How’s it going, Mane Landers? The summer heat isn’t stopping anytime soon, so make sure to drink plenty of water and stay cool. Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to former Lion Lewis Neal! If you’re wondering what Neal is up to these days, he’s an assistant coach with Central Florida Panthers SC in the National Premier Soccer League.
Orlando City Leaves Colorado With a Point
The Lions went on the road and drew 1-1 against the Colorado Rapids in the first competitive match between the two since 2020. Orlando City took the lead in the first half, but the Rapids equalized in the second half to salvage a point. Winning on the road isn’t easy, particularly when playing in Colorado’s high altitude, but the Lions had their chances to bring three points back to Orlando. Once again, Orlando City B goalkeeper Javier Otero was signed to a short-term contract for needed depth. Otero thankfully didn’t need to play though, as Pedro Gallese played every minute and made several big saves.
Our Michael Citro has your match recap. Make sure to check back later today for Sean Rollins’ player grades and Man of the Match, as well as David Rohe’s five takeaways from the draw.
USWNT Plays Costa Rica Tonight
The United States Women’s National Team will face Costa Rica tonight at 7 p.m. in the Concacaf W Championship semifinals. While the USWNT has already qualified for the 2023 FIFA World Cup, there is still plenty to play for as only the champion of this tournament will directly qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The USWNT won all three of its group stage matches without conceding a goal and will look to keep that momentum rolling tonight. Costa Rica enters this match after falling 2-0 against Canada in its final group stage match, finishing as runner-up.
In other USWNT news, the team announced that it will play Nigeria in two friendlies in September. The U.S. has won all of its past six meetings with Nigeria, with the most recent victory coming on June 16 at Q2 Stadium in Austin.
MLS Results From Around the League
Cucho Hernandez seems to be just what the doctor ordered for the Columbus Crew. After scoring a goal in his debut this past weekend, he had a brace in the Crew’s 2-2 draw with D.C. United. Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, former Lion Chris Mueller had an assist as the Chicago Fire beat Toronto FC 2-0, while the Philadelphia Union won 2-1 on the road against Inter Miami. A brace from Ronaldo Cisneros lifted Atlanta United to a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.
Out west, the San Jose Earthquakes hit the road and then hit the LA Galaxy in the mouth with three goals in the first half. The Galaxy’s Dejan Joveljic had a brace to mount a comeback, but the Earthquakes won 3-2 against their rival. Minnesota United played at home and drew 1-1 with Sporting Kansas City, FC Cincinnati battled the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-2 draw, and Nashville SC won 1-0 at home against the Seattle Sounders.
NWSL Board Discusses League’s Growth
The National Women’s Soccer League’s Board of Governors met over the past two days to plan expansion, broadcast operations, and better officiating. Starting in August, the NWSL will start investing to improve its broadcast quality as its streaming audience grows. It’s a crucial area to improve in as the league’s three-year deal with CBS expires next year, while women’s sports are becoming more and more marketable. A new set of expansion rules were approved to help make sure the existing teams and new teams have long-term success, with two expansion teams expected to join in 2024.
NWSL announces:— Alicia Rodriguez (@soccermusings) July 13, 2022
- Going to invest to improve quality of game broadcasts (which have been terrible on streams)
- Planning to use VAR starting in 2023
- Looking to add two expansion teams in 2024
- After moving to Chicago a couple years back, NWSL HQ officially going back to NY
- The Union exercised the purchase option on Julian Carranza’s loan from Miami, shipping off a total of $500,000 in General Allocation Money to do so. Carranza came off the bench last night to play against the club that loaned him out.
- Kansas City veteran Roger Espinoza won MLS Goal of the Week for his strike from distance after chasing down a loose ball against CF Montreal.
- The North Carolina Courage signed 23-year-old midfielder Fuka Nagano to a one-year deal, with an option for an additional year.
- In the UEFA Women’s Euro, Sweden won 2-1 against Switzerland and the Netherlands beat Portugal, 3-2. Today’s action will feature Orlando Pride midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir and Iceland taking on Italy at noon. France and Belgium will square off later at 3 p.m.
- Raheem Sterling’s move from Manchester City to Chelsea is official, with the 27-year-old signing a five-year contract. Orlando soccer fans may get to see him in action when Chelsea takes on Arsenal at Camping World Stadium on July 23.
- To prepare for the World Cup later this year, Canada will take on Qatar and Uruguay in a pair of friendlies in Austria next month.
- The Mexico Football Federation fired women’s national team coach Monica Vergara, U-20 men’s coach Luis Perez, and general sporting director Gerardo Torrado as it cleaned house following recent results in tournaments.
- Jamaica’s women’s national team became the first Caribbean team — men’s or women’s — to qualify for two World Cups. Jamaica will take on Canada tonight in the other Concacaf W Championship semifinal.
- Speaking of nations heading to next year’s World Cup, Zambia and Morocco punched their tickets to the tournament.
- The unnamed player who was arrested on suspicion of rape is not suspended by the English Premier League club he plays for. The club told The Athletic that the player can still perform his professional commitments and is permitted to travel.
- Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly turned down the chance to manage Iran ahead of the World Cup.
- The Ukrainian Premier League will return on Aug. 23, with games set to be played without spectators.
That’s going to be all I have for you today. Have a wonderful Thursday!