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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: New Lions, Dest Knows Best, and a Difficult Schedule

The Bear has arrived, U.S. players being careful, and another look at the Lions’ schedule.

Canada v United States - CONCACAF Nations League Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Has it only been a week? With all the signings, draft picks, and other news coming out regarding our beloved Lions, it feels like it’s been longer than that. So, let’s take a look at what got my goat this week!

The Good

Moves are being made. Players are being signed. Bears have been spotted in Exploria Stadium.

Of course, I mean Júnior Urso, and the only people in jeopardy will be the the opposition. The signing of Urso has been a long time coming. The 30-year-old is a dynamic box-to-box midfielder who will make an immediate impact on the team. Additionally, Oscar Pareja has made it known that Orlando City has been pursuing Colombian winger Alex Castro. One of the more interesting aspects of this potential signing is how much Castro wants it. He let his current club, Deportivo Cali, know that he did not want to remain and wanted to go play for Pareja at Orlando City. That’s pretty awesome.

The Bad

No matter how you feel about U.S. involvement in the Middle East, or the corruption of governing bodies in regards to national teams, politics influence the world of soccer. I’m not here to take a political stand on these issues, I’m only going to say it stinks that it impacts the game we love. The most recent example is how the USMNT decided to move its camp from Qatar to Florida. While not being able to train in the country hosting the World Cup is a disadvantage, the health and security of the players is paramount. Sergino Dest, a USMNT and Ajax right back, also left his club in Qatar following the recent incidents. Soccer isn’t perfect, but it usually brings the world together, and it’s unfortunate when stuff like this happens.

The Ugly

Now that we’re seeing the club start to take shape, I went back and looked at Orlando City’s upcoming schedule, and I’m pretty undecided on how I feel about it. For a refresher of the schedule go check out the excellent breakdown done by our own Sean Rollins last month. The Lions have 10 of the first 17 matches at home , and only seven of the final 17 matches at home. Additionally, there are two separate stretches of three consecutive road games in the second half of the season. We could look at that and say that it’s good for the club to be at home more often in the first half of the season, giving the Lions home field advantage while they get to know each other. Meanwhile, the concern is that if City is struggling to gel effectively, the club might give up valuable points at home. MLS is historically a tough league on the road, which could put the Lions behind the eight ball in the second half of the season if they do not capitalize on the opportunities to win at home early in the year. Of course, it could be that they do well at home to start the season and will have that cohesion we want for the more difficult second half of the season. It’s not necessarily the schedule that is ugly, it’s my indecisiveness regarding the schedule that’s ugly.

That’s it for today, please let me know what you think in the comments below. Vamos Orlando!