Happy Friday! We have an exciting weekend filled to the brim with soccer as Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B are all in action. European soccer is back in full swing as well, so it should be a fun couple of days. For now, let’s get this Friday started with links from around the soccer world.
Orlando City Prepares for the New England Revolution
With a busy July behind them, the Lions will welcome the Revolution to Exploria Stadium tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. This will be the second meeting between the two Eastern Conference teams this season, as Orlando battled New England to a 1-1 draw on the road back on June 15. Orlando midfielder Cesar Araujo has certainly been a bright spot this year, winning 58.85% of his 209 duels and also winning 60 fouls — fourth-most in the league. Left back Joao Moutinho spoke about how the Lions will have to make sure New England attackers Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou don’t get space to work with tomorrow.
MLS Transfer Window Comes to a Close
The LA Galaxy signed FC Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig to a three-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money. Puig made 60 appearances with Barcelona’s first team, scoring twice. FC Cincinnati will reportedly sign American center back Matt Miazga from Chelsea on a free transfer. Real Salt Lake added Paraguayan midfielder Braian Ojeda on loan from Nottingham Forest and is reportedly signing Costa Rican defender Bryan Oviedo as well. I’m sure that won’t be confusing.
Charlotte FC had a fairly busy deadline day. The expansion side signed Nuno Santos, who had five goals and two assists in 31 appearances while on loan with Pacos from Benfica in Portugal’s top flight. Charlotte also addressed its back line as it signed right back Nathan Byrne from Derby County, added center back Adilson Malanda from Rodez AF in France’s Ligue 2, and officially traded Christian Makoun to New England.
Americans Playing Abroad This Weekend
Several Americans may make debuts for their new clubs this weekend as many European leagues start their seasons. American manager Jesse Marsch helped Leeds United avoid relegation last season and brought in USMNT midfielders Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, so it will be interesting to see how they fare in tomorrow’s match against Wolverhampton. Chris Richards could make his debut for Crystal Palace today at 3 p.m. against Arsenal. Daryl Dike and West Brom will play Watford on Monday.
The Bundesliga kicks off today as Timmy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt will play Bayern Munich at 2:30 p.m. Giovanni Reyna, Jordan Pefok, Ricardo Pepi, and Joe Scally are some of the other Americans to watch in Germany this weekend. Timothy Weah and Lille OSC will start the Ligue 1 season against Auxerre on Sunday. Gianluca Busio is one of five Americans who could play for Venezia when it hosts Ascoli on Sunday in Italy.
Indoor Soccer Returns to Orlando
The Central Florida Crusaders were announced as the latest expansion team for the National Indoor Soccer League. A men’s and women’s team will both be fielded for the league and the Crusaders will play on the University of Central Florida’s campus. The Tampa Bay Strikers were recently announced as an expansion team as well, setting up a rivalry between the two Floridian teams. The 20-game season will start in December and there will be a press conference held on Aug. 11 to provide more information on the team, such as who will be head coach. It seems like a pretty fun way to enjoy local soccer during the winter when MLS and the NWSL are in the off-season.
- The Pride remained in eighth in Just Women’s Sports’ weekly NWSL power rankings. While the Pride are on a four-game unbeaten run, they gave up two goals in the second half to settle for a 2-2 draw with the Kansas City Current.
- Former Orlando winger Nani spoke about how MLS is trending in the right direction in terms of attracting talented players in their prime to the league.
- Inter Miami’s Gonzalo Higuain won MLS Goal of the Week for scoring on a free kick against FC Cincinnati. Orlando’s Junior Urso finished second in the voting for his incredible chip shot to score on D.C. United.
- Higuain and fellow Miami forward Leonardo Campana were both injured in Miami’s win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
- After scoring for CF Montreal this past Wednesday, Kei Kamara is now tied with Jeff Cunningham for third on the MLS all-time scoring list with 134 goals. Kamara can break the tie tomorrow when Montreal hosts Miami.
- Seven MLS-affiliated clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro next season, bringing the total up to 28.
- Bosnian midfielder Haris Medunjanin and Cincy have agreed to part ways so that the 37-year-old can be closer to his family. His final game for Cincinnati will be tomorrow against the Philadelphia Union, his former club.
- Former Lions Cyle Larin and Richie Laryea are Canadians to keep an eye on in Europe.
- Southend United is changing the name of its west end after accidentally naming it after serial killer Rose West.
That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. Have a great Friday and rest of your weekend!