Good morning, everyone. It’s the second gameday of 2023 as Orlando City prepares to face FC Cincinnati at Exploria Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, there’s plenty going on around the soccer world. So let me catch you up on what’s going on heading into a big day of soccer.
Orlando Pride Add Assistant Coach
The Pride announced the final addition to Seb Hines’ staff on Friday with the hiring of Yolanda Thomas. The new addition achieved her USSF “A” license with Hines and joins the club after being a scout in the USSF Talent ID Network and serving as sporting director, head coach, and director of coaching with Tulsa Soccer Club and Fortuna Tulsa of the WPSL. Thomas is Hines’ third assistant named after Giles Barnes and Paul Crichton were announced earlier this month.
Facundo Torres Called Up by Uruguay
The Uruguayan National Team Interim Technical Director Marcelo Broli announced the 34 players for the team’s two March friendly games in Asia and the list features a familiar face. Orlando City attacking midfielder Facundo Torres is in the squad to take on Japan in Tokyo on March 24 and South Korea in Seoul on March 28. As a result, Torres will miss the Lions’ clash with Philadelphia on March 25 and possibly their home game against Nashville SC on April 1.
Full Slate of Games on MLS Match Day 2
MLS’ change to primarily Saturday games with the new Apple deal means there’s plenty of action today across the league. It all starts this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. when the defending MLS Cup champion LAFC hosts the Portland Timbers on FOX. At 8:30 p.m., the league’s newest team, St. Louis City SC, opens CITYPARK to fans for their first league home game in club history. Following Orlando City’s win over Cincinnati tonight, fans can catch some late action as the San Jose Earthquakes host the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders welcome Real Salt Lake, both games starting at 10:30 p.m.
Borussia Dortmund Go Top of the Bundesliga
The German Bundesliga has been Bayern Munich’s league over the past decade, but the club has a challenger this year. The weekend’s action started Friday afternoon as Borussia Dortmund beat RB Leipzig 2-1 at Signal Iduna Park. Marco Reus started the scoring in the 21st minute when a penalty before Emre Can doubled the advantage before halftime. Leipzig got one back through Emil Forsberg, but it wasn’t enough. American star Gio Reyna was on the bench again for this game but didn’t appear in his team’s 10th consecutive win.
- Orlando City’s Thomas Williams and the Pride’s Leah Pruitt and Viviana Villacorta checked in from Exploria Stadium as the club hosted Delivering Hope to support local underserved kids.
- USMNT striker Ricardo Pepi may not have been at the World Cup, but he did make the Eredivisie Team of the Month.
- In some local soccer news, Tampa Bay Rowdies attacker and 2022 USL Championship MVP Leo Fernandes is out for the year after rupturing his left Achilles tendon.
- The Washington Spirit have signed 15-year-old midfielder Chloe Ricketts, making her the youngest player in NWSL history.
- Longtime Orlando City comms maestro Marcos Peres was given a nice sendoff after nearly a decade with the club.
I did not expect so much love! This week I left the home I helped build. It certainly was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I love my teammates, current and past - and this fanbase! Thank you all! #ForeverALion— Marcos Peres (@MarcosPeresCom) March 3, 2023
.@OrlandoCitySC @ORLPride @ExploriaStadium pic.twitter.com/4Z0Dk7tgN9
That’s all we’ve got for today. Enjoy the game tonight and have a good soccer-watching weekend.