Hello, Mane Landers. I hope the beginning of fall has treated you well this week. I’m starting to enjoy the cooler weather and will make the most of it. Orlando City is on fire as it prepares to play tomorrow night against FC Dallas. Both the Orlando Pride and Orlando City B are playing today so let’s get to the links.
Pedro Gallese Called Up
Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was predictably called up by the Peruvian National Team for FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in October. Gallese would definitely miss three of Orlando City’s remaining 10 matches and potentially more depending on the quarantine protocols when he returns. However, MLS delivered a letter to South American federations, including Peru, for MLS players not to be released during October as the race for the MLS playoffs heats up and concerns about the pandemic still loom. Peru hasn’t responded, but if Gallese leaves to help his nation qualify, then Brian Rowe will hold things down between the sticks for Orlando.
Analyzing Orlando’s Streak
The Lions have certainly changed the narrative in 2020 with a seven-game unbeaten streak. They beat their previous record of six unbeaten games in 2018. Gallese has made crucial saves to keep the Lions unbeaten. The one that sticks out to me is El Pulpo robbing the Chicago Fire last week by saving Álvaro Medrán’s penalty kick to keep Orlando City ahead. Orlando is 9-0-5 in all competitions this season when allowing one goal or fewer. Depth has also played a role for the squad with 19 different starters during the team’s current run despite dealing with injuries. Speaking of those injuries, the hurt Lions are healing up and may be back in action soon.
Some updates from Oscar Pareja this morning: Uri should be back in the lineup "very soon." João is "very healthy now" and progressing a little faster than expected. Matheus Aiás is still waiting to pass testing for training clearance.— Julia Poe (@jpoe24601) September 25, 2020
I expected the team to improve this year and contend for the playoffs, but should we start thinking about an MLS Cup run? Let me know in the comments below.
Orlando Pride Take on the Houston Dash Tonight
The Pride are on the road again as they play the Houston Dash tonight at 8:30 p.m. The match will stream live on Twitch. The Pride began their Fall Series with an impressive performance, battling to a scoreless draw against the North Carolina Courage. Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner shared his thoughts on how the Dash will present a different challenge for the Pride.
“We’re playing two totally different opposition, the wonderful thing is that they’re both top teams. In terms of Houston, after their success in the Challenge Cup, they have come back and you can see they were full of vigor and full of life against North Carolina,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “It’ll be a different challenge, they’ll offer a different system, a different opportunity to play against, which gives an opportunity for some of our players to expose that and to be exposed into that as well. I expect it to be an extremely tough challenge like North Carolina was, but in a slightly different way.”
Ashlyn Harris kept a clean sheet with four saves, while defender Carrie Lawrence had a goal-line clearance in her professional debut. The Dash didn’t play last week and their last match was a 4-3 loss to the Courage on Sept. 12. The last time these two teams played at BBVA Stadium, the match ended in a 2-2 draw last season.
Orlando City B Takes on New England Revolution II This Morning
Orlando City B will shoot for its second win of the season when it hosts New England Revolution II at 11 a.m. at Osceola County Stadium. You can watch the match this morning on ESPN+. The Young Lions have been off for two weeks after their match against the Richmond Kickers on Sept. 19 was postponed. They hope to win their first home game as they take on a New England squad that recently snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Union Omaha last weekend. These two teams played earlier this year with OCB getting its lone victory of the season in a road match on Aug. 7.
- Plenty of Lions are in the mix for the end-of-season individual awards, including Oscar Pareja as Coach of the Year.
- Atletico Madrid officially welcomed Luis Suarez after agreeing to a two-year contract with the club.
- Chelsea and United States Men’s National Team star Christian Pulisic will miss Chelsea’s match today against West Bromwich Albion. Pulisic is set to undergo a specialist training program to address his fitness concerns.
- New York City FC star Héber tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the 2020 MLS season.
That will do it for me, Mane Landers. Stay safe, enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you next time.