Hello, Mane Landers. I hope everyone is staying safe as we enter the Labor Day weekend. It’s another game day for Orlando City as it takes on Atlanta United once again. This time the match will be at Exploria Stadium. The Lions got their first win against the Five Stripes last week, and I hope for a repeat tonight. Now, let’s get to the links.
Orlando City SC Faces Atlanta United Tonight
The game tonight between the Lions and Atlanta United will start at 8 p.m. and you can watch it on FOX. There is plenty to get excited about for this match. Orlando gained seven points from the past three games in a span of just eight days and is ready to give fans more to cheer about at home. Benji Michel scored earlier this week against Nashville SC and had an assist last week against Atlanta while Mauricio Pereyra had an assist in his return as well. Head Coach Oscar Pareja has rotated the squad well in the past few games and we’ve seen the results of keeping players fresh as the Lions sit near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta United is off to a slow start, however, with one win and only three goals in its three matches since the MLS is Back Tournament. It will be interesting to see how Atlanta United will respond in tonight’s match. In preparation for the match, Evan Weston and Miguel Gallardo have a nice preview.
.@EvanLWeston and @migallardo01 here to get you ready for Saturday's home meeting with ATL. #ORLvATL | #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/Sr3u1C5tFO— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) September 4, 2020
Alex Morgan Nears Return for the Pride
The Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan is expected to return to full team training for the first time since the birth of her son Charlie in May. Morgan has been going through individual training sessions with the Pride and Head Coach Marc Skinner said in a press conference Friday that he expects her to fully return on Monday.
Marc Skinner says he's unsure at this time how involved Alex Morgan will be in the Fall Series but she'll return to team training with the Pride Monday and she looks sharp of body and mind in individual workouts.— The Mane Land (@TheManeLand) September 4, 2020
The NWSL begins its Fall Series this weekend, but many of the league’s stars are playing abroad. Morgan would lend significant star power if she is able to return to play. The Pride will play their first game on the road against the North Carolina Courage on Sept. 19.
New York Red Bulls Part Ways with Armas
The New York Red Bulls will no longer have Chris Armas as their head coach. Armas coached the Red Bulls to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs the last two seasons but went 1-4-1 in his last six matches at the helm this year. Armas also led the Red Bulls to the Supporters Shield title in 2018 during his first season after taking over the club in the middle of that season when Jesse Marsch left to be an assistant coach at RB Leipzig.
Also departing the club is assistant coach CJ Brown, a former Orlando City assistant coach from 2016 to 2018. An interim coach will be named in the coming days as the club will do a thorough search for its next coach and the Red Bulls’ next game will be tomorrow against the Philadelphia Union.
Messi Will Stay With Barcelona
Lionel Messi officially announced he will stay at FC Barcelona despite shocking the soccer world with his request to leave the club. Messi changed his mind after intense meetings between his father and the club over the exit clause in his contract. Barcelona said the exit clause expired in June and if Messi wanted to leave, him or his next club would have to pay €700 million or face legal action in court. This was certainly something Messi didn’t want to deal with going into the final year of his contract and made that clear in his statement below.
“I would never take the club I have played my entire life for to court, and that is why I am staying in Barcelona. It was a tough decision. I always said I wanted to end my career here and I do.”
Clubs like Manchester City, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain were reportedly interested in acquiring Messi but they will have to wait a little longer.
- The National Women’s Soccer League and Verizon launched the Verizon Community Shield Competition for the Fall Series.
- Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin could be leaving England as the club is still deciding to keep him or let him move. One potential suitor would be Turkish powerhouse Besiktas.
- Luis Suarez has been talking with Juventus and the two sides hope to strike a deal soon.
- American midfielder Giovanni Reyna is a rising star at Borussia Dortmund and some people believe he can be better than both of his parents.
- FC Dallas midfielder Paxton Pomykal faces a six-month recovery after undergoing successful surgery.
- Real Salt Lake’s Pablo Ruiz won the Goal of the Week for his goal from long range against the Seattle Sounders. Benji Michel’s stellar goal finished in second.
- Don’t forget to vote for the Save of the Month in USL League One as Orlando City B goalkeeper Austin Aviza is in contention.
Goalkeepers need love too! Vote for your choice for Save of the Month:— USL League One (@USLLeagueOne) September 4, 2020
VOTE --> https://t.co/Lp7OSbwR66 pic.twitter.com/fjj9atYFbj
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Have a safe holiday weekend and go Lions!