All posts by Mane Land Michael

I write stuff. I listen to lots of tunes. I watch a lot of sports. Sometimes I do all of those things at the same time.

We’ve Moved!

Well, folks, we did it. Much like the Jeffersons, we’re moving on up. But instead of to a deeee-luxe apartment in the sky, over on the East Side, we’ve gone to SB Nation.

In late September, I started this little independent blog on a free WordPress site with the intention of seeing it grow into one of the finest team-specific soccer blogs on the internet. We’re not there yet, but hey, we’ve only been at this a couple of months.

What we have accomplished in about nine weeks is pretty exciting. We’ve grown from a few sporadic page hits to several hundred each day and thousands every month. We went from having just me to a staff of nine, including dedicated writers for our USL Pro affiliate in Louisville and for the Orlando City academy system. We’ve added a podcast (or PawedCast, as we like to call it), which will grow and hit iTunes before the MLS season starts.

We thank you for finding us here and for making us a part of your daily surfing. We appreciate those of you who have followed us on Twitter and liked our Facebook page. We wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t fun and we couldn’t do it without you—the Orlando City fans who have already done so much.

We look at our time as an independent site as our stint in USL Pro. Now we’re moving up to the top flight. SB Nation has a more powerful reach, loads of resources, and a thriving built-in community. We’re proud to be a part of the SB Nation network of sites. We hope you’ll join us there and participate as part of our community. We want The Mane Land to grow into the best soccer site on the net. With your help, we’ll get there.

This site will stay up for a while, serving as a signpost to direct readers to our new home. Think of it as mail forwarding for the internet age. It will also serve as a historic document while it’s up, so that in the future we can occasionally look back and see how far we’ve come.

Come with us.

Thanks for reading.

Michael Citro
Founder and Managing Editor – The Mane Land

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Reports: Orlando City Close to Signing Colombian Starlet Rivas

For the second time this week, Orlando City has been linked to a young foreign player.

After a transfer rumor involving Portuguese forward Yannick Djaló of the San Jose Earthquakes forward earlier this week, the Lions have been linked to a possible imminent signing of Carlos Augusto Rivas Murillo—better known as Carlos Rivas—a 20-year-old Colombian attacker with Deportivo Cali in the Categoría Primera A, that country’s top flight.

The youngster won’t legally be able to purchase a beer in this country until April 15, but he could become a vital left winger to complete an attacking midfield trio with Kaká and Kevin Molino in Adrian Heath’s 4-2-3-1 formation, if radio and social media reports out of Colombia, as reported by FutbolMLS.com and MLSSoccer.com turn out to be true. Continue reading Reports: Orlando City Close to Signing Colombian Starlet Rivas

Rawlins Elected to USL Hall of Fame

As Orlando City prepares to make the jump to MLS, its president and founder is headed to the USL Hall of Fame. The club announced today that Phil Rawlins has been elected to the Hall in the Builder category.

He will be formally inducted at the USL Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, just two days after his Lions select 10 new players from among active MLS rosters in the Expansion Draft.

“I’m proud to be a part of the growth and development of USL PRO,” said Rawlins. “It’s an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as USL PRO was an important part of our Club’s history.”

Continue reading Rawlins Elected to USL Hall of Fame

Report: MLS Playoffs to Expand to 12 Teams

Not that it’ll be easy, but Orlando City’s route to the playoffs may have just gotten a teeny bit less difficult. According to a Sports Illustrated report, MLS is going to increase the number of playoff teams in 2015 from the current 10 to 12. The number of knockout games will grow from two to four, according to the report.

Starting next season, the third-place team in each conference will host the sixth seed in one single-elimination game while No. 4 hosts No. 5 in the other. The four conference semifinalists then will be reseeded to ensure the first-place finisher faces off against the lowest-ranked knockout round survivor. The bracket will look like the one used in the NFL since 1990.

Continue reading Report: MLS Playoffs to Expand to 12 Teams

Orlando City Fans Have Plenty to be Thankful for

First of all, we at The Mane Land would like to wish our readers a very happy Thanksgiving. We’re pretty sure the pilgrims accidentally invented soccer when some oaf accidentally knocked the turkey onto the floor and then kicked it when he bent over to try to pick it up. This, of course, led to a diving save by a Native American, who kept the turkey from rolling into the fireplace.

The world’s most popular sport was born.

In addition to all of the usual things in your personal life, there are many things to be thankful for as an Orlando City fan this year, and there have never been more. With that in mind, we thought we’d give you a reminder of the top things Lions fans should be thankful for as we near the end of 2014.

Continue reading Orlando City Fans Have Plenty to be Thankful for

Update on Orlando City’s Soccer Stadium

Orlando City broke ground on its new soccer stadium on Oct. 16. It’s been a little over a month since the ceremonial scoops of purple sand kicked off the construction of the new home of the Lions, which I’ve decided to call “Roarsville” for the time being, and possibly in perpetuity.

Yesterday, the club issued a progress report on the downtown stadium, as well as the ongoing community outreach taking place as the edifice is constructed.

Continue reading Update on Orlando City’s Soccer Stadium

A ‘Status Update’ From The Mane Land

Two months and one day ago I launched a free WordPress blog to talk about Orlando City SC. I fired up a quick Twitter account and Facebook page to go with it and put up about a story per day for the last week of September. The site got an average of five page views per day. I wasn’t sure where it was going, but I knew I wanted to create a place where enthusiastic contributors provided daily offerings that Orlando City fans might want to consume.

Now, as we prepare for our move to the SB Nation network, the site is finding its audience despite the fact that the club is months away from its first MLS game and hasn’t even compiled a complete roster yet. Sure, there have been some big events, such as the stadium groundbreaking and the 2015 uniform unveiling, but many days we’ve battled to create content that we think Orlando City fans in particular, and soccer fans in general, will find engaging and interesting.

Continue reading A ‘Status Update’ From The Mane Land