The stated explanation is for family reasons. This is a huge blow.
Justin Bieber's "Purpose" world tour made its way through Orlando on Thursday night, and it wouldn't be a special night without Kaká showing up to meet and greet with the teen pop icon. In the photo posted to Kaká's Facebook page earlier this evening, the Brazilian midfielder posed with Bieber, holding a No. 10 Orlando City jersey also in hand. As any sports fan should know, we're totally SOOL now. Bieber's sports run-ins in the past haven't turned out all too well. All we can do at this point is hope and pray that Drake doesn't show up to any Orlando City games this season, or else we're *really* in trouble.
If things weren't going badly enough for the U.S., FS1 decided to yellow card USWNT and Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. We think it's simply unfair to book Ashlyn for that. She's not even in the same time zone. Harsh.
Orlando City unveiled the team's kits -- complete with new "Orlando United" patches -- ahead of tomorrow night's match against the San Jose Earthquakes. The team will pay tribute to the victims of last weekend's Pulse shootings in multiple ways before and during the match. These gorgeous patches show the club is off to a great start. While all color is removed from the photo except for the patch, expect the usual purple kits on Saturday night.
Just after halftime of the OCB-Louisville City game, Orlando City B midfielder Harrison Heath took a heavy punch to the stomach from LCFC's Ben Newnam after a free kick. Heath remained down for a minute before getting up, but no foul was called on the play. Just a minute or two later, Newnam scored the equalizer in what was a 2-1 OCB lead, which LCFC ended up winning 4-3. The disciplinary board may be taking another look into this one, but too late for OCB.
According to Orlando Sentinel reporter Alicia Rose DelGallo, Orlando City has brought in center back Dionatan Teixeira on trial. As you can pretty much not tell from the video above, Teixeira, 23, was working out with the Lions at training this morning. The Brazilian defender hasn't seen a ton of success at Stoke; he broke his foot shortly after signing with the club and missed the entire 2014-2015 season. He's only made two appearances for the club, and was loaned to Fleetwood Town for three months last October. Should he sign, he would presumably take up Aurelien Collin's recently vacated international slot and add some more insurance to the Lions' back line.
Orlando City will be without Kaká again this weekend against the New England Revolution due to a groin injury. As fans continued to wonder whether or not the Lions' captain traveled with the rest of the team on Friday, Kaká was at the Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando for the opening night of the Beauty and the Beast, as we can see from this post on his Instagram account late Friday night. The Lions were hoping the star midfielder would be good to go after missing last Sunday's match in New York to a groin injury suffered in training last week. This would certainly say he's not quite ready yet.
NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush spoke to the media ahead of Orlando Pride's record-setting home opener against the Houston Dash. Here's the video, if you're interested in hearing
Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni spoke to the media prior to Wednesday night's open practice at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Here's the edited version.
Antonio Nocerino has played four games for Orlando City, and made an impact in none of them. WhoScored.com has some seriously hot takes on the former AC Milan midfielder, saying the 31-year-old has "no significant strengths," while listing just about every part of his game as a weakness. You crack me up, WhoScored. Keep up the good work.