Happy Tuesday, everyone! What a Tuesday it is after Orlando City picked up its second ever win in a Major League Soccer season opener while staying undefeated in those games since joining the league. As usual, there’s a lot to work through today so let’s jump in.
Two Lions Earn Recognition
A pair of Lions were given just recognition for their performances in Week 1 of the season. First up is Antonio Carlos, who was named to the starting XI of the first edition of the MLS Team of the Week. It was a well-deserved appointment too, as Carlos notched two tackles, an interception, won two aerial duels and made a whopping nine clearances — all while passing at a 93% rate. And he did all of that after having basically zero preseason time with the team. The other Lion recognized for his efforts was Cesar Araujo, who made MLSsoccer.com’s list of 10 off-season signings who stood out in the first week of the season. The 20-year-old got the start and had a solid game in his MLS debut, passing at an 88% rate and just narrowly missing opening his Orlando City account.
Russian Teams Get the Boot
Soccer-related developments of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have continued, with two big announcements coming Monday. The first is that FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russia from competing in the World Cup and UEFA competitions until further notice. The move comes after Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic all stated they would refuse to play Russia in World Cup qualifying, with other countries following suit. UEFA also announced that Spartak Moscow has been thrown out of the UEFA Europa League, giving Red Bull Leipzig a bye to the quarterfinals.
Leeds United Appoints Jesse Marsch
After firing Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United has brought in a familiar face as his replacement, as the team appointed American Jesse Marsch as the new head coach. Marsch was previously the head coach of Red Bull Leipzig before being relieved of his duties at the beginning of December. Marsch previously had stints at Red Bull Salzburg and the New York Red Bulls. If Marsch manages to help Leeds stave off relegation, it will likely only intensify the recent rumors of Brenden Aaronson joining the Premier League side in the summer. Marsch has been given a contract until June of 2025.
U.S. Soccer Pondering Gender Equity Resolutions
The United States Soccer Federation will review a set of proposed resolutions concerning gender equity and discriminatory chanting this Friday. The gender equity proposal aims to make it so that candidates for executive and coaching jobs include both women and individuals from underserved communities. Additionally, by 2027 each U.S. national team will include at least one full-time female coach. Finally, the USSF CEO and sporting director would need to submit a plan to the board on how to increase the number of female licensed coaches to match the number of male licensed coaches by 2028. If passed, a separate resolution will see the USSF adopt a zero tolerance policy when it comes to discriminatory chanting, banning them from all U.S. soccer events.
- Orlando City released a statement of support and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
We must use our voices to stand up against intolerance. Orlando City & @ORLPride proudly stand with LGBTQ+ communities and their families. pic.twitter.com/Qkz8Tp1Dsl— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) February 28, 2022
- U.S. Soccer has reportedly reached an agreement for English-language media rights with Turner Sports and HBO. It’s important to note that while the deal would include men’s and women’s national team friendlies, World Cup qualifiers, and the SheBelieves Cup, it does not include the rights to the upcoming men’s and women’s World Cups.
- Schalke 04 has officially terminated its sponsorship deal with Russian gas company Gazprom.
- The USSF released a statement in support of Ukraine.
#WeStandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/spRVx7NZbr— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) February 28, 2022
- Sheriff Tiraspol manager Yuriy Vernydub has joined the Ukrainian army.
- Gianluigi Buffon has signed a new deal at Parma which will keep him at the club past his 46th birthday.
That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.