Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers, and for the first time in a great many weeks I mean that wholeheartedly! Not only did Orlando City SC snap a losing streak with a net-bursting win over FC Cincinnati, but Orlando City B also won its first game of the season, meaning that all Orlando teams in action over the weekend walked away with victories. As always, there’s lots to discuss so lets bask in the warm glow of victory and get to the links.
Recognition for Lions
A pair of Orlando players earned very justified recognition for their exploits over the last week. Chris Mueller is up for the MLS Goal of the Week for his superb left-footed solo effort in the Lions’ 2-1 loss on the road to Seattle last Wednesday. Tesho Akindele, meanwhile, was named to the bench of the MLS Team of the Week for his two-goal performance in Sunday’s 5-1 shellacking of FC Cincinnati. Akindele scored the team’s first goal courtesy of a quick turn and fortunate deflection off a Cincy defender, and the goal got Orlando back in the game. He then struck again for the team’s fourth goal when he was the first to react to a loose ball in the box after a corner kick, completing his brace. Congratulations to both men, and keep up the good work.
Dom Unavailable for Friday
Bad news and even worse timing for both Dom Dwyer and Orlando City as its been confirmed that Dom will be suspended for Orlando City’s home game this Friday against the LA Galaxy. The suspension really couldn’t come at a worse time as Sunday’s game saw Dwyer back among the goals for the first time since March, when he converted a really quite difficult header for the Lions’ fifth goal. Unfortunately, he did pick up a fifth yellow card of the year in Sunday’s game, but there was a little confusion over whether or not he would be suspended for the team’s next game or not, as he had gone five games without picking up a yellow card. That five-game stretch means that the league’s Good Behavior Incentive goes into effect, reducing the player’s yellow card tally by one, but only if the player concerned hasn’t received “... a yellow card, red card or supplemental discipline in such matches.” Since Dom was fined in Orlando’s 3-1 loss to the Montreal Impact the incentive doesn’t apply to him, and he’ll have to sit this one out.
Provisional Gold Cup Rosters Released
The 40-man provisional rosters have been released for each nation participating in this summer’s Gold Cup. On the U.S. roster there are plenty of familiar big names, with Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, Josh Sargent, and Weston McKennie making the initial cut, among other names. While Orlando City has no players on the U.S. roster, the team is well represented elsewhere, with Benji Michel, Tesho, Will Johnson, Kamal Miller, Danilo Acosta, and Greg Ranjitsingh on the lists for Haiti, Canada, Honduras, and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively. With this year’s tournament kicking off on June 15, the final 23-man rosters will be announced in the first week of June. As exciting as it is to have Orlando players in the mix for their national teams, it’s also a double-edged sword, as it depletes reinforcements during the summer, a time when the Lions have been notoriously horrid. Thanks very much, wonky and non-FIFA-calendar-compliant MLS schedule (though it really should only affect the two matches in late June, at worst).
NYCFC Stadium Rumors
Yesterday was quite the day for anyone following rumors of a possible soccer-specific stadium for New York City FC. Early in the afternoon there were a pair of tweets that spoke about whispers being heard that a deal was done and an announcement was to be made soon. The rumor was/is that the stadium would be located in the Bronx, meaning that the team would be able to move out of Yankee Stadium at some point in the reasonably near future. Considering that I think playing games at that stadium is the worst setup in the league, and the only thing that I truly sympathize with NYCFC fans for, this would be a great step for the team and league as a whole. However, a second tweet soon after seemed to quash the earlier rumors, so basically no one knows what the hell is going on. Pour one out for NYCFC fans.
- If anyone is yammering on about Nani being “over the hill” or some similar nonsense, show them this chart.
Non-penalty goals plus assists per 90 minute so far (min. 500 minutes). Keep in mind that Giovinco was at 1.10 in what was the greatest season of all-time back in 2015. pic.twitter.com/0CWmzzrDSz— Ben Baer (@BenBaer89) May 20, 2019
- Orlando City B has moved from 10th to eighth in the USL League One rankings after getting its first win of the year.
- Houston Dynamo defender and captain DaMarcus Beasley has announced that he will be retiring after the end of the 2019 season, his 20th as a professional.
- Former Lion Jonathan Spector has been released by Hibernian FC.
- Steve Clarke has been named the new manager of Scotland.
- Vincent Kompany will re-join Anderlecht as a player-manager next season.
That’ll be all for me today. It’s another busy week of Orlando soccer with Orlando City B starting things off on Wednesday with a home game against Richmond. Orlando City will be the meat in the proverbial soccer sandwich, as the team hosts the LA Galaxy Friday at 7 p.m. ET, and the Orlando Pride will close things out with a Saturday game away to Utah Royals at 8 p.m. ET. Y’all stay safe out there.