How’s it going, Mane Landers? I can’t believe Christmas is only two weeks away and also can’t believe my shopping for it is already over and done with. It’s a nice feeling, but I kind of feel like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights and am a bit unsure what to do with my hands at this point. For now though, I’ve got your links from around the soccer world to enjoy.
Orlando City’s Year to Remember
Head Coach Oscar Pareja led the Lions to the postseason for the first time in a memorable year. Success in the MLS is Back Tournament was parlayed to a trip to the MLS playoffs and two home games in the postseason. In a year that no one could have predicted given the pandemic’s effect on sports, the Lions thrived and return a strong group of players that make them contenders moving forward. Pareja said the team is now in a position of being recognized around the league for the right reasons.
“I’m very proud of this group, I’m very proud of the players in the good and the bad, but today people have seen us and people recognize this group. The people know that they are competitors, good competitors and we’re proud of that. We’re proud about the Orlando fans as well because we have a big objective just to bring trophies here and we will continue on looking for those things.”
The Columbus Crew Lose Stars Ahead of MLS Cup
Another Columbus Crew player tested positive for COVID-19 and the side will now be without starters Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos for the MLS Cup tomorrow. It’s devastating news for the Crew ahead of one of its biggest games in some time as Nagbe was one of the Crew’s best acquisitions after a trade with Atlanta. As for tomorrow’s game, former Sounders player Steve Zakuani wrote a great feature that breaks down the mentalities of both Brian Schmetzer and Caleb Porter.
Concacaf Launches New Competitive Calendar
The United States Women’s National Team and other senior women’s teams in Concacaf will have more matches to get excited about in the coming years after the federation announced new competitions for women’s soccer starting with a new calendar structure in 2021. Not only will the teams have more matches to play in the next few years, but there will also be major tournaments in the summers of 2022 and 2024 to showcase some of the best women’s teams in the world.
Orlando City Signs New FIFA Gamer
The club signed Douglas Bendeck, also known as Maloney45 on PlayStation, as its new eMLS representative. Ranked 65th in the PlayStation World Rankings, Bendeck has performed on the global stage and will hopefully be a force in this year’s eMLS competition.
“I’m excited to join my hometown club,” Bendeck said. “I’ve always dreamt of playing as a professional footballer, but after three knee surgeries that’s not possible. Now I’m part of the biggest football Club in Florida and that’s God’s plan. I want to win eMLS cup and bring the trophy home!”
Bendeck will replace Abe Valbuena, who will stay with the club as a content creator. Valbuena thanked the club for the last three years and is excited for Bendeck’s future with Orlando.
Three amazing seasons it was. It was an honor to represent this wonderful club. Thank you all for the support I will continue on with the club as a content creator and esports consultant— Abe (@FIFA_Abe) December 10, 2020
Excited for my boy @maloney_45 . Watch out @eMLS . He’s gonna tear it up https://t.co/S4KIV6o5eW
- Orlando Pride star Marta was illustrated in Chibi form for a series of new NWSL stickers.
⭐️ OUR STARS ON STICKERS ⭐️— NWSL (@NWSL) December 10, 2020
Don't miss out on the 2020 Chibis Stickers set by @ParksideCards:
- Former Orlando City GM Paul McDonough stepped down as Inter Miami’s sporting director, leaving the team without guidance before the off-season. McDonough also had a stint in Atlanta and it will be interesting to see where he heads next.
- Through interviews with current and former players, MLS released a video showing how Latino players have impacted the league over the years.
— MLS Español (@MLSes) December 10, 2020
¿Cuál ha sido el aporte de los jugadores Latinos en el crecimiento de la @MLSes?
¡@RichardMendezTV, @DiegoBalado, @herculezg, @morenosoccer99, @FishCr20, @marianot19, @GBS_Oficial, @JosefMartinez17 y @11carlosV te lo cuentan en #ElToqueLatino! pic.twitter.com/9XBNMIEjAm
- Writing for the The Players’ Tribune, Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna spoke about his brother, Jack, and the impact he’s had on him over the years.
- Young American Richy Ledezma suffered an injury that forced him to be stretchered off the field.
Ledezma stretchered off after this injury -- he was obviously in a lot of pain and didn't even try to stand pic.twitter.com/yNLos7Oacz— scuffed soccer (@scuffedpod) December 10, 2020
That’s going to be it for today, Mane Landers. I hope you all enjoy your Friday and have a fantastic weekend.