Russell Athletic Bowl Kicks Off Tonight

russell athletic bowl

I get to take a step away from the Theme Parks tonight as Orlando Bowl Week kicks off at the Russell Athletic Bowl, played at the Florida Citrus Bowl, where the Virginia Tech Hokies will be facing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

The Russell Athletic and Capital One Bowls bring thousands of visitors to explore the City Beautiful, and offer local fans a way to watch their favorite team or conference play.

Players from both teams have spent the week practicing, visiting the kids at Give Kids the World Village, exploring Walt Disney World, and getting ready for their final game of 2012 season.

Kick-off for the Scarlet Knights and Hokies is at 5:30 pm, and it is sure to be great game.

While this is the 15th time that Rutgers and Virginia Tech have faced each other, the Hokies lead the series 11-3, they haven’t met since the Hokies left the Big East in 2004.

Beamerball returns to Florida, as the Virginia Tech Hokies make their 10th Bowl appearance in the state and their first in the Russell Athletic Bowl. It has been a disappointing 6-6 season full of injuries, but Virginia Tech looks to win tonight to avoid their first losing season since 1992 and to take the focus off of the coaching staff questions and back on the team.

Meanwhile the Scarlet Knights have had quite a different season than the Hokies. Kyle Flood, in his first season as Head Coach at Rutgers, led them in a successful 9-3 season to their first Big East Championship. A win tonight against the Virginia Tech Hokies would give the Scarlet Knights their best season since 2006 with a 6th straight bowl win.

With both teams having offensive struggles and inconsistencies at times, this game is going to come down to how well the defenses will be able to perform. While the Hokie in me is hoping that they’ll be able to dig down deep to pull out a win, I am realistic about their chances against Rutgers whose defense ranks in the top 25 nationally in four major defensive statistical categories. I am sure that both teams will try to establish a strong running game to offset a weak offense, force turnovers from defenses that are proven scorers, and hope for special teams gold. It is going to be a close game that you won’t want to miss.

If you can’t make it to the Russell Athletic Bowl tonight, make sure you tune at 5:30 pm to ESPN and follow along on our adventure @onthegoinmco!

 

 

 

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Orlando City Faces Italian Superclub AS Roma

OrlandoCitySocer

 

Orlando City Faces Italian Superclub AS Roma

Italian giant to play in front of sellout at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla.

Orlando City kicks off the 2013 season with an exhibition match against three-time Serie A Champion A.S. Roma on Wednesday, January 2, at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla. The game, which was announced only a few weeks ago at City’s second annual fan forum, gives soccer fans in Central Florida a chance to see top-level talent play against their favorite hometown team.

“It’s obviously a fixture we’re incredibly looking forward to,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We realize we’re playing one of the biggest clubs in the world. We know it’s going to be extremely difficult, but we just want to give a good account of ourselves.”

Orlando City

Roma, who competes at the top of the Italian football league in Serie A competition, have won three Serie A championships with the most recent title coming in the 2000-01 season. The club participates in the same league as soccer-super giants like A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. The team, which has USA national team star Michael Bradley on its squad, currently sits in 6th place in the Serie A table with a record of 10-2-6.

A.S. Roma recently agreed to a multiple-year sponsorship deal with Disney and their Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., with this the first trip to Orlando during their Winter break. Team officials agreed to hold a match before Roma’s flight later in the evening, with all ticket proceeds going toward the Orlando City Soccer Foundation. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit, the Foundation promotes exercise and healthy eating to the children and families in the Central Florida area and has done recent work in the Parramore area at the New Image Youth Center.

The Lions will be playing with a modified roster, fielding six-eight players from the 2012 regular season championship squad along with trialists brought on by Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath and Assistant Head Coach/Midfielder Ian Fuller. The preseason matches, Heath says, are a great opportunity to evaluate new talent.

“It’s given us an opportunity to invite one or two college graduates and see what they can do,” Heath said. “It’s something we can look forward to.”

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is a premier professional soccer sports franchise in the United States and is a member of the USL PRO. The Lion’s pro team has won two regular season titles and one postseason championship during their short time in Orlando. Outside of the pro squad, OCSC also has their own youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U23s team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs,visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com and www.orlandocityyouth.org.

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