Happy Thursday, Lionesses and Lions. As always, I hope you overcame your hump day with ease. Orlando City does not have its next game until this coming Saturday at home to the New York Red Bulls, however, Orlando City B has a match tomorrow at Greenville Triumph to pass the time.
Despite the next game not coming until Saturday there was still a great deal of news that occurred. So, on that note, let’s get right into the links.
ESPN Hands Midseason Coach of the Year to Oscar Pareja
ESPN awarded Orlando City manager Oscar Pareja some much-deserved midseason hardware given his sides incredible campaign thus far. The Colombian manager has the Lions firing on all cylinders going forward and also has the side looking rock solid at the back. Due to his side’s impressive season since the start-up, Pareja looks to have a genuine chance at winning the end-of-season managerial accolade for the second time in his career. Long may the good times continue!
Orlando City’s Attack a Force to Be Reckoned With
The Orlando City attack has been incredible by the numbers this season. The side has not only been easy on the eye going forward, but has also had some really impressive underlying metrics too. The main attacking trio which, of course, consists of Nani, Chris Mueller and Mauricio Pereyra, has contributed a resounding 67 key passes this MLS season. The creative trifecta sits third in MLS in regards to the aforementioned stat with only Toronto FC and LAFC having created more chances so far. The lethal attack in front of the astute defense has led to Orlando City averaging an effective 1.86 points per game. As of now, the playoffs definitely appear to be firmly in the Lions’ grasps.
Ashlyn Harris Bags NWSL Save of the Week Again
Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris received the NWSL Save of the Week award once again, making it too straight honors for the team’s stopper since the Pride began play in the NWSL Fall Series. Despite the loss to the Houston Dash, Harris pulled off a tremendous save that saw the hardware go her way once again. After a solid effort from Kristie Mewis, Harris pulled off an impressive, acrobatic save with the left claw keeping the effort out.
This award should be named the Harris Award.
Former Pride Defender Wins Women’s Footballer of the Year Award
Former Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley has won the PFA Women’s Player of the Year Award. The left back, who now plies her trade at Arsenal, had an exceptional year and helped Melbourne City win a domestic double in Australia. The defender played every game in the season and also scored the only goal in the Grand Final win over Sydney FC. The 26-year-old, who spent the 2016 and 2016 seasons with the Pride, is doing great things and is rightfully being recognized for it.
- The USL League One final will air live in primetime on ESPN Deportes. Soccer fans will be able to catch the final at the ideal TV watching time which is great to see for the American game.
- The Premier League has succumbed to the pressure and softened the handball rule. After six penalties were awarded in the first three rounds of the campaign, the division has finally decided to make the law a bit less unbearable. Finally.
- Orlando City fans can enter to win a chance to watch the Lions bout against the Red Bulls lavishly in a suite by entering here.
- Orlando City is working and training hard for its upcoming home fixture to the Red Bulls this Saturday. The quest for a nine-game unbeaten run is well and truly on!
That’ll do, pig. That is all for this Thursday links and, as always, I’ll catch you on the flip side.