Orlando City heads out west today to take on its first Western Conference opponent of the season in the LA Galaxy. Orlando will be looking to rebound from last week's disappointing result against FC Cincinnati. And the Orlando Pride will host the defending champion Washington Spirit tonight at Exploria Stadium as the NWSL side gets its taste of competitive soccer this season.
While we wait for both kickoffs, here are the stories of the day.
Orlando Heads to LA to Face Galaxy
Kickoff between Orlando City and the LA Galaxy is set for this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. where Orlando will be looking to steal some points in what will likely be a tough road match-up for the Lions. Orlando and LA have met five times previously in league play with Orlando being bested on three of those match-ups. The Lions do not have a great record against the Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park where they have never won and have given up four goals in each of the two matches played there. Orlando cannot afford to get into such a shootout this afternoon as the offense has yet to put all the pieces together this season, only scoring four goals so far and one in the last two games combined.
Pride Kick Off 2022 Competitive Schedule Tonight vs. Spirit
The Orlando Pride will open their 2022 season tonight against the defending champion Washington Spirit at Exploria Stadium at 7 p.m. This will be a much different Pride squad than we have seen in years past. With the loss of superstar Alex Morgan and the addition of 10 new players to the squad, Pride fans can expect to see a much different team. The Pride have also added a new head coach to the team with the addition of highly decorated collegiate coach Amanda Cromwell. The Pride look to start the season off in the right direction and take three points from the defending champions. Pride fans can watch the game on Paramount+ or stream the game internationally via Twitch.
Chicharito is a Player to Watch
There has been much hype surrounding LA Galaxy striker Chicharito so far this season, and for good reason. Chicharito has two goals for the Galaxy already, with one of those being a 90th-minute game winner against defending MLS champion New York City FC in the clubs’ opening match of the season. MLSsoccer.com’s Andrew Wiebe has Chicharito listed as an “early and obvious favorite” for the league MVP right now. This is not saying much though, as it is very early on in the season and what has happened through three games will most likely not be representative of the overall season. However, this does speak to the level that Chicharito is playing at right now, which is all the Lions have to be concerned about, as the Orlando defenders will have their hands full when they match up against him and the Galaxy later today.
Orlando City Players Called Up for World Cup Qualifiers
With 2022 World Cup qualifying wrapping up across the world, many national teams are releasing their rosters for the final window for matches. Orlando City has had three such players called to compete for their respective nations in this last stretch of qualifying. It’s not surprising that goalkeeper Pedro Gallese will be joining the Peruvian national team, as he has two clean sheets so far in MLS this season and is the top option for Peru at his position. Another player being called to national team duty is midfielder Facundo Torres, who will be competing for Uruguay and should be an integral part of that team’s attack. Sebas Mendez was called up by Ecuador, which is currently third and sitting above Torres’ Uruguay (fourth) and Gallese’s Peru (fifth) in CONMEBOL qualifying. Orlando City is tied for second in most players to get the call for their national teams, with three players, behind the Seattle Sounders, who currently have five players who will be competing in World Cup qualifiers.
- In an interview with CNBC, Orlando City Owner and Chairman Mark Wilf discussed $25 million raised from the Jewish Federations of North America to help Ukrainian refugees.
Chairman Mark Wilf joined @cnbcwex to discuss the $25M raised from the Jewish Federations of North America to Ukrainian refugees after his visit to the Polish-Ukrainian border.— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 18, 2022
See how you can help: https://t.co/fjUUTYmIxJpic.twitter.com/reOKTcsv9z
- Orlando Pride midfielder Marta has been called up to compete for Brazil in April international window.
- Chelsea will face off against Real Madrid in Champions League quarterfinals, Real Madrid has never beaten Chelsea in a major competition.
- New England Head Coach Bruce Arena has been fined by MLS regarding public criticism of officiating in last weekend’s match against Real Salt Lake.
That’s all for today. Let’s hope for an Orlando City victory this afternoon, as the Lions try to take home three points from the LA Galaxy. And it should be interesting to see what the new-look Pride have to offer in their first game under Amanda Cromwell. As always, Go Orlando!