What’s up, Mane Landers? I hope Monday wasn’t too rough on you as the work week rolls on. While most of the tournament action across the soccer world has ended, Orlando City’s marathon continues tomorrow with a U.S. Open Cup match against New York City FC. It will be the third Lions game since last Wednesday, but at least they will have the home crowd behind them. But for now, let’s continue to recharge our batteries and enjoy some links.
Orlando City’s Delayed Preparations
In case you didn’t hear, Orlando City had some trouble getting out of Pennsylvania yesterday.
With MLS decision to make Orlando City play the postponed game Sunday, we're 2 days from the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal and the Lions are still in Philadelphia due to travel issues last night. Since-deleted social media posts from players indicated plane MLS hired was too small.— The Mane Land (@TheManeLand) July 8, 2019
It’s not the best news considering the setbacks the team has already had with getting enough rest until the Open Cup game with NYCFC. Regardless, the Lions are determined to get over the hump in the tournament and make the semifinal for the first time despite making the quarterfinals three times already. Head Coach James O’Connor had plenty to say about the team’s big game this week and more.
Look, it’s a massive game for us. To get to the quarterfinals of the [Lamar Hunt U.S.] Open Cup is something that we’re striving to have a run in the cup. If we could get the stadium full that would be incredible for us, the supporters have been incredible. I think for them to have the opportunity of getting a good Open Cup run is something as a club we’re striving for, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the more people we have in the stadium the better it is for us. So hopefully we can get a nice vocal atmosphere on Wednesday and give New York [City FC] a tough game.
Lions Earn Recognition
Although no Orlando City players made it into the Team of the Week, they still featured in some of the league’s weekly accolades. Chris Mueller is nominated for Goal of the Week after his solo effort to score against the Philadelphia Union in the team’s loss last week. Make sure to get out there and give the goal appreciation.
Although the Save of the Week award no longer exists, Lions goalkeeper Brian Rowe still got a shout out in the week’s compilation of saves from the week for his big time save in Sunday’s draw with the Union.
Kopmeyer, Marta Get Nominated
The Lions weren’t the only ones impressing their league. Haley Kompeyer was nominated for NWSL Save of the Week for her stop against Tori Huster in the Pride’s first home victory of the season. Although not the flashiest save in the world, it helped the Pride towards a result that fans may look back as the moment the season turned around.
Step 1⃣: Watch these great saves.— NWSL (@NWSL) July 8, 2019
Step 2⃣: Vote for the #NWSL Save of the Week!
But if you thought that was the end of Orlando’s nominations, you’d be wrong. Marta was also nominated for NWSL Goal of the Week for her world-class strike against the Spirit. Go out and support the Pride, folks!
United States Post-Tournament Happenings
The United States Women’s National Team is making global headlines after winning the Women’s World Cup yet again. Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris captured most of the celebrations, including Alex Morgan’s dance moves, and the team left France yesterday on a jet before arriving back in the U.S. at Newark Airport. With the World Cup won, attention now turns to what the stars of the team have in store before returning to their teams.
As for the United States Men’s National Team, the Yanks lost in the Gold Cup final to Mexico but three players did make the Best XI of the tournament. Defender Aaron Long, midfielder Michael Bradley, and forward Christian Pulisic all made the list and Pulisic also walked away with the Best Young Player award. The U.S. also won the Fair Play award but the Yanks are certainly regretting not taking home more notable silverware after the tournament.
- Bobby Warshaw of MLSsoccer.com believes Orlando is the favorite in the Open Cup match this week and thinks the key to a win is creating energy and disruption in the midfield.
- In the U.S., Univision and ESPN will broadcast the new Leagues Cup that begins on July 23.
- The MLS secondary transfer window officially opened today and here are nine players who could find themselves in the U.S. this year.
- USMNT Assistant Coach Josh Wolff is expected to become the head coach for Austin FC.
- Neymar did not report to training for Paris Saint-Germain and will likely face repercussions .
That’s all from me, folks. Have a great Tuesday afternoon and stay hydrated out there.