Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! We’re less than a week away from Orlando City’s next match and I’m getting excited. I know we all hoped the MLS is Back Tournament ended differently, but despite the final result, there’s a ton to be excited about and we don’t have very long to wait. Let’s get to the links!
Lions Looking Forward
Orlando City might have surprised other teams in the tournament, but that won’t be the case in its upcoming match against Inter Miami CF on Aug. 22. The Lions made a ton of improvements over the off-season and during the shutdown. Of course, the coaches and players knew what was coming. Despite the success, the Lions know there is still work to be done and they intend to improve upon their current third-place spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Blaise Matuidi in Miami
Orlando City is taking on Inter Miami to continue the MLS regular season in the second match between the two sides. While Orlando City supporters are waiting on any potential transfer news, Miami brought in French World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi. During the MLS is Back Tournament, Orlando City defeated Inter Miami 2-1. However, the introduction of Matuidi is a difference maker Óscar Pareja will have to take into account. Is the addition of the French midfielder enough to give Miami the advantage? We’ll find out soon enough.
MLS is Back Rewind
Before we leave the MLS is Back Tournament in the rear view mirror completely, let’s take a look back at the lessons learned for the Lions. Pareja has been a revelation, Nani was a leader, and Pedro Gallese showed his worth as goalkeeper. Of course, there was more than just that. There were questions surrounding the efficacy of the bubble at the start, fantastic upsets, and plenty of drama. Now, MLS heads back into the real world and the additional pressures that come with it.
NWSL Exodus Continues
National Women’s Soccer League players have been leaving for other leagues on loan, including the Orlando Pride’s Claire Emslie, Erin Greening, Camila, and Erin McLeod. Now, USWNT star Rose Lavelle will soon head to Manchester City. OL Reign acquired the rights for Lavelle from the Washington Spirit, but the midfielder is heading to Europe before heading West. Lavelle follows Sam Mewis to Manchester City, as the NWSL decides what happens next. The NWSL may be close to a decision though, with a proposed format that will pit regional opponents against one another.
NWSL plans for Sept-Oct appear to be coming together. Here's the latest proposal:— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 16, 2020
Pod 1: Washington, Sky Blue, Chicago
Pod 2: NC, Orlando, Houston
Pod 3: Utah, Porland, OL Reign
2-3 matchdays per market
- If you haven’t heard about the 8-2 decimation of Barcelona by Bayern Munich, well what the heck were you doing this weekend? Following that utter disappointment, it has come to light that Lionel Messi wants out of Camp Nou about a year earlier than his current contract. While it might make sense for Barca to rebuild, one might wonder if it wants to do so without one of the greatest players of all time.
- Barcelona wasn’t the only club to go out unexpectedly. Manchester City fell to Lyon, and Kevin De Bruyne is also starting to get fed up with all of the mistakes.
- During the first match after the MLS tournament, FC Dallas and Nashville SC knelt before the match during the national anthem. Unfortunately, some fans in the stands booed the players for doing so. Now, players from across the league are showing solidarity with their MLS brethren. In last night’s game between the two sides, the national anthem played before the players took the field.
That will do it for today’s links. Keep checking back for news on Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B. Vamos Orlando!