It’s finally Friday! There may be plenty of rain forecast for this weekend, but I’m still looking forward to the next few days. I don’t have many plans beyond working, but everything just seems to go better when it’s the weekend. Let’s get this Friday started with some links from around the soccer world.
Orlando City Shifts Focus to the Philadelphia Union
After its midweek friendly against Arsenal, Orlando City must get ready for an Eastern Conference showdown against the Philadelphia Union tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in Exploria Stadium. The Union enter this match on a four-game unbeaten run and with a week of rest under their belt. With only 15 goals conceded this year, the fewest in MLS, Philadelphia sits atop the Eastern Conference. Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya is suspended for tomorrow’s match against Orlando due to yellow card accumulation. While this is the first meeting in league play between Orlando and Philadelphia, the two met earlier this year in the U.S. Open Cup. Orlando won that match 2-1 thanks to goals from Ercan Kara and Andres Perea.
Ravel Morrison Officially Joins D.C. United
D.C. United added Jamaican midfielder Ravel Morrison on a deal through 2023 using Targeted Allocation Money. Morrison reunites with D.C. Head Coach Wayne Rooney, who was Morrison’s teammate with Manchester United and then his manager at Derby County last season. The 29-year-old knows the style Rooney will want to implement and should offer a boost to the last-placed team in MLS.
Morrison is the latest player set to make an impact in the Eastern Conference this summer, although he may not provide the offensive firepower shown by others. The Columbus Crew are a textbook example of what the right player can add to a squad, as Cucho Hernandez is earning plenty of praise for scoring four goals in three appearances to help lift the club into a playoff position. Toronto FC is hoping for a similar revitalization once Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi get going and they could debut tomorrow against Charlotte FC.
Takeaways from Concacaf W Championship
The United States Women’s National Team qualified for both the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics after winning the Concacaf W Championship, but there are still questions surrounding the team going forward. They’re mostly the good kind of questions though, as USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski has plenty of different lineup options at his disposal. Former Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan had a strong tournament, doing well during big moments. Still, this tournament showed that the rest of Concacaf is gradually closing the gap between itself and the powerhouse duo of the U.S. and Canada. Mexico struggled, but Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Haiti all had strong showings. With an expanded field for the 2023 World Cup, I’m looking forward to seeing more from Concacaf’s representatives next summer.
Jesse Lingard Stays in England
Former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has joined Nottingham Forest on a free transfer. The Englishman had been linked with a possible move to MLS, as well as with other English Premier League sides such as Newcastle and West Ham. Nottingham was promoted after winning the play-off final in May and Lingard will give the roster some needed strength to compete in the EPL. The 29-year-old has spent the past 22 years in United’s organization and will play his former club on Boxing Day this year.
- Orlando City’s Mauricio Pereyra is second in the league in passes that break defensive lines.
- The roster for the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge was announced and Insigne will be taking part despite not playing a match in MLS yet. Although no Lions will be participating, I’m still looking forward to the event and you can check out the challenges below. I’m a strong advocate of replacing penalty kicks with this bizarre version of soccer Skee-Ball.
- Charlotte FC’s Yordy Reyna won MLS Goal of the Week for his curling shot to beat Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender.
- CF Montreal midfielder Djordje Mihailovic spoke about his USMNT aspirations, a potential move this transfer window, and his return to full fitness.
- Germany beat Austria 2-0 to reach the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro semifinals. It was a close match, with Austria hitting the woodwork three times and Alexandra Popp scoring Germany’s second goal in the 90th minute.
- Senegalese forward Sadio Mane was named CAF Player of the Year and Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala won CAF’s Women’s Player of the Year award.
- Brazilian club Santos is being investigated for alleged illegal child work and was asked to suspend all of its academy’s activities.
That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. Have a great Friday and rest of your weekend!