Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I got a chance to watch Orlando City at Soldier Field this past weekend, and even though the match ended in a draw, it was fun to catch up with some friends from the Orlando Ruckus and Iron Lion Firm supporters groups. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.
OCSC Prepares for FC Cincinnati
Orlando City returns home to Exploria Stadium this Saturday to take on FC Cincinnati. The Lions managed to get a 0-0 draw on the road against the Chicago Fire while Cincinnati lost 1-0 to D.C. United and remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Orlando sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with four points from its first two matches. It has been a rough start for Cincinnati, which lost its opening match 5-0 on the road to Austin FC. Cincinnati could’ve earned a point against D.C. United this past weekend, but a handball by defender Geoff Cameron late into stoppage time allowed Ola Kamara to slot home a penalty kick. Cincy has given up six goals in two matches and has not been able to find the back of the net.
The Lions have had success against FC Cincinnati in the past two games played between the two at Exploria Stadium, winning 5-1 in 2019 and cruising to a 3-0 victory in 2021. Miguel Gallardo and Evan Weston discussed the Lions’ defensive strengths as they have yet to concede a goal this season.
Orlando Pride Re-sign Parker Roberts
The Orlando Pride announced they have re-signed midfielder Parker Roberts and placed her on the supplemental roster for the upcoming season. Roberts signed a two-year contract that will last through the 2023 NWSL season. She joined the Pride in August of last year and made two appearances for the Pride, coming off the bench and playing 22 minutes. This move will help strengthen the Pride’s midfield depth and give Roberts an opportunity to further her career and development.
Roberts was the final player offered a new contract by the Pride following the 2021 season to re-sign, returning alongside midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard and goalkeeper Kaylie Collins. Ali Riley, Jade Moore, and Taylor Kornieck were also offered new contracts, but have since left the Pride.
Marta Named Pride Captain
Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell made it official that Marta will wear the captain's armband for the Pride this year. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris had served as the team’s captain since 2017 but was traded to NJ/NY Gotham FC this off-season. Marta spoke about representing the Pride and how the team will lead together.
Queretaro Will Play Without Fans
After violence at a match between Atlas and Queretaro this past weekend that left 26 people injured and three critically wounded, Liga MX announced that Queretaro will play its home matches without fans for one year and banned the barras supporters’ groups for three years. Queretaro’s ownership group was also banned from league activities for five years and the club will return to previous owners Grupo Caliente, which also owns Club Tijuana and must sell Queretaro by the end of the year. Authorities announced that 14 arrests have been made by police on potential charges such as violence in a sporting event and attempted homicide.
U.S. U-20 Women Beat Haiti 6-0
The United States Women’s U-20 team defeated Haiti 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship. Emily Mason scored in the eighth minute, but that was the only goal of the first half. The floodgates opened in the second half as five other players joined Mason on the score sheet. The U.S. has yet to concede a goal in the tournament and will face Puerto Rico in the semifinals tomorrow, with the winner claiming a spot in the 2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in August. Canada and Mexico will face off in the other semifinal tomorrow.
- Orlando City remains in the 11th spot in the MLS power rankings after drawing with the Fire.
- MLSsoccer.com’s Charles Boehm listed the best performances from young players in MLS’ Week 2 and Orlando midfielder Cesar Araujo was honorably mentioned.
- Fredy Montero netted a brace and Jordan Morris added a late goal as the Seattle Sounders won 3-0 against Club Leon in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals. New York City FC played against Guatemala’s Comunicaciones FC and won 3-1.
- New York Red Bulls legend Bradley Wright-Phillips has retired. Wright-Phillips thanked his clubs, coaches, teammates, and fans from over the years.
- The United States Men’s National Team may be without goalkeepers Matt Turner and Zack Steffen for its World Cup qualifying matches later this month. Ethan Horvath, Sean Johnson, and 17-year-old Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina could be options in goal for the USMNT.
- FIFA announced that Poland will receive a bye in World Cup qualifying and will face the winner between the Czech Republic and Sweden. Also, the playoff match between Ukraine and Scotland was moved from later this month to June.
- Despite losing 1-0 to Inter, Liverpool won 2-1 on aggregate to advance in the UEFA Champions League. The other match saw Bayern Munich crush Red Bull Salzburg 7-1 to advance to the next round.
- Cincinnati loaned midfielder Ben Mines to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the USL Championship.
- We end our links today with the Lions having fun in training and celebrating center back Antonio Carlos’ birthday with “cake.”
That will do it for me, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.