Welcome to the weekend, Mane Landers. I hope the work week wasn’t too rough on you as now shift gears into kicking back and relaxing. That is unless your work extends into Saturday and Saturday, which is sadly the case for me. If you’re in that similar boat then I wish you the best of luck and a pleasant work day. Now, let’s get into today’s links from around the soccer world.
Orlando Pride Waive Danica Evans, Sign Defender
After making a trade earlier this week, the Pride made a less grand move by signing UCF graduate Carrie Lawrence as a Supplemental Player while waiving Danica Evans. Lawrence should help add depth to the defense, particularly when most of the team is away for the Olympics this summer, and she is already known by the Pride staff after training with the team in 2018.
In the other half of the move, Evans leaves the Pride after being drafted by the team in 2017 and struggling to find minutes over the course of three seasons. We here at The Mane Land wish her the best as she moves on to the next stage of her career in Europe.
Luiz Muzzi Disusses Draft Picks
While it was surprising to some that Daryl Dike fell into Orlando City’s lap in the MLS SuperDraft, it was all according to plan for Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi and Head Coach Oscar Pareja.
Adding exciting, young talent to the team is a trend of Muzzi’s and Dike joins the likes of Santiago Patiño and Benji Michel as part of Orlando’s growing offense. Muzzi also doesn’t want to pressure Dike and believes the team is built well enough that he won’t be required to score frequently right out the gate. Muzzi also discussed Orlando’s second round picks and how the club found what they believe to be great players others may not have had on their radar, including UCF captain Jonathan Dean.
Pride Player Updates and Happenings
As the world prepares for the Olympics this summer, Canada’s women’s soccer team announced its provisional squad for qualifying, with Pride defender Shelina Zadorsky earning a spot. Americans Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, and Emily Sonnett all made the cut for the United States Women’s National Team and Alex Morgan plans to take part in the Olympics after her pregnancy. Speaking of Harris and Krieger, you can check out the latest and last episode in the series they’ve been working on regarding the future of women’s sports.
The Future of Women in Sports
Female athletes across all sports are fighting for equitable treatment now. But what’s next for women in sports? #TheTea, Episode 8: “The Future of Women in Sports” with Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Breanna Stewart, Dawn Harper Nelson, and Nneka Ogwumike.Posted by The Players' Tribune on Friday, December 27, 2019
In some more news, after the Pride traded away the first pick in the upcoming draft to the Portland Thorns,more college players added themselves to the list of eligible players. Wrapping up our little Pride section is Marta’s nine-year anniversary yesterday from when she won the fifth of five-straight FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year trophies in 2010.
Orlando SeaWolves Lose on the Road
The SeaWolves kept it close for the first two periods, but completely fell apart at the seams in the second half, allowing six goals in the third period as they lost 14-6. It was hardly the return Head Coach Tom Traxler wanted as the SeaWolves’ road woes continued and the loss keeps them near the bottom of the Major Arena Soccer League standings. The team has a quick turnaround with a game tomorrow afternoon against the Florida Tropics on the road and hopefully they will be able to keep up with their rivals for a surprising result.
U.S. Soccer Updates
The United States U-23 Men’s National Team’s path to the Olympics was revealed and the team is in a touch group with Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. The qualifying takes place in Mexico and the U.S. will start the tournament against Costa Rica on March 20.
Brian McBride is the new general manager of the USMNT, bringing many years of American soccer experience to the position and starting immediately with a conference call alongside U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart on Jan. 13. U.S. Soccer also named Matt Potter as the head coach for the U-23 Women’s National Team and there’s a nice Q&A to learn more about him. In player news, Frank Lampard expects Christian Pulisic to be out for a few weeks with Chelsea thanks to an injury.
- Here is a cool behind the scenes look at Orlando’s war room for the draft.
- Tesho Akindele played 70 minutes but didn’t score or have an assist for Canada in the nation’s 4-1 win over Barbados.
- Orlando City B pair Ates Diouf and Luc Granitur both scored for the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy. You can check out Granitur’s impressive solo finish below.
- After a trial with the Scottish club, Dillon Powers signed an 18-month deal with Dundee United.
- Adrian Heath inked a new contract with Minnesota United as he continues to lead the Loons forward. It was a nice birthday present for Heath, who turns 59 years old today.
- For each save made in the English Premier League this weekend, Australian and Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan will make a donation to a rescue fund as bush fires spread across Australia.
- FC Barcelona is in talks with legend Xavi for the head coaching job.
That’s going to be all for today, I hope you all enjoy your Saturday and maybe you even slept in. If not, it’s always nice to get an early start to the day anyway. Have a great weekend!