How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this week has gone well for you as we get ready for another soccer-filled weekend. Tomorrow, the Orlando Pride have a preseason game against Florida State University and Orlando City hosts FC Cincinnati at Exploria Stadium. There’s also plenty of soccer across Europe to look forward to. As for me, I’ll be at a wedding for the second weekend in a row. Until then, let’s enjoy today’s links!
Storylines Ahead of Orlando’s Clash With Cincinnati
Orlando City will take on FC Cincinnati tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in its second game of the season. Both teams are coming off of season-opening wins at home, with Orlando beating the New York Red Bulls 1-0 and Cincy winning 2-1 over the Houston Dynamo. The Lions have won two of their three games against Cincinnati at Exploria Stadium, although that loss was last season in a 2-1 defeat. Four players made their debuts for Orlando last week and I’m looking forward to seeing how they do as the team continues to find its rhythm.
MLS Teams Face Busiest MLS Season Yet
The MLS season just started, but some teams will already have to find out how to balance it with tournament games. Orlando City is one of five MLS teams that will take part in the Concacaf Champions League next week, and all MLS teams will participate in the U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup over the course of the season as well. While the new playoff system takes some of the importance out of individual regular season games, it also includes more games than before. This all adds up to a busy year for MLS clubs that could rival the amount played by some of the top teams in Europe. But unlike those European clubs, MLS teams lack the roster rules to help with the strain on depth and face much more travel.
Canada Soccer and Women’s National Team Reach Interim Agreement
An interim funding agreement has been reached between Canada Soccer and the Women’s National Team, with the terms similar to the one the Men’s National Team has that includes per-game incentives and compensation based on results. This comes after the team played the SheBelieves Cup under protest last month as it prepares for the World Cup this summer. Nick Bontis resigned as Canada Soccer’s president earlier this week and negotiations are still ongoing for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Gunmen Threaten Lionel Messi
In Rosario, Argentina, 14 shots were reportedly fired by two gunmen at a supermarket owned by Lionel Messi’s in-laws. According to police, a note was left that threatened Messi and stated that Rosario’s mayor, Pablo Javkin, couldn’t protect him. An investigation into the incident is underway and Javkin spoke about the rise in violence in the city. Messi is from Rosario and has a home in the suburb of Funes. He could come to Argentina later this month for a pair of friendlies with the national team.
- Midfielder Yamil Asad has returned to D.C. United, signing a one-year contract with options for 2024 and 2025 as well.
- Real Salt Lake midfielder Jasper Löffelsend is suspended for two games for spitting at Cristian Dajome after tackling him.
- Ticketmaster was announced as the official ticketing partner of MLS as part of a multi-year agreement.
- FC Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Eder Militao in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. The second leg will take place on April 5 at Camp Nou.
- Negotiations are reportedly ongoing between Manchester United and goalkeeper David de Gea to iron out a new contract.
Negotiations between Manchester Utd and David de Gea continue in order to reach an agreement on new contract — de Gea wants to stay. #MUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 2, 2023
Contract was not extended with +1 year clause as Man Utd hope to agree new terms with different salary.
More: https://t.co/DbLxlgca93 pic.twitter.com/jy92DJ3Ncy
- Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nashville Predators all-time scorer Filip Forsberg have joined Nashville SC’s ownership group.
- NWSL teams will be introduced as part of FIFA 23 later this month. It will be the first time the league is part of the video game series.
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has announced a new flavor inspired by Ted Lasso. There’s one near me in Tampa, so I’ll be sure to let you know how it is next week.
Make sure to stay hydrated this weekend. The temperatures are only going to get higher as spring nears. Have a great Friday!