Happy Tuesday, Mane Landers! It may have been a very rainy weekend but I hope everyone is safe and had a good start to the week. I’ve been busy catching up on school projects and now that the MLS regular season is over, we wait for the real party to begin, with the playoffs set to begin next week. Now let’s get to the links.
MLS Announces Orlando City‘s Playoff Date, Time
Major League Soccer announced the dates and times for the play-in round and first-round match-ups in the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs. For Orlando City fans the wait for a playoff date is over as the Lions will play New York City FC on Saturday Nov. 21 at noon. You’ll be able to watch the game on UniMas or TUDN networks. The Lions won the first match-up against NYCFC 3-1 back in July when the teams met during the MLS is Back Tournament. Last month the two teams met at Exploria Stadium and finished in a 1-1 draw. Orlando City SC was able to finish the regular season with the second highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference behind the Supporters’ Shield-winning Philadelphia Union. NYCFC finished just below the Lions in fifth place in the east and will come into this playoff match-up on a four-game win streak.
Players Leaving for International Duty
Many players will be getting call-ups for the FIFA November international window. Players from across Major League Soccer will be representing their nations in World Cup qualifying, the UEFA Nations League, and friendly matches in the coming weeks. For Orlando City SC, goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and midfielder Sebas Mendez have been called up by Peru and Ecuador, respectively, for upcoming World Cup qualifying matches. Mexico has called in Inter Miami’s Rodolfo Pizarro and LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos for a pair of friendlies in Austria. Their rivals, Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez for LAFC, have been called in for Uruguay for upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Colombia and Brazil. The Montreal Impact also announced that Finland’s Jukka Raitala will join up with his national team for matches in the UEFA Nations League against Bulgaria and Wales.
FC Cincinnati Already Makes Postseason Roster Decisions
While we have 18 teams that will participate in the MLS playoffs, we also have eight clubs that will have to start making decisions on player contracts and retool for next season. The only team that didn’t waste any time making moves so far has been FC Cincinnati, which cleared a lot of cap space. Some players who did not have their contracts renewed where Siem de Jong, Mathieu Deplagne, Greg Garza, and Kendall Waston. FC Cincinnati has 15 players under contract for 2021. Manager Jaap Stam has not made a decision on whether the team will extend Alex Gutman loan or let him return to Celtic FC. Haris Medunjanin was one of only three players to have their contract options exercised for the 2021 season.
Berhalter: Pulisic and McKennie Will Be in USMNT Camp
Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie will both be at the U.S. Men’s National Team camp. Pulisic’s status for Thursday’s match against Wales is questionable as Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said he is listed as day to day. Despite not being in uniform in Chelsea’s 4-1 win against Sheffield United this weekend, Pulisic still made the short trip to Wales in hopes of playing his first USMNT game in over a year. It appeared Juventus was going block McKennie from traveling to Wales to play with the U.S., but Berhalter was able to bring him in.
“We were able to get him out of Italy. We know that the situations are changing by the hour, and Josh Sargent wasn’t able to join the team, but Weston is able to come, so we’ll see him (Monday).”
The Americans will play Wales in Swansea on Thursday before the team travels to Austria to play Panama on Nov. 16.
- Nani is keeping himself motivated and hungry as we wait for Orlando City to begin its playoff run.
With a lot of hard work and dedication, we reached the playoffs for the first time in the club's history. Super proud of this group. Let the next stage begin! #MondayMotivation #MM #LightItPurple #HustleAndHunger #DefendTheFortress #OrlandoCity #MLSCupPlayoffs #MLS #Work pic.twitter.com/FSklTWI68h— Nani (@luisnani) November 9, 2020
- If you’re wondering why the Philadelphia Union Supporters’ Shield Trophy looked so different, check this story out with help from Captain America’s shield.
- Flamengo has fired former NYCFC manager Domenec Torrent just 10 weeks after he was hired.
- Minnesota United attacking midfielder and former Lion Kevin Molino has won MLS Player of the Week.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Tuesday, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time.