Merry Monday morning, Mane Landers! I’ll take four points from the Orlando City and Orlando Pride games this weekend, not to mention the USMNT winning the Gold Cup. I hope you’re doing all right as we get started in August. After all, it is my birthday month. I’m not saying gifts are necessary, but I won’t refuse any either. Before we get to the links, let’s wish a happy birthday to Pride defender Konya Plummer and Orlando City Homegrown Player Raul Aguilera!
Orlando City Transfer Rumors
You’ll need a translation for some of the details, but Orlando City is reportedly on the verge of adding Argentine attacking midfielder Facundo Farías. The 18-year-old plays for Club Atlético Colón in Argentina and has started all four games of the season so far. A creative force on offense, he would certainly add more firepower for the Lions and his young age makes him a lucrative transfer target. The Argentine Primera Division ends in December so the sticking point of negotiations may be when Farías could join Orlando if acquired.
Reported Facundo Farías is a go to @OrlandoCitySC. He will go there for US$8 million. NOW the big question is when would he go. Eduardo Domínguez wants him to stay until the end of the season. Looks like OCSC wants him soon. That is the pending issue. [@nachoabatromero]— Juan Arango (@JuanG_Arango) August 1, 2021
This latest report comes on the heels of Orlando being linked to River Plate’s Julian Alvarez late last week. The transfer window for MLS closes on Thursday.
Meanwhile, closer to home, there were reports that Hibernian FC was willing to pay for Chris Mueller to join before Orlando’s season ended. However, Head Coach Oscar Pareja expects Mueller to play the remainder of the season for the Lions.
“We learned from ... our directors that Chris is going to move forward with his project next year, but until then he is an Orlando city player and we will take him that way,” Pareja said. “I don’t hear that he is looking for an early exit, I have not heard that.”
Orlando Pride Enter a New Era
It’s a new day for the Orlando Pride. A new season, even. I know that’s not the reality, but with the sudden departure of former coach Marc Skinner, the Pride had to make a midseason adjustment they weren’t planning on. The players are enjoying the attitude interim coach Becky Burleigh has brought to the club and went on the road for a 1-1 draw against the North Carolina Courage this weekend. It’s only been one match, but the Pride are undefeated under Burleigh and should get a boost once Olympic players return.
USMNT Wins Gold Cup
Despite injuries and most of the star players staying in Europe, the United States Men’s National Team was able to win 1-0 against Mexico to lift the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup trophy. The crowd in Las Vegas was mostly filled with Mexico supporters and neither side could break through until extra time when Miles Robinson got his head on the end of a great free kick from Kellyn Acosta. Orlando’s Daryl Dike didn’t feature in the match as Gyasi Zardes and Matthew Hoppe spearheaded the attack for most of the match.
Matt Turner made clutch saves throughout the game and deservedly earned the Golden Glove for his performance in the tournament. Say what you want about USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, but he is building the deepest squad the U.S. has ever seen in its history. The USMNT was able to win the Nations League and Gold Cup in the same summer with nearly entirely different squads. Attention now turns to the World Cup qualifiers, with the first match coming against El Salvador on Sept. 2.
USWNT Loses to Canada in Olympic Semifinal
The USWNT won’t be competing for a gold medal after losing 1-0 against Canada in the Olympic semifinals. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was forced off in the 30th minute due to an injury and Adrianna Franch came on in her place. The game’s only goal came in the second half after Tierna Davidson missed her attempted clearance and kicked Deanne Rose’s leg in the box in the process. The referee reviewed the replay and awarded a penalty to Canada, with Jessie Fleming smashing the ball past Franch and into goal. The USWNT was unable to find an equalizer and lost to Canada for the first time since 2001. Now, the U.S. will focus on the bronze medal match Thursday morning at 4 a.m. against Australia.
- In case you missed it, goalkeeper Brandon Austin returned to Tottenham while folk hero Adam Grinwis is back with the Lions. Mason Stajduhar started in goal for the Lions this weekend and gave a shout out to Orlando’s past goalkeepers who have influenced him, including Grinwis.
An inspiration, a friend, and (once again) a teammate. Honored to be a part of your story, Mason. So much love for you.— Adam Grinwis (@agrinny) July 31, 2021
Now stop making me cry and let’s get back to work, kid. https://t.co/ZecjHClyZW
- Haircuts can go wrong, and if you let a hairdresser trim your beard without direct specifications, the results can be really bad. I’m not necessarily saying this from experience (though I am), but they certainly can. The Lions have nothing to worry about though as they are in the trusted hands of Ricardo Chavez, who detailed how Revamp Barbershop became the go-to spot for Orlando players.
- Josh Sargent scored twice for Werder Bremen while Brenden Aaronson made two assists for Red Bull Salzburg to headline the action from Americans playing abroad.
- Philadelphia Union forward Sergio Santos was fined and suspended one game for kicking the ball into the stands against Orlando City on July 22.
- I’m not saying that Brendan Hunt was the reason the USMNT won the Gold Cup, but I’m not ruling it out either. I’ll happily suggest that the Yanks had a little positivity in their midst thanks to #beardpower.
That will do it for this morning. Although the Gold Cup is over, there’s still plenty of soccer to look forward to. The Lions will host Inter Miami on Wednesday and then travel to take on FC Cincinnati on Saturday. The Pride have a road match against the Chicago Red Stars this Sunday as well, so it is a busy week. Then the Leagues Cup gets started next week on Aug. 12. Go Orlando!