Hello, Mane Landers. Happy Saturday! We are now just one day away from the highly anticipated Nani vs. Rooney match-up. And we are 15 days away from the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones! The Pride also play today, in a closed-door friendly, but more information on that below.
Now, let’s get to the links!
Orlando Pride Announce Two More Preseason Friendlies
The Pride’s preseason scheduling is finally finished, apparently, and it only consists of three matches. In addition to the previously played loss at the North Carolina Courage, Orlando will play in a closed-door friendly against the University of South Florida this afternoon. This will be the fourth preseason meeting between the two teams, with Orlando winning them all — 3-0 in 2016, 2-0 in 2017, and 5-1 in 2018. Orlando will then face Puerto Rico Sol FC in Orlando City Stadium on April 7 in an open friendly. Tickets are free to this match and will be available starting on Monday.
OCB Set to Start USL League One Season
Orlando City B kicks off its season tonight. The USL League One team plays against FC Tucson at Montverde Academy at 7:30 p.m. ET. This will be the first League One match for each side in the league’s inaugural season. If you are unable to watch the game, the league has unveiled a new match center, powered by Opta, that you can use to follow along if you can’t watch on ESPN+.
SeaWolves Bounced from Playoff Contention
It was a rough night for the Orlando SeaWolves as the team’s bid to make the playoffs in its inaugural MASL season came to an end. Orlando battled back from behind all night, tying the game three times, but eventually fell 7-6 at home to the Kansas City Comets. Gordy Gurson scored a brace and added an assist in a losing effort. The SeaWolves will travel to Milwaukee to face the best team in the division tomorrow afternoon.
Inter Miami Academy Update
Miami might not have an academy director or even all of its coaches yet, but the club is putting a huge emphasis on the development of youngsters. With the help of former Orlando City and Atlanta United executive Paul McDonough, Miami is getting heavily involved with local clubs.
“I’ve actually met with all of them, and we talked about it, and the right thing to do was not to partner with any one, and that was received really well by the clubs,” McDonough said. “They’ve been really, really supportive with that approach. … They knew what we were doing. They know it’s inevitable. MLS has been coming in here, the academies have been coming in and taking kids out for so many years, they would just prefer, they know they’re going to lose players, they just want to keep them in South Florida.”
- Orlando City goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, on loan with Tulsa in the USL Championship, got his first professional minutes. He allowed just one goal in a 2-1 win over the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros, facing 12 shots and stopping two of the three attempts on target.
- Despite a less than stellar showing in the SheBelieves Cup, the USWNT is ranked No. 1 in the final pre-World Cup FIFA rankings. Germany, England, and host France are just behind the Yanks.
- Why are there so few Asian players in MLS? Sam Stejskal explains it here.
- Here’s an update on Orlando City’s eMLS campaign and the full standings.
- The Chicago Fire have waived Liechtenstein international fullback Nicolas Hasler.