How’s it going, Mane Landers. Today is Juneteenth, a day to remember the emancipation of slaves in the United States. While not a new holiday, it is especially poignant this year and you can take part in demonstrations and events throughout the Orlando area to celebrate one of the biggest events in U.S. history. Now, let’s dive into today’s links.
Juneteenth Named Orlando City Soccer Club Holiday
In observation of the holiday, OCSC will close its Exploria Stadium offices today and will annually recognize Juneteenth moving forward. The club is committed to holding an active dialogue with minority communities in the Orlando area and speaking out against social injustices in the country.
Kamal Miller Reflects on Full Team Training
In his second year with the team, Orlando City defender Kamal Miller is glad the team held full team training this week for the first time since March 12. The change comes at a great time with the MLS is Back Tournament right around the corner in a few weeks. Head Coach Oscar Pareja and his staff are able to work with Miller and the rest of the team at a greater capacity and the 23-year-old Canadian is ready to show Major League Soccer what the Lions are made of in the upcoming tournament.
“Moving into this tournament, the message is definitely to be the hardest working team there,” said Miller. “We’ve been working extremely hard in these conditions every day to make sure we’re ready for the tournament. So when the tournament finally gets here, we know that no team will outwork us, and we’ll do everything we can to defend our home and defend our home state of Florida.”
Nani Discusses Tournament and Future
After missing the first two games of the season due to suspension, Orlando City midfielder Nani is ready to finally return to competitive play in the MLS is Back Tournament. In a video call with Taylor Twellman (Nani comes on at the 23:30 mark), Nani discussed how he is staying fit so that he’s ready to return next month. Nani also isn’t buying into the talk that Orlando is at an advantage playing in the Florida heat, stating that the quality of play is the true difference maker and that the Lions’ first opponent is fellow Floridian club Inter Miami CF.
You can check out all Nani had to say in the video below, including European players asking about MLS, Manchester United’s top four chances, and his aspirations to play well enough to represent Portugal once more.
On today’s episode of Banter with @TaylorTwellman:— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 18, 2020
- A deep dive into the MLS is Back Tournament
- Bruce Arena on the national anthem
- Wil Trapp on conversations he’s had with teammates on the Black Lives Matter movement
- @luisnani on his fitness level https://t.co/GodTsSVJvx
NWSL Player Tests Positive
An unidentified National Women’s Soccer League player tested positive for the coronavirus. The league didn’t name the team the player is on, but stated the club is following contact tracing and resulting tests have been negative in possibly exposed players and staff. No changes are announced for the NWSL Challenge Cup set to begin on June 27 and the league will continue to monitor the situation with player safety as a priority.
- Orlando City defender Robin Jansson is selling a signed jersey for a great cause.
I have partnered up with the charity organization, Dear Football, who supports and gives opportunities through football for young boys and girls in Africa.— Robin Jansson (@RJANSSON24) June 18, 2020
You can buy my signed Orlando City shirt and support the project. You can find it on their website https://t.co/7FlqRedCyB pic.twitter.com/WWjLZ6cly1
- Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary for Marta adding yet another accolade to her legendary list.
- Relive this Orlando City flashback, courtesy of Júlio “The Beast” Baptista.
- Chelsea signed German and RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner in a power move.
- The Las Vegas Lights parted ways with Head Coach Eric Wynalda and the reasons why are different for both sides, although a rules violation in safety protocols may have occurred.
- While worries about the coronavirus continue here in Florida, soccer fans in the United Kingdom may return to stadiums in September.
That’s going to be it for me, folks. I hope you all have a great Juneteenth and a fantastic rest of your weekend, including Father’s Day.