How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are hanging in there as we continue to deal with this pandemic. Like many people, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen during all of this and made some killer carnitas that I’ve been tearing through this week. But enough about food, let’s get to today’s links.
Luiz Muzzi Discusses Youth Development and More
In a conference call with reporters, Orlando City Executive Vice President Luiz Muzzi fielded questions regarding the players and coaches returning to training earlier this week. Not only are players improving physically, but Muzzi believes there is a strong mental impact as the club rebuilds a sense of normalcy. Meanwhile, the club and its scouts are working hard to find transfer targets, despite the challenge of not being able to attend games.
Muzzi also weighed in on the recent changes in youth development across the country, seeing benefits in the change that should help MLS match other leagues in the world. He also doesn’t expect fans to be in the stadiums once matches resume.
On a press conference today, I asked Orlando City VP Luiz Muzzi if he expects to play matches without fans in the stands. His answer: "We need to be safe and playing games as soon as possible... It is likely that we're gonna have games without any fans." pic.twitter.com/d2J8BJSb5z— Julia Poe (@jpoe24601) May 7, 2020
Daryl Dike Ready to Get Rolling
With the team’s return to training this week, rookie forward Daryl Dike is glad to be with the team and working towards more once the season resumes. Although he did not feature in the team’s first two games, Dike brings plenty of size and talent to the team as the fifth overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. The Lions didn’t win in those first two games, but Dike is confident that he and the rest of the team will play at their best when matches return.
“Oscar told us from the beginning we want to do more than just make the playoffs. We want to be competing for the top spot. We want to be competing for all of these top cups. We just want to be the best.”
Orlando Pride Accept All In Challenge
Through the All In Challenge, the Orlando Pride are offering a day to remember for one lucky Pride fan. The winner of the drawing will receive four tickets to the Pride’s 2020 home opener, special access for the match, and a jersey signed by the team’s players. The day will also feature a photo shoot with Marta and a meal with Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, and Sydney Leroux after the game. You can donate to submit entries and all proceeds will go directly towards Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, and other organizations making a difference.
We’ve accepted the #ALLINCHALLENGE. Watch the video below & go to https://t.co/IHDclZXMTW to learn more. We challenge @RiawnaCapri, @crysdunn_19, and @MiaHamm. Are you ALL IN?! pic.twitter.com/NlQnu4WO6N— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) May 7, 2020
European Soccer Updates
The Bundesliga will return next Saturday, May 16, with six matches, including a showdown between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04. The action doesn’t stop there, with more games that Sunday and Monday as the league aims to complete the 2019-2020 season by the end of June.
While the English Premier League still works on resuming the suspended season, fans may be able to return to stadiums in October next season. In the Netherlands however, Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge stated supporters won’t be able to attend matches until there is a vaccine. Over in Serie A, three Fiorentina players and one Sampdoria player tested positive for the coronavirus.
- At just 14 years old, Orlando City youth player Jackson Fu spearheaded a community project to add recycling bins in three parks in Orlando.
- Nani and Orlando City eMLS representative Abe Valbuena are in action this Sunday against Atlanta United’s Franco Escobar and Paulo Neto.
- LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos believes MLS can become one of the top leagues in the world in four or five years.
- With the Bundesliga set to return next weekend, 17-year-old American midfielder Giovanni Reyna reportedly received a contract extension with Borussia Dortmund and Weston McKennie is ready to play after a tough two months.
- Former Schalke 04 prospect Hiannick Kamba is alive, which is crazy news considering his ex-wife alleged he died in a car crash in 2016. The ex-wife is now under investigation after providing his death certificate to collect on his life insurance policy. Now working as a chemical technician and spending years trying to prove he was alive without any documentation, Kamba will be a witness in the case.
That will do it for today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.