Orlando Receives Four Players On Loan From MLS’ Sporting KC

OCKS

Orlando Receives Four Players On Loan From MLS’ Sporting KC

Players include 2012 SuperDraft first rounder, two homegrown Kansas City products

ORLANDO, Fla.—Orlando City SC, in cooperation with Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Sporting Kansas City, announced Thursday that four players from Sporting will join the Lions on permanent loan for the 2013 USL PRO season. The players, who will compete for starting roles immediately, include Forward Dom Dwyer, Midfielder Christian Duke, Defender Yann Songo’o and Goalkeeper Joe Kempin. They will be available for play in Orlando’s upcoming collegiate friendlies and the second leg of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer against the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies on March 30.

“We are bringing players in who all want to be on the first team,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We think that they are going to come in and immediately compete. It’s game on for everybody.“

The four Kansas City products will be on loan for the 2013 season, but can be recalled at any time for Sporting KC responsibilities throughout the year. The players coming to Orlando results from a partnership completed in January of 2013, with the Lions becoming the official USL PRO affiliate of Sporting KC for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

2012 MLS SuperDraft first round selection and Sporting’s No. 16 pick Dom Dwyer enhances the Orlando City frontline for the 2013 season. The striker played in nine Reserve League matches last year, scoring two goals for Kansas City. Dwyer’s first competitive minutes were in the club’s 3-2 win over the Lions in the 2012 version of the U.S. Open Cup. The Chuckfield, England, native spent time collegiately at the University of South Florida (USF), leading the Bulls with 16 goals and two assists in 21 games played.

Sporting KC Academy product and Midfielder Christian Duke adds to the already competitive midfield group that Orlando City currently fields. The Overland Park, KS, native has been a part of the Sporting KC Academy since June of 2007, attending Shawnee Mission South High School at the same time. Duke then attended the University of San Diego Toreros, becoming a consistent starter for the team. As a senior in 2012, the midfielder started all 23 matches for San Diego, earning All-West Coast Conference Second Team honors while leading the team to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Another Kansas City home grown product joins the Lions in 2013, with Goalkeeper Jon Kempin to fill the backup slot to Miguel Gallardo. Kempin was Sporting’s first-ever home grown Player signing back in 2010, making his professional debut the same season as backup to starter Eric Kronberg. Kempin, similar to Dwyer, played in the 3-2 U.S. Open Cup match win over Orlando City last season. The goalkeeper is an active member of the Under-20 and Under-23 National Team pools, being named to the 20-player roster for U20 training camp in Puebla, Mexico in January 2013.

The final addition to the 2013 squad includes Defender Yann Songo’o. Son of Cameroon National Team Goalkeeper Jacques Songo’o and brother to Portland Timbers Midfielder Frank Songo’o, Yann was signed to the Sporting side this past December. Songo’o represented Cameroon at the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa, helping his country reach the final and qualify for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Orlando continues preseason play against Florida Gulf Coast this Saturday, March 16, at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Admission is free to the complex for the friendly. For more information on everything Orlando City, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

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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City Re-Signs League MVP Kevin Molino

Orlando City Soccer

City Re-Signs League MVP Kevin Molino

Molino joins squad one month before home opener on April 14 at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl

Orlando, Fla.–Orlando City announced Wednesday the re-signing of 2012 USL PRO MVP Kevin Molino, pending USSF approval. The signing comes just over a month before Orlando’s regular-season home opener on April 14th against the Rochester Rhinos, solidifying the squad as the Lions continue their 2013 preseason throughout the month of March.

“There’s no place better than home, so to speak,” said Molino. “This is the first place I played outside of Trinidad and I look forward to scoring more goals and hopefully winning MVP honors in 2013.”

Kevin Molino rejoins the Lions after an outstanding season on the field for Orlando. The Trinidad and Tobago international star claimed the 2012 USL PRO MVP honors after completing a year that saw Molino lead Orlando to a 50-goal season, an average of more than two per game. He finished the season with seven assists and three goals, but more importantly stretched opponent’s defenses to create more opportunities for the Lions frontline.

