How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are hanging in there as we start to ease back into things with June right around the corner. Before we jump into today’s links, let’s wish a happy birthday to Orlando City right back Ruan! The quick defender turns 25 today, which makes me feel pretty inadequate considering I turn 25 next week and spend my free time on the couch watching Seinfeld.
Okay, with that small existential crisis out of the way, let’s get to the links!
MLS Opens Training to Small Groups
Orlando City and other Major League Soccer clubs can begin voluntary small group workouts for players (provided the teams are complying with their local and state mandates). Teams must submit a plan on how the workouts will be run and those plans must adhere to plenty of specific guidelines determined by the league. Some of those requirements include the sanitation of goalkeeping gloves, distancing within groups, and proper division of the training field into zones. It may take some time for players to get used to, but should be a step up from the individual workouts.
In terms of when matches will return, the Major League Soccer Players Association discussed the Orlando tournament plan with the league and is now working on catching all of the league’s players up to speed before making any decisions.
Per sources, MLS and players had call Wed. to discuss shortened Orlando plan at length.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) May 28, 2020
Players to spend next day or two talking it over, making sure every player has all available details before MLSPA sends response. Lots still to work through, but timeline is narrowing.
Amanda Duffy Discusses NWSL Return
Orlando Pride Executive Vice President Amanda Duffy gave some insight on the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup that will take place in Utah starting on June 27. Duffy believes the competition will be a great opportunity for the league, while ensuring players had a platform in the decision making as well. The former NWSL President talked about how the tournament was formed and the motivation behind it as well so make sure to check it out below.
While the league prepares for that tournament, the Pride informed season ticket holders that if home games cannot be played this year then their memberships would automatically roll over into the 2021 season. There was not a refund option given, but Duffy stated she is working on a solution for those needing financial assistance. The Pride are also creating a rewards package in case the home games are cancelled.
Marc Skinner’s Film Analysis
Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner broke down the Pride’s last goal in the 2019 season in the match that honored defender Toni Pressley against OL Reign (then known as Reign FC) Skinner details the moment Pressley comes on the field with her team trailing 2-1 to bring energy to the Pride and push for an equalizer. The goal itself comes from Marta and Skinner goes into depth on how she squares her body, finds gaps between defenders, and uses the ball’s momentum to drive it into the back of the net.
European Leagues Given Green Lights
The English Premier League will return on June 17, intent on finishing the season before August. The 90 remaining games will be played without fans in the stands and the higher profile matches may be played at neutral sites to discourage fans from gathering in large numbers outside the stadiums.
In Italy, Serie A is set to start back up on June 20 according to Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora. As the country battles back from the pandemic, the Italian government approved health measures and there is a backup plan in place as well.
- Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele weighed in on how his individual workouts are going.
- Nani is holding a raffle for a good cause and a game-worn shirt.
Do you want the chance to win my game-worn shirt and help out a good cause? Enter for a chance to win at https://t.co/mEpCdVrjLD. All proceeds from the raffle are going to the Boa Vista Medical Center!#TheBiggestGame #help #orlandocity #jersey #nani17— Nani (@luisnani) May 28, 2020
- Let’s catch up with some former Lions! Carlos Rivas spoke about his time in Orlando and playing under Jesse Marsch with the New York Red Bulls. Or rather not playing under him. Here’s a fantastic feature on Orlando City 2014 MLS Expansion Draft pick Danny Mwanga from our friends at Stumptown Footy. Both Brian Rowe and Scott Sutter made it onto a list of Vancouver Whitecaps who didn’t stick around for too long.
- Exemptions in immigration restrictions for pro athletes will extend to MLS and NWSL players.
- Here’s how the Americans performed in the Bundesliga in the midweek matches, with goals from Weston McKennie and Timothy Chandler.
That’s going to do it for today, Mane Landers. I’m going to go out and try to make the most of my Friday. Have a great day and an even greater weekend out there.