Happy Tuesday, everyone. Not only are there Orlando City and Orlando City B games to look forward to this week, but the Orlando Pride will also be back in action for the first time in a very long time. As always there’s plenty to discuss, so let’s get started right after we wish a happy birthday to Pride defender Carson Pickett, who turns 27 today. Pickett is on loan to a team in Cyprus and won’t be with her Orlando teammates this weekend but we’re sure she’ll be there in spirit.
Breaking Down That Weird Schlegel/Carranza Play
Every week, Charlie Davies and Andrew Wiebe break down the controversial plays around Major League Soccer and there was a doozy Saturday night at Exploria Stadium when Inter Miami visited Orlando City. We all remember the play. Julian Carranza fell in the box and no call was made on Rodrigo Schlegel by referee Ismail Elfath. Schlegel yelled at Carranza for trying to sell a penalty, but...wait. Elfath went to the screen, decided he made a clear and obvious error, and awarded a penalty to Miami and a second yellow to Schlegel. But wait some more! Another discussion with VAR Christina Unkel and the play was ruled offside. Just kidding about the penalty and the second yellow because the whole sequence didn’t count. Davies and Wiebe do a good job of discussing the entire play, piece by piece on this week’s “Instant Replay” segment (go to the 5:42 mark or sit through a few other controversies first — it’s up to you).
MLS Transfer Departures
Major League Soccer has seen a number of high-profile players come to the league in 2020, but it’s also seen its fair share of players head out overseas. The biggest and most recent name is that of Pity Martinez, who completed a move to Al-Nassr just last week. Other notable departures include Inbeom Hwang to Rubin Kazan and Ignacio Piatta leaving the Montreal Impact to return to his native Argentina. Finally, USMNT fans will have been pleased to see Reggie Cannon secure a move to Boavista in Portugal last week. While it’s sometimes difficult to see players leave, having young players like Hwang and Cannon secure moves off the back of success in MLS can only be a good thing for the continued growth of the league.
D.C. Funds Academy
D.C United has announced plans that will see all of its academy teams be fully funded by the club, thereby moving away from the troublesome pay-to-play model. Prior to the announcement, D.C. was one of only two MLS teams that charged a fee to play for its academy teams. The move comes shortly after Major League Soccer announced MLS NEXT, the league’s new competitive development platform after the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy was disbanded.
How Armstrong Blazed a Trail
Along with Jimmy Banks, Desmond Armstrong was the first black player born in the United States to represent the U.S. at the FIFA World Cup. He also played for the team at the Olympics, and was the first American to sign for Brazilian club Santos. In short, he’s seen a lot and done a lot, and he’s doing the best he can to pass his wisdom and advice on to his children. He spoke to U.S. Soccer about how he was introduced to soccer as a kid, and that even though he didn’t realize he was making history with the USMNT at the time that looking back he can see how important he and Banks were for the future of black soccer players in America.
- Jordan Morris has been named the MLS Player of the Week for Week 11.
- Forbes has released its list of the highest-paid soccer players.
- United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda was withdrawn from the Asian Champions League after COVID-19 cases meant that the team couldn’t travel.
- FIFA is open to helping fund a global agency that would address corruption in sports, which seems rather ironic.
- No Lions made the MLS Team of the Week, but the three points will do just fine, thanks.
That’ll be all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.