The Weekend in Soccer…

As is always the case, it was an interesting weekend in the world of soccer. Things are a little quiet following last huge week’s stadium groundbreaking gala, but we’re still pretty much abuzz from it.

In case you missed our coverage:

I can’t say enough good things about all of the thought and effort (and money!) that went into the groundbreaking party. It had a little of everything—dignitaries, Orlando City players, a massive march to the stadium site, fireworks, flying confetti, music, a specially constructed box with 24 tons of purple sand, a unique fan giveaway, and one of the best street parties you’ll ever see. And the weather was perfect.

So what’s next for Orlando City?

The Lions will have their Adidas jersey unveiling in November (we’re hearing purple will again be prominent), and things are gearing up toward December’s MLS Expansion Draft.

Report: Kaka Wants to Remain at Sao Paulo Longer

From the Department of Welp comes this report that claims Orlando City’s first designated player and future star man would like to stay with his Sao Paulo team a bit longer than originally agreed. While this story may not have any real substance to it, the (media-driven) buzz has gotten a little louder about it over the last 24 hours. It’s certainly nothing to worry about at this juncture, but we’ll be keeping our eyes on this to see if anything further develops.

Boden Can Still Laugh About PK

Orlando City defender Luke Boden, a member of the 2014 All-USL Pro first team, found a surprise in his snack yesterday. When informed that the coin he found in his Sun Chips was currency from coach Adrian Heath, allowing him to redeem it for a penalty kick, Boden thought back to his 2011 miss in the USL final with self-deprecating humor.

LukeBodenTweetIt’s nice that Boden can look back and laugh now about it, considering Orlando City eventually won the penalty shootout and the 2011 championship.

MLS Playoff Push

With our Orlando City boys not in the MLS playoff chase (wait until next year!), the focus of the weekend was on the race for fifth place in both conferences, the huge Supporters’ Shield showdown last night, and jockeying for playoff position among those clubs already advancing.

In the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC’s 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact clinched the final playoff berth for the Columbus Crew, which could still finish as high as third place in the East. Out west, both Portland (against Real Salt Lake) and Vancouver (at San Jose) drew 0-0, keeping the Whitecaps above the red line with a game each to play.

The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders played a barn burner of a match last night in Landon Donovan’s final home regular season game. Los Angeles built a 2-0 lead on goals by Baggio Husidic and Marcelo Sarvas, only to see it evaporate on strikes by Clint Dempsey and Lamar Neagle. Donovan and Robbie Keane were kept quiet by Seattle, although the retiring USMNT star did hit the crossbar with an early header. The Shield is still up for grabs in the two teams’ showdown in Seattle. Galaxy’s hopes were dampened when Omar Gonzales was sent off late after picking up his second yellow card.

Dallas and New England strengthened their playoff positioning and DC United clinched first place in the Eastern Conference.

Morgan Injured in Qualifying for USWNT

Forward Alex Morgan suffered yet another unfortunate injury when she sprained her left ankle Friday night in the USWNT’s 5-0 mauling of Guatemala. The Guatemalans were hacking Morgan all evening and after a tangle with a defender, Morgan went down hard and stayed down. Ankles aren’t supposed to bend this way:

AMorgan
Ouch!

Morgan is expected to miss four to six weeks. We wish “Baby Horse” a speedy and full recovery.

As for the game, Carli Lloyd was amazing and easily the player of the match, although the entire U.S. midfield was outstanding. Tobin Heath scored twice, including a goal on one of the best reverse flicks you’ll see. Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe were also very good in winning and keeping possession. Rapinoe scored a cracker of a goal and presented a danger to Guatemala all evening.

The USWNT plays Haiti tonight at 7:30 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Elsewhere

Southampton squeaked by Sunderland, 8-0 (!), and the Black Cats players are talking about reimbursing their fans who made the trip to the match…Nick Rimando was sensational against the Portland Timbers…Birmingham City have sacked manager Lee Clark.

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