How are you, Mane Landers? If you watched the game last night, it was probably a rough morning. All we can do is breathe, shake and look forward to Orlando’s home game on Sunday. I’ve been pretty busy this week, so I’m glad it’s already Thursday at least. Let’s dive straight into today’s ties of the world of football.

The city of Orlando crushed in Fort Lauderdale

The Lions went on the road and fell on hard times in a crucial game against Inter Miami. The Herons struck early and Orlando lost 4-1 in a loss that included a rotating formation, poor defense and a lack of scoring chances. What’s worse is that central defender Antonio Carlos received a yellow card and will not be able to play Orlando’s game on Sunday against the Columbus Crew.

The good news is that Orlando still controls his own destiny. A win over the Crew at Exploria Stadium on Sunday would book Orlando a ticket to the playoffs. However, a draw won’t be enough unless FC Cincinnati go down DC United. The objective is at least clear for the Lions on Sunday: to win.

Orlando City and Orlando Pride are hiring executives

New faces join Orlando City SC front office as Kelly Hyne has been hired as senior vice president of brand alliances and Chris Kamke will be chief strategy officer. Hyne has over two decades of experience with the Ladies Professional Golf Association and will be responsible for adding new partners to the club’s network. Kamke will lead Orlando’s efforts to expand and increase the number of projects to generate revenue and he brings a wealth of experience from his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the club.

“Just over a year ago, when the Wilf family purchased our clubs, they were immediately committed to building a world-class organization on and off the pitch. To do that, we need to recruit, develop and retain world-class talent,” said Jarrod Dillon, president of business operations for Orlando City and Orlando Pride. “Adding two respected industry leaders in Chris Kamke and Kelly Hyne, as well as a number of recent promotions and investments in new positions, we have taken massive steps to build a world-class management team and front office.”

England will be a tough test for the USWNT

The United States Women’s National Team is in Europe this week for two friendlies. The premiere will take place tomorrow as USWNT take on England, which currently sits fourth in the FIFA World Rankings. Since Sarina Wiegman’s appointment as manager in August 2020, England have been unbeaten in 24 matches and won the Euros last summer. The Houston Dash‘s Ebony Salmon stands alone NWSL player on England’s 24-man roster and could spearhead an attack that also includes Beth Mead, Fran Kirby and Lauren Hemp. England also have a formidable back line with defenders such as Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright and Rachel Daly. In the middle of the field, Manchester CityKeira Walsh is the drinking straw for the Lionesses and the USWNT will have to find a way to disrupt any momentum she can create.

Investigation into abuse fallout continues

The Portland Woods and Thorns announced that they had relieved Football Chairman Gavin Wilkinson and Business Chairman Mike Golub of their duties for both clubs following the findings of an investigation into systemic abuse in women’s football. You’ll have to bypass the paywall for all the details, but Athleticism tweeted that Wilkinson signed a contract extension earlier this year that included morality clauses.

During this time, the Chicago Red Stars the board reportedly elected owner Arnim Whisler as chairman.

James O’Connor, former head coach of Orlando City and current president of Racing Louisville FC issued a statement in response to the club’s decision to sign Christy Holly, who has sexual assault allegations against him. The inquest also revealed that Sky Blue executive Mary Smoot was shocked that O’Connor told the media he had received a “raving review” of Holly from Sky Blue. During the USL Championship game between Louisville City and Detroit City, fans staged a silent protest.

The stars shine in the Champions League

Some Europe’s biggest names have made an impact in the last matches of the Champions League. Erling Haaland scored a brace as Manchester City cruised to a 5-0 home win against Copenhagen. Angel Di Maria completed a trio of assists in Juventus‘ 3-1 victory against Maccabi Haifa. After goals from Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior in the first half, real Madrid held on for a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Lionel Messi gave Paris Saint-Germain a lead but Benfica salvaged a 1-1 draw. Christopher Nkunku netted a first-half goal and Andre Silva netted twice in the second to lift RB Leipzig to a 3-1 victory over Celtic. Christian Pulisic remained on the bench as Chelsea won 3-0 against Sergino Dest and AC Milan.

Free kicks
  • Orlando City, Orlando Pride and the Orlando City Foundation are partnering with Special Olympics Florida to support its Race for Inclusion event.
  • Charlotte FC’s playoff push has come to an end despite a valiant effort to recover from a two-goal deficit to a 2-2 draw against the Crew. The game also features a Goal of the Year candidate. Lucas Zelarayan is a notorious free-kick specialist, but that’s kind of ridiculous.

Ukraine has been added to the joint offer of Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup in 2030. Although it is not clear how many matches would be played in Ukraine, the distance between matches there and on the Iberian Peninsula would not be too different from the World Cup distances 2026 in North America.

That’s all I have for you today. Hope you all have a great Thursday!