Orlando City SC Win Gives Them Home Advantage

Orlando City SC
Photo: Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC Captures Home Field Advantage for First 2014 USL PRO Playoff Match, Molino ties USL PRO Goal ​Scoring Record

Playoff Tickets available at www.OrlandoCitySC.com or 855-ORL-CITY

 

Despite conceding an early goal, a brilliant free kick in the 8th minute by M Darwin Cerén led Orlando City SC (16-2-4, 52 points) to an eventual 3-1 victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders (8-9-6, 30 points) before a sold-out crowd at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

F Kevin Molino recorded his 15th tally, tying former Lion and current Sporting KC star Dom Dwyer and Jose Angulo of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the USL PRO single season goal scoring record, with six matches remaining.

Tonight’s win extended City’s USL PRO home unbeaten streak to 17 fixtures and – more importantly – secured home field advantage for the Lion’s first 2014 USL PRO playoff match scheduled for September 13.  Tickets are available for purchase at www.OrlandoCitySC.com or 855-ORL-CITY.

The action started quickly as Harrisburg’s Robbie Derschang was able to slip a shot past Gallardo for the game’s first goal in the 6th minute.  Cerén’s curling delivery from 40 yards away snuck into the far post two minutes later leveling the field. In the 18th minute, Molino and Corey Hertzog developed a crafty 1-2 into the box, where the Trinidadian finished the play by chipping it over the oncoming ‘keeper.

Molino was humble when asked about tying the goal scoring record, “What’s most important for me is the team. If any records come after that, I will accept them but for now I just want to be focused on what we have to do to win the league.”

City created a number of opportunities throughout the game, forcing Islander ‘Keeper Nick Noble to come up with a number of saves.  However, as Head Coach Adrian Heath addressed, it was a well deserved win for the Club: “It would have been a travesty if we had not have taken all three points.  We created a lot of chances and we played some really good football.

“If there’s one little thing I can pick at,” he added, “It’s the fact that we didn’t take enough of the chances.  At 2-1, there’s still a game on.  The game is never won.  You’re one mistake away from dropping a couple of points but fortunately Darwin got the third one and that saw us through.”

In the 89th minute, Cerén bags a brace after receiving a long pass, splitting two Harrisburg defenders and a diving Noble to secure the match for the Lions.

Orlando City is on the road for their next match, travelling to Charlotte to face the Eagles on August 20.

For more information on Orlando City SC, 2015 MLS Season Tickets or tickets to the Club’s remaining USL PRO home games, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.  Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Orlando City SC Match Recap:

Team                                  1    2    Final

Orlando City SC                  2    1     3

Harrisburg City Islanders    1    0     1 

Scoring Summary:

HAR: Robbie Derschang (Leo Fernandez) 6’

ORL: Darwin Cerén (Unassisted) 8’

ORL: Kevin Molino (Corey Hertzog) 19’

ORL: Darwin Cerén (Unassisted) 89’

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Miguel Gallardo, D Tyler Turner, Brad Rusin, Luke Boden, Rob Valentino, M Darwin Cerén, Harrison Heath (Aodhan Quinn 61), Kevin Molino (Tommy Redding 85), Adama Mbengue (Bitielo Jean Jacques 90), Brian “Cobi” Span (Austin da Luz 77), F Corey Hertzog (Dennis Chin 61)

Harrisburg City Islanders – GK Nicholas Noble, D Coady Andrews, Matthew Bahner, Raphael Cox, Richie Marquez, M Jose Barril, Leo Fernandes (Jamiel Hardware 78), Jason Pelletier, Zach Pfeffer (Clesio Bauque 64), Robbie Derschang (Garret Pettis 82), Antoine Hoppenot (Cristhian Hernandez 85)

Disciplinary Summary:

ORL: Brad Rusin 41

ORL: Harrison Heath 43

HAR: Raphael Cox 66

ORL: Tyler Turner 83

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. EST

Weather: — Clear

Orlando City SC

About Orlando City SC:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

 

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ESPN Fantasy Football Convention At The ESPN Wide World of Sports

ESPN Fantasy Football

ESPN and Walt Disney World Resort Host

ESPN Fantasy Football Convention

August 22­-23

Live Fantasy Football Now Telecast from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Matthew Berry, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, Trey Wingo and other ESPN Experts to Appear

 

ESPN and Walt Disney World Resort will host a Fantasy Football Convention at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida, August 22-­23.

