Happy Saturday morning to everyone out there in The Mane Land world. Even better, happy Major League Soccer week two and Orlando City match day! As I’m sure you know, Orlando City travels to Chicago to take on the Fire today with a 1 p.m. kickoff. Before you head out to your favorite local watering hole for some drinks and a watch party, I’ve got all the news you need to know!
Lions Closer to Inking Deal for Swedish Defender Robin Jansson
Reported by Swedish soccer news outlet Fotbollskanalen, current AIK center back Robin Jansson is on “club visits” and will miss today’s quarterfinal match of the Swedish Cup. It was not, of course, officially reported which club or clubs Jansson is visiting. AIK did confirm that permission was granted, allowing the defender to miss the match and travel. According to some of The Mane Land’s sources, it appears that the signing is only hinging on Jansson passing his physical. Keep your internet browsers tuned here for news about the signing, if or when it should occur.
Kljestan Speaks About the Team’s 2019 Playing Style
After eight new players made their Orlando City debut during last Saturday’s 2-2 draw versus New York City FC, it stands to reason that the Lions are playing with a new identity to start out the 2019 season. In an interview with ProSoccerUSA.com’s Jordan Culver on Friday, MLS veteran and second-year Lion Sacha Kljestan addressed the “proactive” style of play.
“We don’t want to be a team that really sits back,” midfielder Sacha Kljestan said. “We want to be very proactive about the game, so the attacking principles become very important of just going at guys when you have a chance, putting crosses, getting guys in the box and trying to get runners in behind.”
While we all have been highly in favor of the club finding and establishing its identity in 2019, something Kljestan said later in the interview might make everyone a little nervous.
“You want to always stick with the same game plan because that kind of builds your identity and you stick with it, but playing on the road is always harder than playing at home,” Kljestan said. “You don’t have the friendly confines of what you’re used to. Then you get the crowd into it and then you get momentum swings and things like that, so we have to be smart about maybe not creating too much risk at the back in an away game. He added, “We’ll see. Any way we can try to get points early in the season, we’re going to see how it happens.”
Will Orlando City continue working on a new style of play in Chicago today or not? We’ll find out in just a few hours.
U.S. Women’s National Team Sues U.S. Soccer
On Friday (International Women’s Day), 28 USWNT soccer players took to the United States District Court in Los Angeles to file a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. This is the latest development in a long battle between the stars of the national team, such as the Orlando Pride’s own Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris, and the governing body of U.S. Soccer over equal pay and treatment. The “institutionalized gender discrimination” alleged in the suit reportedly includes bias in pay equity, where and how often the team plays and trains, medical treatment, coaching, and travel. For its part, the USWNT Players Association issued this statement on Twitter Friday morning. Soon after the news broke, the United States Men’s National Team also took to Twitter to demonstrate its support of the women’s game. Two days prior, on March 6, players from the Colombian women’s team spoke out about alleged discrimination and received the support of their male counterparts as well. It’s evident that this saga is far from over, so we’ll bring you any updates as they arise.
Orlando SeaWolves Sign Four New Players Before Last Night’s 6-4 Comeback Win
Austin David had some breaking SeaWolves news almost immediately prior to the away game at the Kansas City Comets Friday night. The Major Arena Soccer League team signed four new players for the remainder of this seaso: midfielders Bobby Hurwitz and JC Henson, and defenders Mike Semedo and Stefan Mijatovic. Hurwitz opened his account in his first game with the team in last night’s thrilling back-and-forth 6-4 win at Kansas City. Richard Schmermund was the star, with three goals, an assist, and a huge defensive play to stop a 3-on-1 Comets counter attack. The SeaWolves visit the first-place Milwaukee Wave today at 2 p.m. ET.
- Considering I’m a huge gamer nerd that’s currently obsessed with the recently released battle royale game Apex Legends, I absolutely adored this shout-out to it on Orlando City’s Instagram late Friday afternoon.
- In celebration of Friday having been International Women’s Day, the Orlando Pride front office came out to the team’s training in the morning and then got together with the team for this epic photo.
- Speaking of the Pride, the team is looking to start the 2019 season with a new mentality. Sound like any other Orlando clubs we may know?
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a lion in his own mind but certainly not in Orlando City purple, did not travel with the LA Galaxy to take on FC Dallas today because of an Achilles issue.
- Orlando City’s 2019 MLS SuperDraft second-round pick Tommy Madden, who was released by the club back in January, has a new home...
- ...and so does former Orlando City television play-by-play commentator Jeff Radcliffe.
- The Tacoma Stars of the MASL signed former Seattle Sounders standout Lamar Neagle.
- I really wish I didn’t have bad Chelsea FC news to report, though I have no such luck. The club released a statement declaring astonishment at FIFA’s decision not to suspend its two transfer window ban during the appeals process.
All right, now that you’re all caught up on all the important news, make sure to watch our Lions take on the Chicago Fire this afternoon. Here’s hoping we’re talking about three points the next time we meet. Go City!