Written by Will Parchman

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Since taking over as the first U19 MNT coach in history in early 2015, Brad Friedel’s training camps have been a virtual turnstile for new faces. Among all the YNT coaches in the system, Friedel’s arguably been the most egalitarian with his rosters, and there seems to be at least four or five first-time call-ups at each camp.

There is a reason for that.

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Written by Will Parchman

gallardo

However Orlando City is doing what it’s doing, its academy structure is certainly making one heck of a dent on the American soccer landscape.

Orlando City is a relative newcomer in a multitude of ways, and it only recently joined the Development Academy in concert with its addition to MLS two years ago. It quickly sent up a flare to the rest of the country when the club added Pierre da Silva to its U18 DA team and then promptly signed him to a Orlando City B contract. Da Silva, who’s firmly in the USYNT pool and has played at most every age level, clocked more than 1,600 USL minutes in 2016 and provided Jason Kreis likes what he sees, should make his debut at some point in 2017.

In the meantime, Orlando City might’ve recently secured the services of another da Silva. Because fellow USYNT attacker Joe Gallardo recently surfaced with the club’s U18 side.

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Written by Will Parchman

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In reality, the great Yellow Wall is a bit of a misnomer. Its name implies a sort of barrier, a bulwark against an advancing horde that would shut them out from the fleshy business of everyday life in a population center. Walls are defensive structures, built at their core for the business of shielding.

Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall is not an imagining of defensive engineering. It is a weapon. And it is perhaps the greatest monument to fan culture in all of Europe.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Orlando City’s bareknuckle fight to get a new stadium inside the Orlando city limits has been… bloody. The financials and political wrangling involved is mind-bending, so it’s worth looking over Elliott Turner’s excellent summation for Vice here.

Jumping in without a primer on all this is a bit like watching the second half of The Departed and trying to puzzle out what you’re watching. You may get there (you won’t get there), but black holes abound.

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Written by Will Parchman

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With all the hoopla around young Tommy Redding, it can be easy to forget that Tyler Turner is still a highly prized defensive prospect for youth-focused Orlando City.

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Written by Travis Clark

On Sunday night, Orlando City SC waxed the 2015 MLS Champions Portland Timbers 4-1.

The key factor in Orlando’s dominance?

Kaka’s first appearance of the season.

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Written by Will Parchman

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The Brazilian parade through Disneyworld continues apace. Julio Baptista just signed for Orlando City.

Of course, Baptista is a European vagabond, having played for Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Roma and Malaga in 10 years abroad between stints in his native Brazil. He also has 47 caps for Brazil and played in the 2010 World Cup for maligned manager Dunga.

Why is that important? Because Dunga played a blunt, regressive style of soccer, and Julio Baptista, who seemed to fit that mold, is a monstrous man the size of a building (his nickname is THE BEAST) who occasionally does fun things in the final third. He hasn’t played for Brazil since Dunga’s departure.

In any case, he’s an MLS man now at the age of 34, and he joined former teammate Kaka in training with Orlando City for the first time this week. And holy crap is Julio Baptista TERRIFYING.

Look at this from practice. Look at this all ye men and be afeared for thy future.

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Written by Will Parchman

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When Orlando City and NYCFC kick off the MLS season in Orlando on March 8, it’ll represent a unique crossroads in the expansion era of MLS 2.0 and beyond. If we omit the Houston-San Jose movement saga of the mid-aughts in this study (for myriad reasons), MLS expanded by eight between the Florida contraction era and the 2014 season. Those eight are split neatly down the middle: those teams that existed previously as lower division franchises, and those that did not.

In this case, Philadelphia, Toronto FC, Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake were hacked out of fresh rock, while Seattle, Vancouver, Montreal and Portland received top flight facelifts. Orlando City and NYCFC are arrayed on opposite ends of this divide. While Orlando City has previously established fan support, community backing and history, NYCFC is approaching MLS from a fresh-blooded, moneyed trajectory.

What does that mean for the future of MLS’s two newest franchises, historically? As you can imagine, history is not on NYCFC’s side.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Kaka’s Orlando City career is technically like two weeks old, considering MLS preseason is only barely just underway. But it’s off to a flying start. Kaka scored a penalty and assisted on another goal in a dominant 4-0 win over FC Dallas in a closed-door scrimmage. Perhaps the best news for OC fans? Kaka didn’t injure himself already. Count your blessings.

But Kaka’s best moment from his maiden MLS voyage weren’t his moments on the scoresheet. It was this 16th century-style public shaming of FC Dallas midfielder Kyle Bekker.

Do we… do we send Bekker’s family flowers in loving memory?

Kaka is one of just four Balon D’Or winners still playing professional soccer somewhere on earth. Considering Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will ping-pong back and forth on the award until they’re 40, it might stay that way for a while, too. So enjoy, MLS. Kaka is going to do some silly things this season.

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Written by Will Parchman

There was reason to be excited about the Canadian U20 team entering CONCACAF qualifying. In fact, there were multiple reasons. The team was littered with professionals, and the attack, studded with the Whitecaps’ Marco Bustos and QPR’s Michael Petrasso, looked on paper like one of the best in the entire tournament.

Well. It wasn’t. Canada lost four of its five games in Group B, finished above only Haiti (and it was by a measly goal on differential) and limped home without even sniffing the playoff for World Cup qualification.

It looked for a time like they’d bump off Honduras in the group finale on Thursday to spirit away some level of positivity before retreating north. Canada held a 2-1 lead in the second half when Honduras exploded for a pair of late goals to take all three points. The match-winner was this turn-and-burn from Bryan Rochez, who just signed a Designated Player contract with Orlando City as a 20-year-old. Meanwhile, new teammate and strike partner (or adversary) Cyle Larin, who went No. 1 overall in this year’s MLS draft, came off the bench for Canada and only played five minutes. Let the games begin.

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