It isn’t always the score at the end of the match that matters, and Orlando City proved that with its recent friendly to benefit those affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico.
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Orlando City faced off with the Puerto Rico national team on Nov. 4, which the Lions won 6-1, but it was the club’s humanitarian efforts that proved to be the real story from the event.
The club announced that it raised $327,530 from the match, with all proceeds from the event going directly to the Puerto Rican people.
“I’m very proud of what our Club and our partners were able to accomplish,” Orlando City SC owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said in a team statement. “What we did meant more than just raising funds for Puerto Rico. Once again, we came together as a community to rally behind something bigger than us all.”
Cyle Larin wants to go to Europe, according to The Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo.
The Canadian striker, 22, is coming off a rough season off-the-field but buried 12 goals in 28 games to give him 43 in his first three MLS seasons.
The former No. 1 SuperDraft pick was arrested for DUI this season, but has been linked to clubs like Leeds United in the last couple months.
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There’s a legitimate chance that Larin would break the outgoing MLS transfer record set by Jozy Altidore‘s $8 million move to Villarreal in 2008. Matt Miazga, Maurice Edu, Stern John, and Giancarlo Gonzalez round out the Top Five.
As for Larin, his thoughts are fairly clear-cut according to DelGallo:
“I think I’m at the right place to go play in Europe and it’s the right time,” Larin said in an exclusive interview with the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday. “I think I’ll benefit. I have personal goals and dreams and I want to go to Europe and play. I think it’s the right time.”
Larin says the timing is right, with his contract ending this season. His general manager at Orlando, Niki Budalic, says there’s been no offer since the transfer window closed in September, and that they’d sell if they received an acceptable offer.
One of those is certainly coming, according to Larin’s agent:
“The offers that came are offers that typically aren’t a regular occurrence in MLS,” Smyrniotis said. “That alone makes them something very interesting for all parties. At the time, it was more important for Orlando to keep Cyle, they were trying to make the playoffs.”
This one will happen, and it’ll be interesting to see how the 6-foot-2 striker fares overseas.
Injuries have hurt his time on the pitch since joining MLS, and it appears Kaka’s time in the United States will end very soon.
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The Brazilian announced on Wednesday that he won’t renew his contract with Orlando City SC, which ends at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
“As you all know, my contract with Orlando City ends this year. My final decision is not to renew,” Kaka said.
“I will honor this jersey ’til the end as always,” he continued.
Kaka, 35, joined the Lions in 2014 prior to the club’s official start in MLS, after making a name for himself with the likes of Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Since coming to the Eastern Conference side, Kaka has netted 23 goals in all competitions, but only managed four this season in 15 matches after battling numerous injuries.
It is unclear whether or not the Brazilian will continue his playing career beyond 2017, but if he does, it almost certainly won’t be in MLS.
Jason Kreis is not a fan of Major League Soccer’s decision to only fine FC Dallas, and not declare their scoreless draw with Orlando City SC a forfeit.
During Kreis’ media availability on Monday, the Orlando City boss lashed out at the league, saying its decision to just fine FC Dallas $100,000 in allocation money was “embarrassing.” MLS fined FC Dallas $75,000 in General Allocation Money and $25,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
The controversy surrounds FC Dallas’ decision to move Michael Barrios out of its starting lineup and bring in Tesho Akindele after the lineups had been announced. Barrios, who arguably should have been ineligible because he had been “subbed out”, then substituted in for Maxi Urruti in the 84th minute.
MLS does not have rules on its books for starting lineups and potential violations.
“FIFA delegates management of roster rules and sanctions for violations to the respective leagues throughout the world,” read the last sentence of MLS’ press release on the FC Dallas fine. “There is no international rule for changes to a match day roster.”
In the past, situations such as this in FIFA competitions would have likely resulted in a forfeit for the team playing the ineligible player. But MLS decided to blame it on referee error for allowing it not change the final outcome.
By keeping the result as it is, Orlando City was mathematically eliminated from MLS playoff contention while FC Dallas remained one point ahead of Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes, who both have 42 points and sit outside the playoff places. FC Dallas currently occupies the sixth and final playoff spot with 43 points.
Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke also said “this was a clear-cut violation” and expressed his shock that it wasn’t forfeited.
FC Dallas broke an MLS rule, one that could’ve cost it a playoff spot.
As dramatic as it sounds, the MLS guidebook says that FCD could’ve forfeited the point garnered in a draw vs. Orlando City after using an improper player.
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Michael Barrios was removed from the Starting XI after the lineup was submitted to officials, which does not allow him to sub into the match according to league rules. The idea would be that a team could gain a tactical advantage by flipping the script. Fair play.
Barrios entered for the final six minutes of last week’s scoreless draw with Orlando, but MLS has decided not to award a forfeit because Dallas’ error was complicated by the referee crew allowing Barrios to sit on the bench as a substitute.
A stripped point would’ve dropped Dallas, a preseason favorite, two points behind Houston and a point behind Real Salt Lake and San Jose in the race for the West’s final playoff spot.
And two points more for Orlando would boost it ahead of Montreal, Philadelphia, and New England, being just a pair of points behind New York Red Bulls for the East’s final playoff spot.
Instead, MLS will fine Dallas $75,000 in General Allocation Money and $25,000 cash for its mistake.
Here’s FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio, the man who’s been all over this story, with the explanation.