The midfielder began his career in Trinidad and Tobago, with the 22 year old representing his national team a total of 13 times in his young career. A key figure for Orlando since the team’s beginning in 2011, Molino has totaled more than 2,000 minutes in 44 games played for City over the span of two regular seasons. Molino tested the free agency waters over the 2013 preseason, spending time in Europe with PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands and Zulte Waregem of Belgium along with scoring a goal for Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Cup against the Dominican Republic on December 11.

The winger will immediately add to the already strong 2013 Orlando City side that Heath has called “his best team yet” in Orlando. On top of the Molino signing, the Lions have added Jean Alexandre, Bryan Burke, Freddie Braun, Brian Fekete and Jonathan Mendoza all within the last month, bringing the roster to a total of 18. Orlando is also expecting to bring on four Sporting Kansas City (MLS) players before the 2013 season start as per an agreement between the two clubs reached earlier in the year.

Acquisition: Orlando City (USLPRO) signs Kevin Molino

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DRIP offers special MegaCon events March 13-16

DRIP offers special MegaCon events March 13-16

COSTUMES!  CAPES!  LOTS of SPLAT! and POW!
ORLANDO, Fla.  – What’s cooler than an original copy of Action Comics No. 1?
How about special comic and sci-fi themed events at DRIP? It’s happening Wednesday, March 13 – Saturday, March 16 to coincide with MegaCon.

This will be a fanboys dream, complete with:
  • Performers in special comic-inspired costumes
  • Comic and sci-fi inspired artwork
  • Interactive video game station
  • Comic & sci-fi balloon artist Bruce Carr
  • Body painting
  • Giveaways and surprises!
As with all DRIP events, people are strongly urged to dress down (jeans, t-shirts, sneakers) as colored sand, paint and other media fly with abandon. Guests are welcome to wear costumes and for those who do, ponchos will be available.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Wednesday, March 13: Comic & Sci-fi inspired art show from 8 pm – midnight. Comic exchange at 11 pm. $5 cover for people who bring a wrapped comic; $10 for all others. Ages 18+.
Thursday, March 14: DRIP shows at 8 pm and 11 pm; ages 18+.
Friday, March 15: DRIP shows at 8 pm and 11 pm; ages 21+.
Saturday, March 16: DRIP shows at 8 pm and 11 pm; ages 21+.
Each night will feature an after-party from midnight to 2 am with NO COVER. The first 20 people at each event will receive a limited edition DRIP trading card.

DRIP tickets cost $35 and are available at www.ILoveDRIP.com.

 

DRIP is located at 8747 International Drive, behind Denny’s and Señor Frogs.

Map and directions

 

About DRIP

DRIP is an arts entertainment company that combines performing and visual arts to create full sensory environments that excite and move audiences. Riff LLC is the parent company of DRIP, and Jessica Mariko serves as CEO of Riff and CEO and Creative Director of DRIP. Since its inception in 2006, DRIP has performed at the Orlando International Fringe Festival, Orlando’s Red Chair Affair, ArtsFest, WrestleMania XXIV, Create Chaos Convention, Blank Space Art Lounge, the Tavistock Cup and several corporate events. In 2011, Riff LLC signed a lease for its first permanent venue on Orlando’s International Drive. For more information, please visit www.ILoveDRIP.com.

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Central Florida Home & Garden Show Giveaway

Central Florida Home & Garden Show

Central Florida Home & Garden Show Springs Into Action March 22-24

Featuring Jason Cameron, DIY Experts, Top Local Chefs and Home and Garden Solutions

 

One of the region’s most anticipated spring events will be here in no time:  the 2013 Central Florida Home & Garden Show, returning March 22-24 to the Orange County Convention Center in Hall South B in the Center’s South Concourse facing International Drive. The home improvement extravaganza is the premier place to find innovative products, new ideas, practical advice and great deals in remodeling, home improvement and gardening with hundreds of experts all under one roof. From windows and flooring to cabinets and landscaping, consumers can shop, compare and save on a wide variety of products and services to renew, refresh and restore their homes.

