How’s it going, Mane Landers? It may officially be fall, but the heat and rain sure don’t make it feel like it. I’ve been spending most of the week indoors and am excited to go out for brunch this weekend. It should be a fun next few days considering the amount of soccer going on. But for now, let’s get this Friday started with some links from around the soccer world.
Orlando City Prepares for the New England Revolution
The Lions are on a three-game losing streak and have a tough road match tomorrow against the league-leading New England Revolution. It will be the first meeting between the two clubs this season, with another match on Oct. 24 in Exploria Stadium. The Revolution became the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs after winning 3-2 this past Wednesday against the Chicago Fire. Nani and Andres Perea will return from suspension, but center back Antonio Carlos won’t be available after his red card in Orlando’s 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union. The team may also see the return of midfielder Sebas Mendez, who has not played for the Lions since July 17 due to injury.
Sebas Méndez will be available for this weekend's match against New England.— Julia Poe (@byjuliapoe) September 23, 2021
Orlando Pride Get Ready for OL Reign
The Orlando Pride are out west to take on OL Reign this Sunday at 7 p.m. It will be the Pride’s first match since a 3-1 win against Racing Louisville FC on Sept. 11 due to the international break and the team has been making the most of its extended period of training. Interim head coach Becky Burleigh and defender Phoebe McClernon weighed in on the benefits of the break as the Pride focus on their remaining five games this regular season.
Sunday’s match will also feature the league’s top two scorers as the Pride’s Sydney Leroux and the Reign’s Bethany Balcer both have eight goals this season. The other Reign players to keep an eye out for on offense are Jess Fishlock, Eugénie Le Sommer, and Tziarra King. If the Pride win this Sunday, they will close the gap to just one point between themselves and the second-place Reign.
Keeping Up With Americans Abroad
There’s a bit more pressure for United States Men’s National Team players to do well with their clubs this season as they compete for call-ups for World Cup qualifying. FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi burst onto the scene and scored in his USMNT debut against Honduras, impressing Head Coach Gregg Berhalter and joining the discussion of players who could possibly go to Qatar next year. Solid performances at the club level could help other American attackers make their case for a call-up as well. A few Americans were in action this week as Matthew Hoppe had an assist in his first appearance with Mallorca in La Liga, while Tim Weah made his return from injury by starting for Lille OSC. Jordan Pefok is also emerging as an option up top for the USMNT and scored in Young Boys’ win over Lausanne. Orlando forward Daryl Dike has been relatively quiet during the Lions’ losing streak, but a strong run of form over the next few weeks could land him back in the USMNT conversation.
NWSL Widens Investigation of the Washington Spirit
The National Women’s Soccer League has reportedly grown its investigation into the Washington Spirit to also include allegations of a toxic work environment for female employees. Investigators were told about a misogynistic work culture by employees while looking into allegations of verbal abuse from former head coach Richie Burke, who left the team in August.
Spirit Squadron, a Washington Spirit fan group, released a statement regarding the concerns for players and called for team owner Steve Baldwin to step down and sell the team.
- The hosts of Extratime discussed and compared the playoff chances for Orlando City and the LA Galaxy.
- The injury bug has not been kind to Seattle Sounders and USMNT winger Jordan Morris over the course of his career. The 26-year-old is recovering from his second ACL injury in three years, but believes he will return even stronger than before when he returns for the Sounders.
- Former Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic announced his retirement from professional soccer and will be honored at halftime when SKC takes on the Sounders this Sunday.
- Enjoy this fantastic feature that dives into the dramatic history of Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.
- Genoa CFC, the oldest club in Italy, was sold to an American private investment firm.
- Vice President of Suriname Ronnie Brunswijk, who you may remember as the 60-year-old who played for the club he owns, is now being investigated by Concacaf after he was caught on video handing out money to the opposing team after the match.
That’s going to be all for now. Make sure to stay hydrated out there and have a wonderful Friday!