The weekend will feature a live telecast of ESPN’s Fantasy Football Now (Saturday, Aug. 23, at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2), a question­and­answer session with ESPN commentators sponsored by Champion and a fantasy football draft where fans can interact with and seek advice from the network’s experts.

Other events include ESPN: The Tailgate sponsored by Johnsonville Brats, Disney chefs competing in the ESPN Chili Bowl, and a training table breakfast with Disney characters.

The Fantasy Football Now team of host Robert Flores, senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry, Tim Hasselbeck, injury expert Stephania Bell and Sara Walsh will participate in the weekend festivities along with NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, analyst Mark Schlereth and Insider KC Joyner.

NFL Live host Trey Wingo will also participate in the event. He and Schlereth will judge the Chili Bowl, joined by former Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James.

Here is a look at the ESPN Fantasy Football Weekend Schedule:

ESPN Fantasy Football

Friday August 22, 2014

 

Time

Event

Location

6:30PM

Registration and Credential Pick Up

ESPN Complex Globe

7PM-10PM

The Tailgate

ESPN Complex 

8PM

The ESPN Chili Bowl Competition

ESPN Complex

 

The Tailgate: There’s tailgating and then there’s ESPN Tailgating!  Hosted by ESPN’s Trey Wingo, compete to win in Football Toss, Corn Hole and hang with ESPN Fantasy Experts and NFL Insiders including Matthew Berry, Adam Schefter and Sara Walsh.

The ESPN Chili Bowl Competition: You won’t want to miss the ESPN Chili Bowl, as ESPN’s Mark “Stink” Schlereth, you and other fans judge which Disney chef, representing their favorite cities, will win the trophy and the bragging rights!

Saturday August 23, 2014

 

Time

Event

Location

8:00 AM

Arrivals Begin

ESPN Complex Globe

8:30-9:30 AM

Training Table Breakfast with Characters

Jostens Center®

10AM

ESPN2 Live Broadcast Event

HP Field House

11AM

Fantasy Q&A with ESPN Talent

HP Field House

12-1:30PM

Stadium Lunch

Champion® Stadium

2-4PM

Live ESPN Fantasy Draft

Jostens Center®

4-5PM

Talent Autographs & Photo Opportunity

Jostens Center®

 

Breakfast with Characters: Hit the training table for a big League breakfast, then determine who you’d draft first: Mickey or Goofy?

Fantasy Football Now: Be part of the live studio audience for ESPN2’s “Fantasy Football Now”

Live Q&A with ESPN Fantasy Football Talent:  Before you draft, ask questions of the experts during an hour long Q&A hosted by ESPN NFL Insider, KC Joyner

The Live Draft: Now it’s time to draft your team with the help of ESPN Fantasy Experts working the floor. At the end of the season, ESPN will award a custom trophy to Convention Draft winners.  Bring your tablets or use ESPN’s Draft Kit

Photos with ESPN Talent:  Finish the Convention with a final goodbye and round of photos of you and your friends from ESPN!  

To register for the event and for information on event packages, fans can visit here. Florida­ based fans are offered a special $99 registration rate.

ESPN Fantasy Football, the industry’s most popular fantasy football game, is kicking off its 19th season in 2014. The game is free for all fans and is accompanied by a full array of content and features across ESPN platforms — online, mobile, television, audio and more — with the most comprehensive collection of expert analysis,news, tools and statistical information in fantasy sports.

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ESPN Wide World of Sports Custom Tee Center by Champion

 Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

A Visit to the Custom Tee Center by Champion at ESPN Wide World of Sports

On our #ESPNatDisney tour of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Tour, we got the chance to stop into and try out the Custom Tee Center by Champion.

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

Custom Tee Center by Champion is located just inside the entrance to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill in the Jostens Center. And during larger events, the Custom Tee Center takes the field with a state of the art mobile location.

At the Custom Tee Center you can purchase ESPN Wide World of Sports Event shirts, create your own item to commemorate your trip, or personalize event shirts. They really pack a lot into their space!

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

We had a blast creating our own shirts at the Custom Tee Center by Champion, and as a bonus it was super easy!

The first thing to decide is what you want to customize! They have added a few new products, the cinch bag and can cooler, as well as added additional sports to their offerings.