Central Florida Home & Garden Show

Show highlights include appearances by Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes; tips and advice from local and national home improvement experts appearing on the IKEA Home Stage throughout the weekend; demonstrations by some of the area’s favorite chefs on the Edible Orlando Cooking Stage; Hero Day on Friday only, offering free admission to retired or current members of the military and first responders; designer rooms with instant ideas to refresh and restyle; and a “fun-raiser” for Children’s Home Society of Florida; and more than 250 DIY, landscaping and home improvement experts offering a range of new products and services, including more than 100 exhibitors new to the market or making their Central Florida Home & Garden Show debut.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoxpfNLfVfM&feature=share&list=UUXVc9UOnBIQpe-WLbNWHUzQ

Marketplace Events, North America’s largest producer of home shows, including the Central Florida Home & Garden Show and fall Orlando Home Show, announced earlier this year that attendance at the first four home shows in the company’s annual portfolio realized an average attendance increase of 17 percent over the prior year, and that exhibit space and online advance ticket sales were also trending upward. “Our results so far this year, coupled with low interest rates and improving home sales, lead us to believe that more and more people are taking on home improvement projects that they have previously postponed,” said Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events. “Now more than ever, home shows are relevant to bring people with projects together with local businesses offering competitive pricing and promotions that even savvy shoppers might not find elsewhere.”

“Our shows offer something for everyone,” added Cristian Moore, show manager for Marketplace Events. “Whether they have a specific project in mind or simply want to enjoy a fun day out, local residents and visitors can refresh their space, reinvent their décor and restyle their lives at our show.”

Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes shares his passion for architecture and the wood shop, along with tips, advice and behind-the-scenes stories during his appearances on the IKEA Home Stage on Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 12 noon and 5 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. (subject to change without notice).

Guests can enjoy mouth-watering demonstrations and tasty samples prepared by some of the area’s favorite chefs and culinary pros on the Edible Orlando Cooking Stage. Scheduled to demonstrate their signature recipes and dispense advice throughout the weekend are James and Julie Petrakis of the The Ravenous Pig; Kevin Spencer of Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops at Hilton Orlando; Greg Picard, executive chef for Orlando World Center Marriott; Dun Chau of Sushi House Orlando; Danny Otera of Teak Neighborhood Grill, and chefs and experts from Whole Foods Market, New York Dinger and World of Beer. Gloria B, the bi-lingual host of KQ103 FM’s afternoon drive show, spices up the stage on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., Latino style!

Get answers to important DIY and home improvement, landscaping and home décor questions from more than 250 experts around the show floor and on the main stage throughout the weekend. Local favorites Harry P. Leu Gardens Director Robert Bowden and popular green thumb and Orlando Sentinel columnist Tom MacCubbin are among the presenters (visit www.CentralFloridaHomeAndGardenShow.com for a complete listing of presentations and times).

Other experts can help show-goers make their gardens a beautiful retreat. Belgard Hardscapes, Hoffner Landscape, Jan Clay Flowers, Lanai Hardscape Company, Pebble Junction, Pondtastic Water Gardens and Smithwell will be on site with ideas, tips and cash-and-carry items.

Speaking of items for cash-and-carry, guests can “raise the woof!” and show their furry housemates some love at the Pet Pavilion sponsored by Urban Pet Magazine and Stanley Steemer. Exhibitors range from emergency vet, boarding, training and pet rescue services to purveyors of fashion, treats and grooming for cats, dogs and other critters.

Other not-to-be-missed features and opportunities at the show include Hero Day on Friday only, offering free admission to retired or current members of the military and first responders with proper ID or in uniform; Friday Family Day, offering free admission to children ages 12 and under and family-fun activities on the show floor; Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Champions for Children™ Corner, where guests can spin the prize wheel, putt for prizes and bid on celebrity painted bird houses to support Florida’s most vulnerable kids; fantastic ice and fruit carving displays throughout the weekend by Laz of Wizard Connection; and designer rooms with instant ideas to refresh and restyle. Plus enter-to-win contests, prize drawings, and much more!

Show hours are Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m, and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Tickets are available at the door, and are $10 for adults 13+, $5 for seniors (60+, at the box office only), $5 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages five and under. Advance tickets can be purchased online for a $3 discount off full-price $10 admission at www.CentralFloridaHomeAndGardenShow.com, courtesy of TD Bank.

For more information, visit www.CentralFloridaHomeAndGardenShow.com , or call 877-871-SHOW (7469).  Connect on Facebook, Twitter (@FloridaHomeShow), Pinterest (pinterest.com/homeshows/) for up-to-the-minute show details, discounts and fabulous home improvement tips. Visit the show’s blog at www.HomeAndGardenBlog.com.

