Happy match day, everyone. It’s only been a few weeks but it feels like we just went through an entire extra off-season. But the wait is over. The Lions face Toronto at Exploria Stadium tonight in an away match in name only. The Pride are back tomorrow at home against Gotham tomorrow. It’s an exciting weekend of Orlando soccer in addition to all of the international action going on. Let’s get to it.
Three Lions Make Preliminary U.S. Gold Cup Roster
Orlando City is well represented on the preliminary United States Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming Gold Cup but that might not mean a whole lot. Daryl Dike, Chris Mueller, and Andres Perea all made the 59-player preliminary roster. That squad will get cut down to just 23 players by June 30, so we won’t have to wait long to find out which Lions, if any, will be away on international duty. One would expect Dike will be on that final roster, but aside from that it’s anyone’s guess.
Orlando Pride’s Marta Named to Brazilian Olympic Squad
To no one’s surprise, Orlando Pride star Marta has been selected to represent Brazil in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. As long as Marta’s been representing her country, it’s impressive that her teammate Formiga will compete in her seventh (!) Olympic soccer tournament for the Brazilian national team. The Pride will be without Marta’s services for about a month at least. Former Pride fullback Poliana is also on the Brazilian Olympic squad.
Here’s a video of Marta watching the squad announcement:
Aquele sorriso. Aquele bendito sorriso! Lágrimas de alegria, de felicidade. Nós já escutamos os teus sinais, Rainha! E vamos em busca do tão sonhado ouro olímpico. #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/23pxIZwXBy— Seleção Feminina de Futebol (@SelecaoFeminina) June 18, 2021
Chicago Fire Re-rebrand Complete
The Chicago Fire were publicly shamed into abandoning their recent rebrand, which was objectively awful, and now they’ve moved on with a new logo. It’s a bit of a case of going back to basics as the new crest has ties back to the one the club abandoned to adopt...well, whatever it is they adopted. This one isn’t bad but the one they had before the last rebrand was better, at least in my opinion. What do you think of the new one?
Mexico National Team Sanctioned by FIFA for Slur
Fans of El Tri have gotten their team in trouble by continuing to shout the offensive p-word chant when goalkeepers kick the ball. Mexico will play two World Cup qualifiers behind closed doors as a result of this continued practice by the team’s fans. Bear in mind, these empty stadium games are solely as a result of the slur used in previous World Cup qualifying and investigations are still ongoing for the same behavior in a friendly against Iceland and the recent Nations Leagues games, in which match officials had to stop the game. If fans don’t get the message after this, further sanctions could include forfeited games.
- Junior Urso is sporting a new look.
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney is bringing Wrexham AFC — the team he co-owns with Ryan Reynolds — to the City of Brotherly Love to play the Philadelphia Union in a midsummer friendly.
- Seattle is the last remaining undefeated MLS team this season after the New York Red Bulls knocked off Nashville 2-0 last night.
- Those born on this date include Moe Howard of the Three Stooges (1897), baseball’s Lou Gehrig (1903), Soprano’s actor Nancy Marchand (1928), novelist Salman Rushdie (1947), Phylicia Rashad (1948), Heart vocalist Ann Wilson (1950), Kathleen Turner (1954), Paula Abdul (1962), U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (1964), The Verve Pipe lead singer Brian Vander Ark (1964), former USMNT star Brian McBride (1972), Robin Tunney (1972), basketball’s Dirk Nowitzki (1978), and Zoe Saldana (1978).
That’s all my time for this morning. I’ll be back later with full coverage of tonight’s Orlando City match. Enjoy your weekend!