Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone had a good week as we enter the weekend. I know we won’t have any more game days for a while, but we can look forward to a couple of Orlando City players hopefully making their debuts with the United States Men’s National Team on Dec. 9. As for me, I’ve been busy spending a few days at the theme parks and finishing up my demo reel project for school. Let’s get to the links.
Mauricio Pereyra Will Miss the First Two Games of 2021
Mauricio Pereyra, who received a red card in the Lions’ last match against the New England Revolution for a serious foul in the 60th minute, will be suspended for an additional match. Pereyra will be suspended for Orlando’s first two matches of the 2021 MLS regular season and was fined an undisclosed amount. Additionally, the MLS Disciplinary Committee determined that Orlando violated the league’s mass confrontation policy twice in that match. It was the third time the Lions violated the policy this season and the club and Head Coach Oscar Pareja were fined an undisclosed amount. The committee also fined Junior Urso and Daryl Dike undisclosed amounts for their roles in instigating and escalating the mass confrontation.
Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio was also fined and suspended for the first game of the 2021 season for violent conduct.
Americans in Action This Weekend
We have an action-packed Saturday featuring plenty of American players to get your soccer fix for the weekend. Let’s start in the Premier League, where Antonee Robinson looks to start his eighth-straight match as Fulham travels to face Manchester City at 10 a.m. on NBCSN. Christian Pulisic could feature for Chelsea’s home match against Leeds United in the afternoon match at 3 p.m. on NBCSN.
Elsewhere in Europe, Giovanni Reyna’s Borussia Dortmund looks to bounce back after losing to Koln last week as it takes on Eintracht Frankfurt at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN+. John Brooks should see action for Wolfsburg’s game against Koln, while Weston McKennie could play for Juventus today as it hosts rival Torino at noon on ESPN+. We also have a top of the table match at 12:30 p.m. in the Bundesliga as Chris Richards and Bayern Munich take on Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig. Sergino Dest is expected to play today as FC Barcelona goes on the road to face Cadiz CF at 3 p.m. on Bein Sports.
Tomorrow’s big game will be the MLS Eastern Conference final as Gyasi Zardes, Darlington Nagbe, and the rest of the Columbus Crew take on the New England Revolution at 3 p.m. on ABC.
FIFA Extends Concacaf International Windows
The Concacaf 2022 World Cup qualifiers could now feature three games in one match window instead of two after approval from the FIFA Council. The sports governing body added one day to the existing windows in September and October of next year and in January and March of 2022. Under this format, the 14-game Concacaf qualifying cycle for the USMNT will involve four windows that can feature three matches, while the window next November would be the usual two-match window. The qualifying format has changed several times due to COVID-19.
The FIFA Council also passed reforms in the women’s game, including protection for female players and coaches, new global minimum standards relating to maternity, and specific provisions for employment conditions for coaches. Also, the FIFA Council voted that a Club World Cup will be hosted by Japan late next year.
Nice Fires Former NYCFC Manager Patrick Vieira
Former New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira was dismissed as manager of OGC Nice yesterday. The French club has lost five straight matches and was eliminated from the Europa League after a 3-2 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen. The team’s performance dropped dramatically in Vieira’s third season with the club after finishing seventh and fifth in the Ligue 1 standings during Vieira’s first two seasons in charge. Vieira could have some options in Europe but if he were to return to MLS there are several clubs with openings, such as Atlanta United, D.C. United, the LA Galaxy, and Toronto FC.
- Yesterday marked one year since Oscar Pareja was announced as Orlando’s head coach.
- MLS is making contingency plans for the MLS Cup final, including possibly holding the game at a neutral site.
- Kadeisha Buchanan beat out the Orlando Pride’s Shelina Zardorsky and many others to win 2020 Canadian Player of the Year, sharing the honor with Alphonso Davies on the men’s side.
- Paris Saint-Germain is exploring the idea of signing Barcelona’s Lionel Messi next summer.
- Serie A side Napoli officially renamed its stadium after Diego Maradona.
- An alternate penalty shootout format was tested in various competitions and the results were more evenly split compared to the traditional method.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your weekend, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time.