I hate being negative and I want to jump on every positive opportunity in the world, but man this just does not excite me.
Orlando City are hosting Arsenal FC for a summer friendly and I hate it.
First off, if you're excited to see a Premier League team or you're an Arsenal fan, then this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I'm excited for you. If that's you, click off this article and vibe your vibes.
I am not an Arsenal fan and don't really care about the Premier League, so I only see this matchup as a cash grab sideshow. Big preseason friendlies from big European clubs are an immediate turnoff for me. These games don't matter and feature largely rotated lineups anyway. They're one part preseason tuneup and one part marketing campaign to build the international brand, and I'm not about that.
But more importantly, this could have a direct negative effect on Orlando City's season.
The Arsenal game is scheduled for July 20, right in the heart of the busiest part of Orlando's schedule. The Lions will now have to play four games in an 11 day stretch, including a massive, nationally televised road game against rivals Atlanta United and a home match against current Supporter's Shield favorites the Philadelphia Union.
Adding another match in this key stretch, a match that does nothing except add risk and make some extra money, is a bold move and one that I very much do not care for. It seems to devalue the importance of the actual season and of MLS. If the league season isn't more important than a summer friendly with a preseason Arsenal, then we have big issues and that sucks.
If I'm Oscar Pareja, I'm playing all reserves in that game. Throw Jack Lynn, Wilfredo Rivera, Thomas Williams and company out there because this game does not matter. I respect that it's a cool commercial opportunity, but that should never outweigh serious competitive pursuits, and right now, it very well could.