After a thrilling weekend, the final two teams in the race to the MLS Cup have been decided. This Sunday the LA Galaxy will play host to the New England Revolution in a game that will crown the new MLS Cup champion and conclude the 2014 season.
Fortunately for Major League Soccer (and all us writers), this past weekend has been full of compelling storylines and captivating narratives that we all get to talk about. It has also set the stage for an exciting final, chock full of stories of its own to explore.
For me, this has been one of the most entertaining playoff races in quite some time and, as a neutral, I found myself discovering more and more reasons to pull for each of the four teams. Although two of the four teams have been eliminated, there are still plenty of questions left to be answered and many story arcs left to be resolved. Here are some of my favorite talking points that have developed from these Conference Finals. Continue reading MLS Playoff Weekend: Exploring the Conference Finals
Orlando City takes the field in MLS in 2015 and, over time, a team will emerge that will infuriate our fan base and become the most hated team in all the land. Rivalries are forged over time, owing to on-field incidents, displays of poor sportsmanship, injuries or some other unexpected flashpoint.
Whether through a nasty challenge leading to a red card, a team-vs.-team brawl, or some other unforeseen event, Orlando City will develop a hated rival—some team that our fans will come to detest above all others. Which team that might be—and it’s possible that team isn’t even in MLS as of yet—remains to be seen. But why wait? Let’s talk about the top candidates before a single ball has even been kicked, because it’s fun and that’s all we can do at this point.
There are multiple reasons why New York City FC might become the most hated team among Lions fans. First of all, they’re from New York. Everyone outside of the greater New York area tends to detest New York teams. Call it a media bias toward the East Coast, the New York market itself, or a city-to-city inferiority complex, other towns tend to resent New York. This alone could build animosity.
Continue reading Top Five Candidates to Become Orlando’s MLS Rival
It was a quiet weekend for Orlando City news. The club held its Play Bingo Ladies Luncheon, presented by Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, on Saturday at the Rosen Plaza Hotel—providing a day of bingo, champagne, mimosas and prizes from Tiffany’s for those in attendance.
The Orlando City Foundation is doing good work in the Orlando area, making the world a better place for the children of Central Florida.
In other news, Tommy Redding and Tyler Turner left to join the U.S. U-20 team on its trip to Spain, in preparation for U-20 FIFA World Cup qualifying in January 2015. The U-20 team will compete in three matches in Marbella while overseas. The U.S. will take on Russia (U-21), the Republic of Ireland and Canada.
Continue reading The Weekend in Soccer…(11/10/14)
I’ve always enjoyed the pageantry of the home and away playoff format. The first week is cautious, guarded, conservative. The visiting team often playing for a tie from the opening whistle. The hosts, wanting to win, but knowing that conceding even a single goal could doom their chances from the start.
The second leg flips that all on it’s head. It’s frantic. It’s do or die. There’s no ambiguity on what result is needed. Restraint is gone in favor of the relentless pursuit of the result that the team needs to advance. And that’s why this may well be one of the most exciting weekends of the year in MLS.
We’ve put together a preview with our predictions for the matches here, but by all means, check out SB Nation’s awesome MLS Cup Playoffs Guide as well. Continue reading MLS Playoffs Week 2: What to Watch For
This is the sixth part of a series in which we introduce Orlando City fans to the teams our Lions will be facing in 2015 when the team starts play in Major League Soccer. Today we take a look at the New England Revolution.
Telling us about the Revs is Steve Stoehr, regiment commander at SB Nation’s New England Revolution blog, The Bent Musket.
What are the three most important things Orlando City fans need to know about the Revs?
Steve Stoehr: First of all you have to understand that this fanbase is defensive. We know we’ve been largely left behind by MLS, and that our owners look like (and maybe are, depending on who you ask) the least-interested and least-invested owners in the league, but we hate to be reminded of it. Most of us drive at least an hour and brave horrific traffic just to congregate in the armpit of nowhere to watch home games, and we won’t have our commitment and our club denigrated, not with all that we put into it.
Secondly, this is a young team, and that shows in both good and bad ways. Even with the veteran leadership of guys like Jermaine Jones, Jose Goncalves, and Andy Dorman, Jay Heaps still routinely runs out one of the youngest lineups around. That means that the Revs have players who perform with no fear; they’re offense-minded, crafty, unpredictable, and dangerous. They can be absolutely impossible to hang with. On the other hand, they’re young, and in the mental aspect of the game, that can be detrimental. They lose focus, they occasionally respond poorly to adversity, and they put themselves in poor situations, even in games where they should lock down a win. It also makes them streaky, which you can see just from the results map of this season.
Continue reading Meet Our New Foes: New England Revolution