How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are hanging, staying sane and healthy out there as we get used to an April without sports. It may take some time, but we’ll all get past this and then storm our favorite lunch spots and see a movie in a theater. Heck, maybe we’ll even go bowling. But for now, stock up on snacks and fire up those video game consoles.
Before we get to today’s links, let’s wish a happy 23rd birthday to Orlando City center back Rodrigo Schlegel!
Training Moratoriums Extended
In an anticipated decision, MLS stretched its training moratorium through April 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This likely won’t be the last time the league extends this as it and leagues across the world are taking measured steps to ensure the health and safety of players, staff, and fans. It’s an unsure time, but this is the best move forward.
The USL Championship and USL League One made extensions as well, pushing the training date back until April 19. It may take some time until Orlando City B can start working together, but hopefully all of the Young Lions are staying in shape out there.
Orlando Social Happenings
In case you’re bored at home, Orlando City’s Twitter is hard at work to keep you entertained with activities, highlights, and player videos. Here’s an example, and I’m not just sharing because it thinks I’ll crush João Moutinho in darts. Keep those devices charged, folks.
In other Orlando news, center back Kamal Miller is back in the kitchen for his Cooking With KMillz series. I have the taste buds of a toddler (some honey barbecue sauces are too much for me) so I probably couldn’t handle the heat the Canadian is bringing, but it’s still worth checking out. Just don’t watch it on an empty stomach.
In Orlando Pride news, the club added England international Jade Moore to the squad. With plenty of time left until we see her in purple, let’s keep the hype rolling by checking out some of her highlights in the midfield.
U.S. Soccer Updates
At a national level, U.S. Soccer launched an official campaign called “Bend the Curve. Stay at Home” to combat the pandemic. Meant to merge the passion we all have for soccer and the need to limit social interactions, the campaign is focused on uniting everyone to the same cause. U.S. Open Cup matches and senior U.S. National Team matches will be aired and free development lectures from experts will be given out as well.
United States Men’s National Team midfielder Weston McKennie is turning past negativity into fuel for the future as the team readies itself for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. After the USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018, McKennie is ready to close that chapter in the team’s history and return to the sport’s biggest stage.
With a trial date scheduled for May 5, witness lists were submitted by both the U.S. Soccer Federation and the United States Women’s National Team. Julia Poe of ProSoccerUSA.com gave a nice breakdown on what the witnesses could mean for each side, with the Pride’s Alex Morgan as a major player if the trial does happen.
Meanwhile in Europe...
UEFA urged leagues across Europe not to end their seasons just yet, with a loose plan to resume play in July or August. It’s been a talked about issue in the European leagues, with the pandemic pausing seasons at a point where champions could probably be determined, but results still left to be played. Belgium’s soccer league became the first top-flight league to cancel the rest of the season, crowning Club Brugge as champions due to the final standings where it comfortably led Gent by 15 points. In Italy, Juventus wouldn’t accept the title if the season is scrapped and it was named league winners.
- Orlando City eMLS representative Abe Valbuena’s next match will be tomorrow against the Montreal Impact.
- Here is a great feature on Project-40, an experiment in American soccer before academies or reserve teams to develop young players. It’s longform storytelling at its finest, so strap in and enjoy.
- While living without soccer to watch is a struggle, MLS may be well equipped to bounce back compared to other league’s around the world.
That’s it for me today. Stay safe out there, get through your Friday, and enjoy the weekend.