Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I know we’re not quite through it yet, but doesn’t it seem like January has gone by pretty quickly? It might just feel that way because 2020 was the longest year ever. As we know from Albert Einstein, time is relative and the rate at which it passes depends on your frame of reference, but man it really seems to be quicker now. I love science.
Red, White & Blue Lions
United States Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter set the 25-player roster for the match against Trinidad and Tobago this coming Sunday, Jan. 31, and four Orlando City players made the cut. Of the 15 MLS teams represented, Orlando City has the most players, with Chris Mueller, Daryl Dike, Andrés Perea, and Benji Michel all making the roster. The USMNT will host Trinidad and Tobago in Orlando at Exploria Stadium. The pool of players have been training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, and included 12 senior players and 24 U-23 players. Berhalter fielded questions about the squad, including weighing in on Perea’s potential with the U.S. moving forward.
Weston McKennie Scores Again for Juventus
McKennie might only be one of many Americans making waves in Europe right now, but he had himself a match on Sunday. He got the start in Juventus’ 2-0 win over Bologna, and made the most of the opportunity. Not only did he score an insurance goal for Juventus, but he also completed 94% of his passes, had two shots on goal, two interceptions, four recoveries, and won 12 out of 13 duels. If you ask McKennie, he might say his goal was magical, given his Harry Potter celebration.
Weston McKennie.— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) January 24, 2021
Add it to the list ✍ .pic.twitter.com/nfO2d3x316
On loan from Schalke 04, McKennie has done well enough for Juventus that the club is reportedly considering signing him to a permanent deal.
McKennie is having an amazing season - one of the best Juventus players so far.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 24, 2021
Juve board are so happy with him and intentioned to pay €18.5m next summer to sign Weston on a permanent deal from Schalke [there’s also a potential obligation-to-buy clause in the agreement].
Megan Rapinoe Discusses the Tokyo Olympics
A few days ago, there were rumors that Japan was looking to get out of hosting the 2021 Olympics. Since that time, both Japan and the International Olympic Committee have reiterated that Japan will host the games. The United States Women’s National Team will attend the games, assuming they are held, and Megan Rapinoe expressed that she would be “devastated” if they were canceled due to COVID-19. The games have already been postponed once, and it is unlikely they would be postponed again.
Tragedy Strikes Brazilian Soccer Club
Members of fourth-tier Brazilian soccer club Palmas died in a plane crash Sunday morning. President Lucas Meira, along with players Lucas Praxedes, Guilherme Noe, Ranule and Marcus Molinari were killed in the accident when their plane crashed while taking off from the Tocantinense Aviation Association. They were supposed to go to Goiania, which is roughly 500 miles away, for a match today.
- I must say that I like what the San Jose Earthquakes are doing by donating to local charities on behalf of newly signed players. All the donations are made through the club’s Quakes Foundation. The most recent example is their donation to MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana) on behalf of Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez. Nicely done, San Jose.
- For those of you who like stats, Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood completed 158 passes out of 166, setting a new record. It is impressive to see.
158 - Manchester City's Alex Greenwood completed 158 passes (out of 166 attempted) against Brighton today, setting a new record for most passes completed in a single @BarclaysFAWSL match. Metronome. pic.twitter.com/ygWmHwzxb0— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 24, 2021
- Under the heading of “duh”, spectators attending World Cup matches in Qatar will have to be tested for the coronavirus 72 hours before each match.
That will do it for me today. It’s almost like a match week with so many Lions on the roster for the USMNT match. I miss Orlando City soccer so much. Have a great week.