Good morning Mane Landers and happy Friday! I hope you had a great week, but if not, at least it is just about over. It’s been a great week for me but next week is bound to be even better as Publix chicken tender subs are on sale!
Now for some links.
Orlando City Players Eligible for Awards
At the end of every sport’s season that I know of there are awards. This is no different in MLS, and the ballots have arrived! Multiple Lions made the ballot in quite a few different categories. The Orlando City players nominated are:
- Nani (2019 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, Newcomer of the Year)
- Robin Jansson (Defender of the Year)
- Sebas Mendez (Defender of the Year, Newcomer of the Year)
- Brian Rowe (Goalkeeper of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year)
- Chris Mueller (Humanitarian of the Year)
- Kamal Miller (Rookie of the Year)
- Santiago Patino (Rookie of the Year)
- Tesho Akindele (Comeback Player of the Year)
- James O'Connor (Coach of the Year)
Personally, I highly doubt any Orlando City player wins an award. Akindele probably has the best chance of winning with the Comeback Player of the Year, but even that isn’t likely. Mueller could win the Humanitarian of the Year, but seeing as Adam Grinwis probably does the most community work on the team it is weird Mueller got nominated ahead of the ‘keeper.
Tropical Depression Imelda Not Expected to Effect Orlando City Match
Despite the fact that there is flooding in Houston, Orlando City is still scheduled to play the Houston Dynamo this weekend. Tropical Depression Imelda forced the George Bush Intercontinental Airport to close on Thursday because of flooding, but it should reopen today. As of right now, the match is not going to be postponed.
The Lions’ playoff chances are slim and time is running out to make a late push. Last week’s draw severely diminished their chances of making the postseason, but the team is remaining optimistic. One of the players that James O’Connor is hoping to get more involved is Mauricio Pereyra. With time running out, and every game now a must-win, Pereyra could be getting an increase in game time tomorrow, even if he is not at 100% yet.
“We know he has a lot of quality to bring to the team, a lot of experience,” Nani said. “I hope he can get on his best legs as fast as possible because he’s showed already he’s a player we can count on.”
Brian Rowe’s Career Nearly Ended Last Year
Rowe joined Orlando after a trialist stint this preseason. The ‘keeper went on to become the team’s starter and has been having a fantastic season for the Lions. However, there were times last year when he thought that his career was ending.
“Last year, I really felt like if that was the end of the career, that was the end of my career,” Rowe said. “Now I’m in a place where I play more freely than I did before. I’m at a point where I’m just going to enjoy this because I’ve got nothing to lose.”
From his youth days, to playing at UCLA, to bouncing around the league, Rowe eventually landed with the Galaxy. Now he is part of a “Goalkeeper Union” in Orlando trying to help Orlando make the playoffs.
MLS Expansion Draft Update
Nashville and Miami are set to join MLS next season and the league announced a way that the expansion teams will draft players. The rules for the Expansion Draft change slightly each go around but here are the biggest takeaways:
- D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and the New York Red Bulls will not be part as they all lost players to FC Cincinnati in 2018.
- The draft will be on Nov. 19. The list of eligible players will be announced a day prior, on Nov. 18.
- The draft order will be decided on Oct. 6.
Sacramento Will Get Expansion Team
Speaking of expansion teams, Roger Gonzalez of CBS Sports announced that Sacramento will “100%” be in MLS in 2022. The Sacramento city council approved for a 22,000-seat stadium to be built. The official announcement is expected next week.
- Brazil called up the Orlando Pride’s Marta for friendlies next month.
- The newest FIFA rankings are out. Mexico, not surprisingly, is the top-ranked Concacaf team at No. 12. The United States moved up one place to 21, while Canada is ranked 75th.
- Residents in Las Vegas mistook the U.S. Navy Parachute Team partaking in pregame festivities for the Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL match as UFOs.
- FIFA says that “The ban on women attending soccer matches in Iran is ‘unacceptable’ and must be lifted.”
- MLS Goal of the Week Update: Nani did not win.
- The NWSL match between Reign FC and Utah Royals FC was postponed because the field was “unfit for play.”
- David Silva is rumored to be heading to Miami.
- Minnesota United’s Brent Kallman tested positive for a banned substance and will miss 10 matches. His suspension is likely to carry over to next season.
- I’ll end today’s Lion Links with this adorable picture of Cassius. Because who doesn’t love some Cheesin’ Cassius?