We are also offering you the chance to win 4 tickets to the Central Florida Home & Garden Show!

But wait, there’s more!  Your winner (and you) will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a meet and greet with our special celebrity guest, Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes  and VIP front row seats to his Saturday stage appearance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Opening Day of the Central Florida Home & Garden Show Friday, March 22 is FAMILY DAY, a celebration of all things home and family. In the midst of spring and Spring Break, now’s the time to bring the kid out in all of us. Join in special activities and gather tips for a family-friendly home.  Kids ages and 12 and under are FREE on Friday!

The Central Florida Home & Garden Show and its fall sister show, the Orlando Home Show (October 4-6, 2013) are both produced by Marketplace Events.

 

 

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Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – A Breath of Fresh Air

The second day of my trip to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, I got up and was excited to be heading back to Shutters for the character breakfast with Goofy and Donald. This breakfast is one of the best character meal values I’ve ever seen at under $18 for adults. It is family style usually, but since I wasn’t eating meat, I was permitted to order off the menu and got the pina colada pancakes with pineapple and rum sauce. Incredible!!!

 

Goofy's Beachfront Breakfast at Disney's Vero Beach Resort
Goofy’s Beachfront Breakfast
Goofy signing autographs
Goofy signing autographs
Goofy wanted to dance
Goofy wanted to dance
Then Goofy wanted a hug
Then Goofy wanted a hug
Donald
Donald
Autographs from Goofy and Donald
Autographs from Goofy and Donald
Ocean view from Shutters breakfast
Ocean view from Shutters breakfast
Fresh fruit
Fresh fruit
Pina colada pancakes
Pina colada pancakes
Pineapple and rum sauce
Pineapple and rum sauce

Shortly after breakfast, I heard from Shalon, who had asked if she could come visit for lunch since she had not been to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort before either. I told her no problem. We met up, and I showed her around before we had lunch at the Green Cabin Room, another casual restaurant and bar at the resort that is open for lunch and dinner. In the evening they also sometimes offer live entertainment in the form of musicians. We had a nice lunch, with me ordering a roma tomato, basil, roasted garlic and buffalo mozzarella flatbread, and Shalon got the oak-grilled breast of chicken  on crispy pretzel. We were both very happy with our selections. After lunch we decided to try out the miniature golf course since it looked like fun (and it was, until that six on the last hole) and it was such a great value. Shalon headed back home after a quick stop in the gift shop where we found out one of the CMs I had spoken to the evening before for almost an hour about the turtles, turned out to be our friend Matt’s mom. It is indeed a small world after all.

Tomato flatbread
Tomato flatbread
Chicken on pretzel
Chicken on pretzel

Playing hostess, even for just a few hours, can really take it out of a girl. Bed called, but not before I called down to the spa to see if there was a pedicure appointment available. Luckily, there was for late afternoon, which would still allow me some more reading time before my dinner reservation at Sonya’s, the more upscale restaurant at Vero Beach. This trip really was shaping up to be the ultimate in R&R. If only I had been able to splurge even more on the massage, but there’s always next time. The pedicure was great and again, with an ocean view from the spa, and phenomenal service.

The Spa Menu
The Spa Menu
There's even an ocean view from the Spa
There’s even an ocean view from the Spa
Getting my pedicure
Getting my pedicure
Pedicure
Pedicure

Sonya’s vegetarian trio, along with the spectacular service and the triple chocolate dessert made the evening even more magical. I finished earlier than I expected, so I again was able to go back to my room to read for an hour or so before the campfire. Although very different, I would say both nights’ singalongs were equally enjoyable. I even saw the couple from New Jersey from the night before, as well as some other guests from Orlando that I enjoyed speaking to earlier in the trip. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort very much has the feel of a family resort that guests return to year after year and the CMs get to see the families grow up over time. I loved this feeling of kinship and recognition. Even though I was only at the resort for a couple of days, I was remembered and called by name from the restaurant staff at Shutters to the recreation cast. It was really a nice feeling that I don’t typically experience at most WDW resorts just due to the sheer size and turnover of the resorts.

