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Orlando City is on a three-game unbeaten run after a pair of uninspiring 1-1 draws against rival Inter Miami (at home) and perennially bad FC Cincinnati (on the road) since our last episode. The Lions could, and should, have taken more from both games but points are points and the soccer gods seem unwilling to allow Oscar Pareja to have his preferred starters all healthy at the same time, so second place in the conference isn’t a bad place to be, all things considered.
We break down both 1-1 draws and make our Man of the Match selections for each and we’ve actually got some variety in our choices this week. We also talk about the recent absence of Daryl Dike and the continued absence of Alexandre Pato, as well as whether those things mean anything, especially since Orlando City made no signings before the secondary transfer window closed. Oh, and Nani and El Pulpo are All-Stars!
Eugene Rupinski from FMF State of Mind jumped on with us to help us preview Orlando City’s upcoming Leagues Cup match against Liga MX side Santos Laguna. Big thanks to Eugene, who knows Santos and Liga MX quite well. We’d be flying blindly into Thursday without him.
The Orlando Pride got a couple of key starters back from international duty and took another step forward under Becky Burleigh with a 2-0 win on the road against the Chicago Red Stars. Sydney Leroux scored again and Jodie Taylor seems to be finding her footing with Orlando, but the team just seems better organized and less likely to make critical errors the last couple of matches. We discuss the job Burleigh has done since taking over and the signing of draft pick Viviana Villacorta (who is, unfortunately, out for the year with an ACL injury).
This week’s mailbag has concerns over dropped points against teams low in the table, and Daryl Dike’s existence on the OCSC roster. If there’s anything — and we do mean anything — you want us to address on the next show, just ask by tweeting it to us at @TheManeLand with the hashtag #AskTMLPC.
We close the show with our key match-ups and score predictions for Orlando City vs. Santos Laguna.
That’s all for this week.
Stay safe and enjoy the show!
Here’s how No. 258 went down:
0:15 - Orlando City got a pair of underwhelming draws, but the team is in second place and every point counts. We break it down and rant a bit about injury report shenanigans (again).
43:16 - Eugene Rupinski tells us what kind of team the Lions will face when Santos Laguna visits Exploria Stadium Thursday night.
1:04:08 - Our Orlando Pride-Chicago Red Stars breakdown, mailbag questions, and our key match-ups and predictions for Orlando City vs. Santos.