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Orlando City‘s week didn’t start out so hot with a 4-1 thumping in South Florida putting the Lions outside the playoff picture, looking in. Facing a must-win game with neither starting center back due to Antonio Carlos’ suspension and Robin Jansson’s season-ending surgery, Orlando fell behind at home against Columbus and things were looking bleak. Then everything changed.
Junior Urso and Benji Michel each pulled off perhaps their best touch of the ball all season in the second half against the Crew, leading the Lions back. Urso took care of his own finish, while Michel’s shot drew a penalty for a handball on Milos Degenek that Facundo Torres converted. Ultimately, after the officiating crew figured out who was supposed to be on the pitch for stoppage time, Orlando City clinched a postseason berth for the third consecutive year, jumping over the Crew.
We’ve got our analysis of both matches and our selections for Man of the Match. There are plenty of accolades go go around.
In less pleasant news, the Orlando Pride finally got a resolution to the investigation into Amanda Cromwell and Sam Greene. It did not go well, as allegations against both for verbal abuse, favoritism, and retaliation were substantiated and both are out of a job after their contracts were terminated by the NWSL. It’s a black eye for the club and you can’t say the hire had zero red flags, but this was still an unexpected end to a short coaching tenure. The Pride are looking for their next head coach and they must find someone who places the highest value on integrity, but who can also coach. We wish the Pride all the luck in the world with the search.
The USWNT has had a terrible time in Europe over the last week and we touch on that a little but it too is a bit depressing at a time we want to be happy.
This week’s mailbag asked us to make Orlando City upgrades in the off-season, which team we would have chosen for a first-round match-up, and more. 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.
Finally, we previewed Orlando City’s visit to Quebec this Sunday, where the Lions will face CF Montreal in a first-round MLS Cup playoff match. We gave our key match-ups for the game and made an attempt to predict the final score.
Stay safe and enjoy the show!
Here’s how No. 315 went down:
0:15 - The Lions split two matches and squeaked into the playoffs. It was bad before it was good. And now there’s a chance at another trophy, albeit a longshot.
48:27 - The Pride are without a head coach and the search is on after Cromwell and Greene were found to have abused their positions. The USWNT may be getting paid like the men but we wish they wouldn’t have started to play like them. (OK, that was too mean. Sorry.)
1:04:39 - The mailbag is pretty full this week and we give our key match-ups and score predictions for Montreal.