How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are enjoying all of the soccer this week and are looking forward to this weekend’s slate of games. I have a relaxing few days ahead of me after a hectic work week. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy 40th birthday to former Lion and soccer legend Kaká!
Orlando City Drawn Against Philadelphia Union in Open Cup
Orlando City will host the Philadelphia Union on May 10 at 7 p.m. in Exploria Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup’s Round of 32. It is a tough draw for both clubs considering they are currently the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, but at least Orlando won’t have to travel to Philadelphia. The game is sandwiched between two trips to Canada for the Lions as they play CF Montreal on May 7 and then face Toronto FC on May 14. The two sides faced off in the Open Cup back in 2018, with the Union bouncing the Lions from the tournament in the quarterfinals.
As for Orlando’s rivals, Atlanta United will travel to play Nashville SC and Inter Miami will host South Georgia Tormenta FC. Tormenta is one of 11 teams outside of MLS remaining in the tournament. Former Lions Santiago Patino and Victor “PC” Giro will aim to help San Antonio FC upset the Houston Dynamo in a Texan showdown.
Orlando Pride Unveil New Kit Before Challenge Cup Finale
The Pride will play their final match of the NWSL Challenge Cup tomorrow at 7 p.m. against NJ/NY Gotham FC. It’s been a rough tournament for the Pride as they have only scored three goals and are still on the hunt for their first win of 2022. That being said, forward Darian Jenkins scored twice in the Pride’s recent 4-2 loss to the North Carolina Courage and that momentum may continue against a Gotham side that fell 3-1 to the Washington Spirit. The Pride have conceded eight goals in the past two games but Gotham has yet to score multiple goals in a game during the Challenge Cup.
The Pride also unveiled their Luna kit as a secondary kit for the next two seasons. Like the Ad Astra kit, this one is inspired by Florida’s Space Coast and features a design of the moon and curved stripes to represent orbital rings.
Young Lions Called Up for U.S. Camp
United States U-19 Men’s Youth National Team Head Coach Marko Mitrovic called up 33 players for a training camp, including four Orlando City players. Alex Freeman, Gonzalo Agustoni-Chagas, Favian Loyola, and Ethan Subachan were all invited to the camp that begins today and lasts through May 1 and takes place in Carson, CA. Freeman signed as a Homegrown Player and has played in all four of Orlando City B’s games so far in the MLS NEXT Pro. Agustoni-Chagas has also featured for OCB this year while Loyola and Subachan have done well in Orlando’s academy. The camp will help prepare the players for the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras this summer.
USWNT Will Host Colombia for Pair of Friendlies
The United States Women’s National Team will take on Colombia in a pair of friendlies in late June. The first game between the two will take place on June 25 in Commerce City, CO and then they will play again in Salt Lake City on June 28. Colombia is ranked 26th in the world and is second to Brazil in South America. These matches will help prepare the USWNT for the Concacaf Women’s Championship in Mexico the following week. That tournament will serve as Concacaf’s qualifying for the 2023 FIFA World Cup and the 2024 Olympics.
- LAFC’s Ismael Tajouri-Shradi won MLS Goal of the Week for his volleyed shot to beat Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia. Orlando’s Ercan Kara finished in second with 25.6% of the vote for putting the finishing touches on a great series of passing by the Lions.
- After reports throughout the month, Manchester United officially named Erik ten Hag as its new manager. The Dutchman will remain with Ajax until the end of its season and agreed to a three-year deal with United.
- The MLS All-Stars will once again face the Liga MX All-Stars in the 2022 MLS All-Star Game that will take place in Minnesota this summer.
- American defender Chris Richards is out for the rest of Hoffenheim’s season due to a thigh injury. Richards is on loan from Bayern Munich and made 19 Bundesliga appearances for Hoffenheim this season.
- FedEx Field dropped out as a possible host for the 2026 World Cup leaving 17 U.S. stadiums in the running, including Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.
- The United States will play Grenada tomorrow at 4 p.m. in its first group match of the 2022 Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship.
- Didier Drogba, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, and Ian Wright will all be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
- Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is reportedly considering a move to MLS this summer.
- Here’s an interesting list of coaching candidates who could possibly fill the vacancies at the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United.
- Real Betis and Valencia will compete in the Copa del Rey final at 4 p.m. tomorrow. 40-year-old winger Joaquín Sánchez, who lifted the trophy for Real Betis in 2005 and then again with Valencia in 2008, aims to help Betis win silverware once more before retirement.
That’s going to be all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a great Friday and rest of your weekend. Go Orlando!