Good morning, gang. It’s really nice not having to track west coast MLS scores till 1 a.m. for links the next day. The schedule has taken a (very) brief pause for an international break, but we’ve got plenty of Orlando linkables for you all this morning.
Orlando Pride Match Against Chicago Rescheduled
This past weekend’s NWSL matches were all postponed after the bombshell reporting from across the league. After four days of uncertainty, we now know what’ll happen with the games that were, rightfully, postponed last weekend. For the Orlando Pride, their road game against the Chicago Red Stars has been pushed to Wednesday, Oct. 13. Orlando will have a game the previous Saturday against Gotham and the following Saturday against Louisville, the Pride’s last road game of the regular season.
Dike Highlighted For Role In Playoff Push
One of the biggest stories around Orlando City in this mad dash to the postseason is the play of its frontman Daryl Dike, who’s netted three goals in three matches. Julia Poe of The Orlando Sentinel wrote a feature on the forward, highlighting his growth in his second year and how he can lead the Lions to the postseason once again. Perhaps the most noteworthy piece of information of the piece regarded Dike’s penalty duties.
“We’ve been encouraging Daryl to take leadership,” Michel said. “We thought Daryl was the guy up next. When the PK happened, we all knew Daryl was going to take it.”
The team was fully behind Dike stepping up to the spot and he delivered in Nashville.
Dike Among 10 Players Who “Will Define the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs Race”
Praise for Dike came from all over yesterday, with Greg Seltzer of MLSSoccer.com also highlighting the young striker as one of the 10 players who will define the MLS Cup playoff race. Seltzer pointed to the obvious, three goals in three games, but also Dike’s energy in big moments.
“he taxes defenses, which takes a little weight off of certain recovering/veteran teammates who may have less than full energy tanks.”
Some other notable names included were a pair of summer signings in Atlanta’s Luiz Araújo and Vancouver’s Ryan Gauld, as well as more known commodities such as Minnesota’s Emmanuel Reynoso and Chicharito in L.A.
MLSSoccer.com Staff Discusses Orlando City’s Playoff Ceiling
In a recent episode of Extratime Radio, the MLS talking heads gave their two cents on Orlando’s playoff ceiling after a run of promising results. The most positive came via Matt Doyle, who noted how this team can make a run, especially now that it’s healthy.
“In fact, now that they’re all healthy, I do expect them to make a real run in October and it wouldn’t shock me if they’re right there neck and neck with Nashville for the second seed by the time it’s all said and done”
While David Gass was slightly less bullish on the Lions, noting their relative inability to score goals and create quality chances, but Orlando remains one of the top teams in the east amongst the national media.
- NWSL players made a powerful statement in the sixth minute of the game between NY/NJ Gotham FC and the Washington Spirit.
- The NWSL Players Association released a Twitter thread of its full list of demands in light of recent scandals.
- The Portland Thorns relieved their GM of “Thorns duties” pending an ongoing investigation.
CLUB STATEMENT:— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) October 7, 2021
Effectively immediately, Portland Thorns FC have placed general manager/president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson on administrative leave from Thorns duties pending the results of the outside independent investigation, which is ongoing.
- MLS expansion side Charlotte FC will have a reality competition show for players trying to make the final roster. This is real.
- Spain snapped Italy’s 37-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 win in the UEFA Nations League.
- Reminder that the USMNT plays Jamaica in World Cup qualifying tonight in Austin.
That’s all for me this morning. Enjoy your Thursday!