Happy Saturday morning! It’s another three-match weekend for Orlando City Soccer Club, kicking off at 7 p.m. ET this evening with the Young Lions of Orlando City B on the road against the Richmond Kickers. The Orlando Pride are in control of Exploria Stadium later tonight, while the men of Orlando City prepare for their match there tomorrow. Read up on more regarding those games, and plenty of other news, in the link below.
Lions Return Home, Dwyer Suspension Extended
Orlando City played a late Thursday match with the Portland Timbers that saw the squad earn its third consecutive result on the road. Head Coach James O’Connor applauded the efforts of his guys, stating the following.
“I thought there was a great togetherness to the team. I mean look, they’re a very good team, the Timbers. They put us under a lot of pressure, but we coped really well and defended excellently, made it very difficult for them to get the three points.”
Goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh did his job well, as did rookie, forward Santiago Patino (minus that one bad pass — let’s call that a rookie mistake). In his first start for Orlando, new addition Robinho also made some noise after creating the chance for Orlando’s goal.
Captain Nani wasn’t with the team due to illness, but posted his thoughts on Twitter. Unfortunately, the games are still coming thick and fast with Orlando City coming home to host conference rivals the New York Red Bulls tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. However, the Lions will have to get the job done without Dom Dwyer who was suspended for an additional game.
Pride Look for Back-to-Back Home Victories
I sincerely hope you don’t need to be reminded about the Orlando Pride home match against Sky Blue FC that kicks off at 7:30 p.m. today. The game will feature the return of United State Women’s National Team World Cup champions Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, and Alex Morgan, in addition to the Pride looking for back-to-back home victories. Kay Rawlins will be there and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has sent his support.
If you need more motivation, and I really hope that’s not the case, to get out there and support the women’s game in Orlando, the team has a giveaway going for those who arrive early enough. There’s also a couple of opportunities to help the community.
Need another chance to win tomorrow? We hear ya! For a $5 donation (cash only), you can enter this raffle for a signed Marta poster! Enter this raffle by visiting the Orlando City Foundation table near GATE A! Raffle winners will be notified via text right before halftime! pic.twitter.com/yprIK6CP8y— OrlandoCityFnd (@OrlandoCityFnd) July 19, 2019
For those of you who are out of the area — the only acceptable excuse for not being in the stadium tonight as far as I’m concerned — there’s some cool new Orlando Pride merch you can check out online as well.
MLS Concussion Protocol Needs Work
This is a sad story that Orlando City fans have had to witness twice in the last two matches, once by Orlando’s hand and once at our team’s expense. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the scary moment when center back Alex De John took a high boot to the temple from a Portland Timbers player that instantly knocked him unconscious on the pitch. Thankfully, the referee immediately called for medical help and De John has since said that he is “just fine” and will “be back before you know it.”
The same cannot be said for Josh Williams of Columbus Crew SC. After Dom Dwyer’s elbow to Williams’ face that earned him a red card, “Williams was never checked for a concussion by medical staff during the game and he stayed involved in active play for the remaining few minutes.” It didn’t take long for Williams to be diagnosed with a concussion post-match, so what went wrong with the MLS concussion protocol? Like many other “rules” and “protocols” in MLS, we may never know.
PRO Gonna PRO
Here’s another song and dance that Lions fans are all-too familiar with — the apology and excuses of the Professional Referees Organization. This time, PRO General Manager Howard Webb had to acknowledge the glaring mistake from his refs during the New York Derby match. “With hindsight, the referee should have stopped the game at that point and indicated to everybody to give clarity that the restart was going to be a throw-in,” Webb told ProSoccerUSA. Shockingly, that doesn’t give either team back the points they may have lost from the error.
- Just a friendly reminder:
- Chris Mueller appeared on Extra Time to discuss the upcoming MLS All-Star Skills Challenge.
- Former Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik couldn’t make it through one season with Columbus. He’s been traded to the Philadelphia Union to ride the pine there.
- ProSoccerUSA’s weekly MLS preview is available here.
- Indianapolis may be the next announced MLS expansion city after throwing its hat into the ring.
- The Major Arena Soccer League, home of the Orlando SeaWolves, has confirmed the teams and conferences for the 2019-2020 season.
- The Orlando Pride’s World Cup winners have ideas about how to grow the sport of women’s soccer. Meanwhile, the Chicago Red Stars are welcoming home their USWNT stars with a sold-out match and Atlanta might be interested in a professional women’s team.
- Algeria narrowly defeated Senegal 1-0 to claim its second Africa Cup of Nations title.
- Not the best of Chelsea news today, since the squad lost Friday’s friendly match, 1-0. However, up-and-coming U.S. Men’s National Team winger Christian Pulisic made his debut for the Blues.
Make sure to get downtown tonight to support women’s soccer. Go Pride! Go City!