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Orlando City played a pair of preseason matches in the last week and both were good results. We’re here to talk as much about them as we can, given the information we have, but the bottom line is that winning is better than not winning. The Lions no doubt got strong contributions from Kyle Smith, who was rewarded with a new two-year contract on Monday. We break down why this was a good move from the club and why teams need guys like “El Soldado.”
There’s more noise happening about Daryl Dike and potential suitors from abroad so we’ll talk about those latest rumors and what we think about them. The lad keeps doing good work over in Europe and he’s getting noticed. We would certainly hate to lose Dike, but his success there is a good thing for the club one way or another.
We also discussed what a knock to Nani might mean for the start of the season, Joao Moutinho’s recovery, and how the lineup might look for the early part of the schedule. We also discuss why the first three games suddenly take on even more importance, as the MLS teams that will compete in the U.S. Open Cup will be determined by their success in the early part of the 2021 campaign. That puts the Lions in a bit of a bind given some key absences due to injury, loan, and suspension.
The Orlando Pride have added and subtracted a player since our last show. We talked a bit about the addition of defender Ally Haran to the Pride roster as well as the news that broke Tuesday afternoon about Canadian midfielder Jordyn Listro heading to Kansas City via a trade. There are positives to take from both of these moves.
The USMNT and the U.S. U-23 teams had mixed results this past weekend and Orlando City players were involved in both. We discussed Dike’s performance against Northern Ireland and why we’re excited about the future of the national team. We also weighed in on the U-23 team’s failure, what could have been done differently against Honduras, and the silver lining that exists now that we know Andres Perea and Benji Michel won’t be missing a huge chunk of the season to play in the Olympics.
This week’s mailbag was eclectic. Folks are interested in grass vs. plastic surfaces, the Lions’ starting XI and tactics, and, of course, Ted Lasso. If there’s anything — and we do mean anything —you want us to address on next show, just ask by tweeting it to us at @TheManeLand with the hashtag #AskTMLPC.
That’s all for this week.
Stay safe and enjoy the show!
Here’s how show No. 239 went down:
0:15 - Orlando City won twice against presumed Eastern Conference contenders in the past week. Plus, Smith’s salary likely went up, Dike’s price might be going up, and Nani is a bit banged up.
37:30 - The Pride played no preseason games this past week, so instead they signed a player and traded another one that they only recently signed. It’s the preseason. You’ve got to stay busy! Plus two different results for two USMNT squads.
1:13:09 - The mailbag is just about overflowing and we get an interesting variety of questions to answer.