Entrance to Sonya's
Entrance to Sonya’s
Sonya's
Sonya’s
Dinner table at Sonya's
Dinner table at Sonya’s
Apple sorbet
Apple sorbet
Bread and olive oil
Bread and olive oil
Vegetarian trio
Vegetarian trio
Cheese trio
Cheese trio
Triple Chocolate Semifreddo
Triple Chocolate Semifreddo

On my last evening at Vero Beach, upon returning to my room, I found my favorite movie of all time, Casablanca, on Turner Classic Movies and felt compelled to watch the rest of the film as a great ending to the night. I read for a bit longer to finish my book after the movie ended, and set my alarm so I would have enough time to grab a bite to eat before checking out at 11 before heading to work. I slept so well, hearing the waves crashing on the shore just outside my window. It is one of the most peaceful sounds, yet backed by so much power. It was entrancing! I missed it from my youth and miss it now.

There is a Sunday brunch offered at Shutter’s, with additional seating in Sonya’s, but seeing as I couldn’t eat the majority of the items on the buffet, I chose to order a la carte and got the heavenly orange oatmeal french toast. Even the chefs in the restaurant remembered me from day to day due to me having food allergies and needing to consult them before ordering. Also, the table service restaurants at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort even take Tables In Wonderland, excluding the Sunday brunch. This was meal a great way to end my trip.

Orange oatmeal french toast
Orange oatmeal french toast

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort was most definitely the breath of fresh air that I needed to recharge and renew myself. It was absolutely one of the best weekend vacations I’ve ever taken. I cannot wait to go back and experience some of the amazing culinary options I wasn’t able to try this trip. I relished the fact that I could unplug (literally and figuratively) and get the rest and relaxation I was so wanting and needing. This trip and resort completely exceeded any and all expectations I had. I think this is due so much in part, possibly in whole, to the incredible Cast Members. I even took the time before leaving to get the manager of the resort to personally compliment him on the exemplary service everyone provided. I do not think there was a single thing I would have changed about this visit, other than to maybe extend it by a week or two.

I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to visit this magnificent resort at some point. Have you ever been to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort? What did you enjoy most? Did you take it easy like I did, or did you take advantage of the tons of activities at the resort and in the area?

Panorama from the back porch
Panorama from the back porch
Seating area off lobby
Seating area off lobby
Kids seating area
Kids seating area
Entrance to Shutters
Entrance to Shutters
Back of the resort
Back of the resort
Mickey fence
Mickey fence
Kid's water pay area
Kid’s water pay area
Playground
Playground
Bike rentals
Bike rentals
Hibiscus
Hibiscus
Recreation schedule
Recreation schedule
Eb & Flo's sign
Eb & Flo’s sign
Activities board
Activities board
Rental equipment
Rental equipment
Ocean view from the pool
Ocean view from the pool
Community Hall
Community Hall
Sports rentals
Sports rentals
Exercise room
Exercise room
Pool table
Pool table
Bleachers
Bleachers
Surf conditions
Surf conditions
Beach equipment rental
Beach equipment rental
Surfers
Surfers
Back of resort
Back of resort
Island Grove Packing Company
Island Grove Packing Company
Island Grove 2
Island Grove 2
Tervis Tumbler
Tervis Tumbler
Port Holes Mini Golf
Port Holes Mini Golf
Mini golf course continuing Peter Pan theme
Mini golf course continuing Peter Pan theme
Broken mast hole
Broken mast hole
Cannonball hole
Cannonball hole
Skull Rock hole
Skull Rock hole
Shark hole
Shark hole
Evil treasure chest hole
Evil treasure chest hole
Paraglider
Paraglider
Paraglider dropping a parachute
Paraglider dropping a parachute
Sunset at the beach
Sunset at the beach
Maria and Trey warming up the crowd
Maria and Trey warming up the crowd
Campfire singalong
Campfire singalong
Campfire closeup
Campfire closeup
Singalong
Singalong
Toasting marshmallows
Toasting marshmallows
Dodgers dedication plaque
Dodgers dedication plaque
Sea Turtles
Sea Turtles
Nesting Sites
Nesting Sites
Loggerhead Turtles
Loggerhead Turtles
1715 Fleet
1715 Fleet
Lobby ceiling
Lobby ceiling
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