Hello, Mane Landers! We’re another day closer to the season opener on Sunday. I’m excited to see what this season has to offer and I’m sure you are too. While we wait, at least it’s nice to know that Ercan Kara is back training with the team and Antonio Carlos has arrived, although with a new hair color. Let’s get to today’s links.
A Look at the Numbers
Orlando City broadcaster Evan Weston is back at it again and went by the numbers for the start of the season. With the season opener also being the home opener, this will mark the eighth straight time that the Lions will open up the season at home since joining MLS. Orlando City will look to keep the record of securing a result to start the season, with a 1-0-6 record in the first seven MLS season openers. Mauricio Pareyra also has a chance to make some history for the record books in the assists department as he returns this season. There is a chance of double debuts this Sunday afternoon, as striker Ercan Kara and winger Facundo Torres should be good to go for this match and to get their first official minutes with the club. Over on the opponents’ side, although CF Montréal only has Victor Wanyama as the single Designated Player on the roster, that doesn’t mean the club isn’t spending the cash. This off-season, Montréal spent $1 million in General Allocation Money to acquire Canadian international defender Alistair Johnston.
USWNT Routs Iceland, Wins SheBelieves Cup
The USWNT started the SheBelieves Cup slowly, but got better as the tournament went on. The Yanks shut out Iceland 5-0 Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX, behind two goals each from Catarina Macario and Mallory Pugh to clinch the competition’s trophy as champions without allowing a goal. Despite going with a lot of younger players in this year’s tournament, the USWNT outscored opponents 10-0 across the three matches.
New MLS Kit Rankings Continue
With all of the new MLS kits being revealed, we have come to the time where opinions on the jerseys are being made. As for the Orlando City Sunshine kit, it seems to be a mixed bag at the moment, either the design is highly rated or not cared for at all. Over at the MLS site, the Sunshine kit didn't make Sam Jones’ 10 favorite list at all. While at ESPN, the away kit cracked the top three on the 2022 MLS jersey power rankings, a stark contrast with the previous list. I personally like the design and like how they paired it with purple shorts, I think this is a kit that will look great on the pitch. Unfortunately, I don’t see myself purchasing this jersey at the moment.
Orlando City Academy Youth Call-Up
A special shout-out to Orlando City Development Academy product Nicolas Amaya, who has been called up to the Salvadorian U-20 men’s national team. It is great to see the Orlando City Academy produce young players with quality to play for their respective national teams. Let’s hope Amaya and the rest of the academy players continue to grow and the academy produces top-notch players for the first team.
Congratulations Nicolas Amaya who has been called up to the Salvadoran U20 youth national team. Our players continue to represent on a national & global stage. We are so proud of you, Nico, and can’t wait to see what’s to come! ⚪️ @laselecta_slv #vamosorlando #mlsnext pic.twitter.com/YoguImObG4— OrlandoCitySC Academy Unofficial (@OrlandoCitySCA) February 23, 2022
- Pedro Gallese celebrated a birthday yesterday and the lads decided to have a little fun with the starting goalkeeper at the training ground. Alexandre Pato also chipped in with a cheeky present of his own.
- Now that the USWNT and U.S. Soccer have come to a settlement on equal pay, ESPN went into what the decision means and what happens next.
- MLS will air the full 2022 season on ESPN in Africa as many players from the continent will appear with teams across the league.
- Notable Champions league action continued yesterday with the young guns scoring goals in the Atlético Madrid vs. Manchester United game. João Felix scored early for Atlético Madrid while Anthony Elanga equalized for United in the 80th minute. There was more late drama as Benfica and Ajax also played to a draw, with their match ending 2-2.
Thats all for me today. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday and start planning on where to watch the season opener on Sunday.