Happy Fourth of July, Mane Landers. I hope you all are staying safe and healthy this holiday weekend. If you plan to have a small get-together with fireworks, please be careful and make sure to look out for each other. I unfortunately will be busy working over the holiday weekend at Disney Springs, but will make an effort to grab a burger, hot dog, or maybe both. Now, let’s get to the links!
Orlando City Favored By Fans
We are only a few days away from Orlando City kicking off the tournament against Inter Miami CF on July 8. Orlando City is the slight favorite in the match according to fans and the win could be crucial for the Lions. On the other side of the ball, Miami midfielder Wil Trapp talked about what he expects to see from the Lions in the first meeting between the two clubs.
“I think they’re a team that with the ball is fairly direct,” Trapp said. “At first sight for the most part, it’s more of a direct style of play when they get pressed so it would be a little against their nature I think to try to just dominate possession based on what we’ve seen. But they’ve also had three or four months to change maybe their identity since the games they’ve played. For us, we’re always going to try to be on the ball.”
Lions Enjoying Free Time
Daryl Dike gave us a sneak peek inside the bubble at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. I have to say, this is a pretty cool player lounge with a ping-pong table and plenty of games to keep that competitive spirit burning.
Step inside the bubble. @DarylDike shows off the City lounge setup. @WaltDisneyWorld | #MLSisBack pic.twitter.com/XtR7rG6zX2— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 3, 2020
That’s not all the Lions have to entertain themselves though. The players have a resort pool on hand to not only beat the heat, but also each other in some volleyball.
Relaxation, recovery and of course a little competition. ☀️ @WaltDisneyWorld | #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/bNT3pIb4kt— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 3, 2020
MLS Teams Delay Trips to Orlando
With teams waiting for test results for the coronavirus, the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC postponed their flights for Orlando for another day. Concerns continue about the tournament and the schedule may change considering FC Dallas plays on July 9 and has 10 players and staff members who tested positive.
Red Bulls postpone their flight, which was initially scheduled for Wednesday, due to a staff member having an "inconclusive" test result.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) July 3, 2020
Toronto FC announced earlier that they postponed their flight to Orlando that was scheduled for today. https://t.co/HvF0Q2rprt
Sixteen teams are in Orlando as teams begin health and safety protocols before the tournament begins. Nashville SC was finally able to make it to Orlando after being stuck on the bus for an hour and a half and unable to fly a couple days ago.
NWSL Challenge Cup Action Continues
There are two NWSL Challenge Cup matches today as teams in the middle of the standings look to make a move to the top. Our first game today is at 12:30 p.m. and features Sky Blue FC against Utah Royals FC. A player to watch for in the match is Royals rookie midfielder Tziarra King, who scored in her debut.
The second game will see the Houston Dash take on OL Reign at 10 p.m. The Dash scored three goals in a draw with the Royals in their first match, but may have a tougher time against the Reign’s defense.
Although the Orlando Pride aren’t participating, they may still be having an impact on matches. For each game, fans choose a team for the club to support, but the chosen teams seemed to be cursed instead. We’ll see if the trend continues as the Pride will support the Royals and Dash today.
So do you believe in the #PrideStan curse?@ExploriaResorts | #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/Vc37TUdLH3— Challenge Cup Stan Account (@ORLPride) July 3, 2020
- Former Orlando Pride and current Reign player Jasmyne Spencer is making an impact both on and off the field as she fights against racial injustice and battles back from a torn ACL.
- Former Orlando SeaWolves midfielder Gordy Gurson signed a contract with the San Diego Sockers for the upcoming MASL season. Meanwhile, former SeaWolves midfielder Armando Tello signed a three-year contract with the Baltimore Blast.
- Chelsea winger Willian said he would prefer a move to MLS instead of a return to his native Brazil once his days in Europe end.
- Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes limped away with injuries after a collision during training yesterday. The Manchester United duo are doubtful for today’s premier league match against AFC Bournemouth.
- In Serie A, Fiorentina is targeting AS Roma legend Daniele De Rossi as its next manager.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your holiday weekend, take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time.