How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope you all are having a nice Friday as we get ready for a weekend filled with soccer. Neither Orlando City nor the Orlando Pride play this weekend, but we do have an Orlando City B match to look forward to today. Before we get to that and more in today’s links, let’s all wish happy birthdays to Orlando City’s Alexandre Pato and OCB’s Nick Taylor!
Facundo Torres Makes MLS Team of the Week
For the second straight time, Orlando City winger Facundo Torres was named to the MLS Team of the Week. Torres had a goal and an assist to help Orlando come back and win 3-2 against the Seattle Sounders at Exploria Stadium. The 22-year-old was also up for Player of the Week, although Hany Mukhtar claimed that honor after his hat trick. Torres has been on a tear as of late, contributing a goal or an assist in each of Orlando’s past four games during this win streak. With a trip to Qatar potentially in the cards, the Uruguayan is finding his footing with Orlando in MLS at just the right time.
Orlando City B Takes on New England Revolution II Today
The MLS NEXT Pro playoff race is heating up and there is plenty on the line as Orlando City B heads to Gilette Stadium to take on New England Revolution II today at 5:30 p.m. With only three games left, a loss would eliminate the Young Lions from playoff contention. OCB hasn’t lost since Aug. 7, as it rides a four-game unbeaten streak, but the past two results have been shootout losses after draws. Favian Loyola had a brace in OCB’s previous match and could lead the offense if Jack Lynn remains unavailable. Meanwhile, New England has lost its past two matches, conceding seven goals in those losses. It should be a good match between two Eastern Conference teams fighting for a spot in the postseason.
Analyzing Nigeria Ahead of USWNT Friendly
The United States Women’s National Team will play Nigeria tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the first of two friendlies against the African nation. Like the U.S., Nigeria qualified for the World Cup next summer and Head Coach Randy Waldrum is bringing a somewhat experimental roster for these friendlies. The 20-player roster includes four players who helped Nigeria reach the quarterfinals of the U-20 Women’s World Cup, as well as NJ/NY Gotham FC’s Ifeoma Onumonu and the Houston Dash’s Michelle Alozie. However, FC Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala won’t play in these friendlies as she’s recovering from a ligament injury. Nigeria is a physical team that also has plenty of speed, so it will be interesting to see how the USWNT does in these friendlies.
John Brooks Heads to Portugal
American center back John Brooks signed a one-year deal with Portuguese club Benfica. Brooks became a free agent after his contract expired with Wolfsburg this past May and was linked with a move to La Liga’s Mallorca earlier this week. The 29-year-old has not played for the United States Men’s National Team since September of last year, but he could still head to Qatar if he can earn playing time with Benfica. The Portuguese club is in the Champions League this year and we could see him go up against fellow American Weston McKennie and Juventus during the group stage.
American right back Sergino Dest’s loan to AC Milan became official. There’s a purchase option at a reported fee of $20 million and Dest would sign a four-year deal with the Italian club if the move becomes permanent. AC Milan is in a Champions League group with Chelsea, meaning Dest and Christian Pulisic will square off for a pair of matches in October.
- If you’re out and about today, you can go grab some Orlando City goodies.
- After scoring the winner on Wednesday, Kyle Smith had some fun on Twitter.
- MLS announced its ninth annual “MLS Works Kick Childhood Cancer” campaign to bring awareness to pediatric cancer. As part of this campaign, fans tossed stuffed animals for donation onto the field in Real Salt Lake’s game against Minnesota United on Wednesday.
Sergio Cordova finds the early goal for @realsaltlake and the teddy bears are raining down from the stands!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 1, 2022
In honor of #KickChildhoodCancer night, fans were encouraged to bring new teddy bears that will be donated to local charities for children battling cancer. pic.twitter.com/F9Ss1uH19G
- San Diego Wave FC announced that all tickets have sold out for its first match at Snapdragon Stadium on Sept. 17. More than 32,000 tickets were sold for the match against Angel City FC, which would break the NWSL attendance record.
- Chelsea made some late moves on deadline day. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly joining the Blues from Barcelona as part of a player swap involving Marcos Alonso. Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria will reportedly head to Chelsea on loan from Juventus as well.
- Manchester United went on the road and won its third straight match, beating Leicester City 1-0. Casemiro came on in the second half for his United debut and helped secure all three points.
- Brazilian winger Willian is returning to the English Premier League after signing a one-year deal with Fulham.
That’s all I have for you for now, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend!