How’s it going, Mane Landers? I’m glad this work week is coming to a close, even if I don’t have many plans lined up for the weekend. It should still be a nice couple of days, even if there’s rain in the forecast. There’s plenty of soccer to look forward to, so let’s get to the links!
Orlando Pride Take on Racing Louisville Tonight
The Orlando Pride are on the road tonight as they face Racing Louisville FC at 7:30 p.m. Both teams have lost their past two games and Orlando must right the ship quickly for any chance at the postseason. Louisville has already been eliminated from playoff contention and has not won a game since May. The last time these two teams squared off was on July 3 in a 2-2 draw at the Daytona International Speedway. That game was technically Seb Hines’ first home match — despite being miles away from Exploria Stadium — as the Pride’s interim head coach and started a seven-game unbeaten run. Louisville forward Nadia Nadim didn’t feature in that draw, but has played in her team’s past six games and scored last weekend.
Orlando City Prepares for Toronto FC
The Lions will return to action tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. when they host Toronto FC at Exploria Stadium. Orlando sits in fifth in the Eastern Conference and will aim to bounce back after two straight losses. A loss would eliminate Toronto from playoff contention and a draw won’t do the Reds much good either, so expect the Canadian club to come out hungry for all three points. The Lions haven’t lost in their past five meetings with Toronto, including a 1-0 win on the road on May 14. Plenty has changed since that match though, as Italians Lorenzo Insigne, Domenico Criscito, and Federico Bernardeschi all joined Toronto over the summer. It will be a tough match between two Eastern Conference opponents as the MLS regular season nears its conclusion.
Orlando City B Gets Ready for Its Season Finale
The inaugural MLS NEXT Pro regular season will come to a close this Sunday, with 10 matches all taking place at 3 p.m. Orlando City B doesn’t have a shot at the postseason, but it will have a chance to ruin Toronto FC II’s day when the two sides meet at Osceola County Stadium. Toronto is third in the Eastern Conference, but could be eliminated with a loss on Sunday and wins by other teams. For Orlando, Sunday’s match is a chance to end the year on a positive note with a winning record at home. Although it’s a bit disappointing Orlando doesn’t have too much to play for, it should be an exciting Decision Day for the league.
Manchester United and Roma Bounce Back in the Europa League
In the Europa League’s latest round of group stage matches, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored in the first half to lift Manchester United to a 2-0 win over FC Sheriff. Ronaldo’s goal from the spot was his first one ever in the Europa League and his 699th at the club level. Paulo Dybala scored immediately after coming off the bench as Roma won 3-0 over HJK Helsinki. Cypriot club Omonia found an equalizer in the second half against Real Sociedad, but the La Liga side scored a winner in the 80th minute for a 2-1 victory. Elsewhere across Europe, FC Midtjylland upset Serie A’s Lazio in a 5-1 demolition job. American striker Jordan Pefok and Union Berlin fell 1-0 to SC Braga, and 41-year-old Real Betis winger Joaquín scored a stunner in a 3-2 win against Ludogorets.
JOAQUIN! STILL GOING STRONG AT 41!— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) September 15, 2022
A STUNNER FROM THE BETIS LEGEND. pic.twitter.com/cfuqmCtQ5r
- The new jerseys for the USMNT and USWNT were unveiled. Personally, I think the white kit looks like a toned-down version of Captain America’s latest costume. The blue has garnered some criticism, but I don’t mind it. I probably wouldn’t buy it, but I’d happily wear it out and about if one was gifted to me.
- Here’s a great guide to all of the MLS off-season events, including the dates they’ll take place and some details.
- Rodrigo Lopez, who played for Orlando City during its USL days and started in the U.S. Open Cup final for Sacramento Republic FC, was named USL Championship Player of the Month.
- Leeds United Head Coach Jesse Marsch was fined and banned from the touchline for one match due to an altercation with referees earlier this month.
- Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez joined Greek club Olympiacos and will reunite with former Real Madrid teammate Marcelo.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend!