signing Ruan was not at training yesterday, there’s a perfectly good reason as to why.
Orlando City update on Ruan: He is in town and is getting physicals, he’ll be with the group this week.— Jordan Culver (@JordanCulver) February 4, 2019
- It’s about time the Tottenham striker got near one of these.
Harry Kane and a trophy.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 4, 2019
( : via Harry Kane IG) pic.twitter.com/LJ0IcO83D9
- Even though he’s injured, Neymar has a schedule to keep.
When you get injured at 3pm but still need to make an important appearance at your birthday party at 6pm pic.twitter.com/fSGGXyPNIC— Goal (@goal) February 4, 2019
That’ll do it for me today. Even though the scrimmage against Louisville City is behind closed doors, keep an eye on us here at TML for any updates that manage to make their way out to the media and public. Be safe out there. Ciao.