What’s up, Mane Landers? All-Star Week is officially behind us but we still have plenty to look forward to this weekend with Orlando City, Orlando City B and the United States Women’s National Team all in action tomorrow night. It’s a good time to be an Orlando fan as we head into a fun slate of games this month, but for now let’s enjoy some links from around the soccer world.
Orlando’s Midfielders Rising to the Occasion
Orlando City midfielder Uri Rosell isn’t letting the spectacle of All-Star Week distract the Lions from taking all three points at home against FC Dallas tomorrow.
“It’s an atypical week because knowing there’s an important game like the All-Star Game, that brings a lot of attention, you can easily lose focus,” Rosell said. “On the other hand, we’re [concentrating] in our jobs and it has to be like that. At the end of the day, on Saturday we have an important game against at home that we’re going to have to win.”
Rosell is still recovering from a nasty injury against the New England Revolution but there is a multitude of talent in the midfield to fill in if needed. Dillon Powers in particular has stepped up to the plate and praised the team’s “next-man up” philosophy to make the most of minutes given during squad rotations.
Marta Earns Spot on July’s NWSL Team of the Month
Orlando Pride star Marta was named to the National Women’s Soccer League’s Team of the Month. The Brazilian didn’t let an early World Cup exit dampen her spirit as she scored three times last month to help the Pride towards a winning record in July. It’s been a revival of sorts for the 33-year-old, who looks to continue her dominance for the rest of the season. Congrats Marta!
The MLS All-Stars may have been trounced 3-0 by Atletico Madrid, but the fans made a splash during the game with passionate support. Not only were the Orlando fans loud when cheering, but they were loud when booing as well, especially when an Atlanta United player was introduced or touched the ball. The rival players took the heckling in stride and it led to an energized atmosphere for all involved.
With talent across the league growing each and every year, rumblings of switching the All-Star event to East vs. West continue. Players would like something to play for if that were the case while others like playing against world-class opponents. Let me know in the comments below what changes, if any, you want to see in the All-Star Game.
USWNT Pay Dispute Heating Up
With the USWNT set to play a friendly against Ireland tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET in the Rose Bowl, the battle for equal pay continues. Earlier this week, U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro released an open letter that stated U.S. Soccer paid the USWNT more than the USMNT.
“U.S. Soccer has, over the past decade, paid our Women’s National Team more than our Men’s National Team in salaries and game bonuses, and we continue to make unprecedented investments in our women’s program,” Cordeiro said in a letter.
The USWNT called the numbers given “utterly false” and the labor organization for members of the U.S. Men’s National Team backed up the women’s team as well. Things have certainly intensified as mediation looms between U.S. Soccer and the USWNT. The tension is not helped by Jermaine Jones taking shots at the equal pay movement and specifically Alex Morgan.
- The USWNT added two more dates to its victory tour. The team will take on Korea Republic on Oct. 3 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, before facing them again at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Oct. 6.
- Newest Lion Mauricio Pereyra is training with the team. Now we wait for that pesky international paperwork to go through.
- Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris won MLS Goal of the Week for his tenacious effort in the box to give the Sounders a lead.
- Wednesday’s All-Star Game placed third all-time in viewership with big names like Wayne Rooney, Nani, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic helping MLS pull some of the weight this year.
Univision says its MLS All-Star Game broadcast last night (carried on UniMás and TUDN) drew 626,000 viewers, making it the network's No. 3 all-time MLS All-Star Game broadcast.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) August 1, 2019
2017 vs. Real Madrid (not surprisingly) tops the charts; 2011 vs. Manchester United is No. 2.
- MLS Commissioner Don Garber sat down for a Q&A, fielding topics ranging from legalized betting to his legacy as commissioner.
- The folks at ESPN.com decided to make a Best XI of their own after the fan-chosen squad fell to Atletico Madrid. They gave some recognition to Stefan Frei and Maxi Moralez for their solid seasons but also decided to snub Nani.
- The USWNT has received one of the highest honors on the planet.
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- While MLS had its fun, the United Soccer League got down to business with executive meetings here in Orlando. Across all three leagues, excitement is building for the future.
That’s all from me, folks. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday as we head into the weekend. Stay hydrated out there and have fun!