How’s it going, Mane Landers? It’s Friday, which means we’re another step closer to a weekend filled with soccer and fun. I plan on going bowling with friends for the first time since college. I’m admittedly awful at bowling, but I’m sure I’ll forget that after I have a drink or two. I hope whatever you have planned this weekend goes smoothly. Let’s get started with today’s links.
Charlotte Defender Anton Walkes Dies
Thursday brought with it the awful news that Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes has died at age 25 after a boating accident in Miami. Walkes was selected by Charlotte in the 2021 MLS Expansion Draft, going on to start in 21 games during the club’s inaugural season last year. The club’s owner, David Tepper, released a statement following his passing.
“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes. He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met,” said Owner David Tepper. “Anton made those around him better people in all areas of life and represented Charlotte FC to the highest standard both on and off the pitch. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time. The Club offers its full support to all those impacted during this period of mourning.”
Major League Soccer, teammates, and the clubs he played for over the course of his professional career also mourned the loss of Walkes. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and the many other lives impacted by his passing.
Adriana Signs With the Orlando Pride
The Orlando Pride signed Brazilian forward Adriana Leal da Silva, known as Adriana, to a three-year contract using Allocation Money. Adriana joins the Pride from Corinthians, where she scored 72 goals across 143 appearances to help the Brazilian club win 10 titles. The 26-year-old has also scored 12 goals in 34 caps with Brazil, although she missed out on the 2019 World Cup due to an injury. Nicknamed “The Wizard,” the Pride could certainly use a player of her caliber to spearhead an offense that also includes fellow Brazilian Marta. This seems to be a good use of some of the Pride’s pile of Allocation Money and Adriana is excited to get started.
A special message for the Pride fam from newly acquired forward Adriana pic.twitter.com/BkArMWhXyy— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) January 19, 2023
Orlando City Homegrown Players Called Up
A trio of young Lions were called up for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team’s training camp in Bradenton this month. Defenders Michael Halliday, Thomas Williams, and Alex Freeman will join 20 other players for the camp as the team gets ready for the U-20 World Cup in May. Halliday featured in the team’s Concacaf U-20 Championship campaign last summer, while this is Freeman’s first call-up to the U-20 side. Orlando City is tied with the Philadelphia Union for the most representatives on the roster, with three each. U-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach Gonzalo Segares will lead the camp as Mikey Varas is assisting with the senior team’s camp in California.
USWNT Faces New Zealand Again Tonight
For the second time this week, the United States Women’s National Team will take on New Zealand in a friendly. Tonight’s match will take place in Auckland, with the action set to begin at 10 p.m. Although the USWNT won 4-0 in the previous meeting this past Tuesday, questions still linger heading into tonight’s match. All four of the U.S. goals Tuesday came in the second half, as Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s offense continues to struggle in the first half of games. Washington Spirit pair Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez both impressed as substitutes, so it will be interesting to see if they start tonight. Lindsey Horan started on Tuesday, but is back with Olympique Lyonnais in France.
- As is tradition, Orlando City Assistant Coach Josema Bazan fired up the grill at preseason training. You definitely shouldn’t watch this if you’re hungry.
It just isn't really preseason until the asado is made pic.twitter.com/6y01vnzq7d— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) January 19, 2023
- Midfielder Felipe Martins weighed in on some photos of him taken by Orlando. The man seems to love beige.
I Dont like because I don’t look mean https://t.co/e7aXXPkNN0— Felipe Martins (@FeliMartins8) January 18, 2023
- The Seattle Sounders signed both Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan to five-year contract extensions. Homegrown Player Danny Leyva was also inked to a four-year deal.
- Following reports throughout the month, the Columbus Crew officially signed forward Christian Ramirez from Aberdeen.
- American midfielder Weston McKennie served up a pinpoint cross for an assist as Juventus defeated Monza, 2-1.
- LAFC and Angel City FC’s home will now be named BMO Stadium. BMO was also named as a founding partner for Angel City. That gives MLS both a BMO Field (in Toronto) and a BMO Stadium this year.
- On the road against Villarreal, Real Madrid mounted a comeback in the second half to win 3-2 and reach the Copa del Rey quarterfinals.
- Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both scored in an exhibition match between Paris Saint-Germain and the Riyadh All-Stars. PSG went on to win 5-4.
- The Bundesliga returns today with an enticing match-up between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig. Here are a few of the storylines to keep an eye on for the remainder of the season.
That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and rest of your weekend!