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

And I found the prices for the shirts and two-sided customization to be extremely fair, considering that a ‘normal’ Walt Disney World t-shirt cost on average around $24.95.

Now the fun part is choosing what you would like your item to say! There are iPads around the area that show the different customization options!

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

The shirts, sweatshirts, cinch bags, and can coolers are created right there in the Custom Tee Center by Champion, they are ready in no time!

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

Even if your family isn’t competing in an event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, it’s a great way to show your #DisneySide while you play your favorite sport!

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney WorldCustom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

Participants in events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex can not only create, but customize their sports event tee.

After purchasing an event tee-shirt at one of our retail locations located throughout the complex, athletes and thier supporters can then take their tee to the Custom Tee Center by Champion and choose from more than 50 designs that can be added to commemorate your accomplishment, like 1st Place, Champions, Team Captain, and many more.

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World
The Custom Tee Center by Champion Mobile Center Rendering

Another cool thing about the Tee Center, is that if your are participating in an event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the shirt is no longer available they can create one for you!

I couldn’t leave this post without a look at the shirt I created in the Custom Tee Center by Champion…

And yes, that does say Twirl. I was a baton twirler throughout Middle and High School and thought it would be a fun throwback to a time when I learned that bangs really weren’t my thing! LOL!

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

Then the number 13 has always been my lucky number, and is also mine and my daughter’s birthdays!

Custom Tee Center by Champion ESPN Wide World of Sports Walt Disney World

I hope that you enjoyed a look at one of my favorite Sports Solutions at the ESPN Wide World of Sports!

Keep looking for more #ESPNatDisney posts from my trip! If you missed it, my first post was about our Fun Run!

DISCLOSURE: I was a guest of the Walt Disney World Resort for the #ESPNatDisney tour, but all opinions are my own.

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A Quick Run Around ESPN Wide World of Sports

This week I had the great opportunity to be a guest of Walt Disney World for the #ESPNatDisney FAM trip, and it gave me a chance to really connect with the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where I spend a good bit of time.

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

On any given day there are a ton of events going on at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, but today we were among children who were there to compete in the Disney Cup International, USSSA Elite Baseball World Series, and the AAU Summer Basketball Championships. It was great to hear their excitement, and it really gave me a different feel for the complex!

As we walked further into the Complex down to the New Balance Track & Field Complex, I started to realize how much I took for granted as I usually scurry in and out of the complex during the hustle and bustle of a runDisney race expo.

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

When we met up for our fun run around the complex to start our day at the facility, Faron Kelley said that the way he likes to explore a new city is by taking a run and that was what we were going to do on our early morning outing.

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

It was so nice to really slow down and watch all the great things going on around us.

Standing on the New Balance Track & Field Complex before our run we talked a little bit about the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and all the amazing events that are held there during the year.

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

Then we were off on our run, a quick 1.5 miles on the cross-country portion of the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run that is part of the runDisney The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

Running around the facility was just so peaceful and beautiful!

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

And while I am not a fast runner at all, it was a lot of fun!

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

Also, I was totally stoked to see Goofy waiting for us at the Finish line! (Goofy gives a solid high five!)

ESPN Wide World of Sports ESPNatDisney

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is amazing, and here are a few ‘Fun Facts’!

GENERAL FACTS 

  • The 230-acre ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 100 events and 350,000 athletes from more than 70 countries each year, is the leading multi-sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports.
  • Home to AAU National Championships, Pop Warner Super Bowl, and National Cheer & Dance Championship, Atlanta Braves Spring Training, as well as Disney-created events such as the Disney Cup International, Disney Fit Challenge, and open registration tournaments & training camps.

CHAMPION STADIUM 

  • The centerpiece of the sports complex, Champion Stadium is a retro-style Major League Baseball ballpark that annually hosts MLB spring training (Atlanta Braves) and numerous amateur tournaments. With permanent seating and existing infrastructure, the facility can also host concerts, corporate hospitality functions, event opening ceremonies and other large gatherings.
  • Maximum capacity for 11,500 guests, including 9,500 permanent upper and lower deck seats (80 percent are located between first and third base), plus a grass berm in left field that offers seating for an additional 2,000+ guests.
  • Four luxury suites (all include indoor and outdoor seating areas), plus an additional suite that features a large conference room; two upper-level outdoor suites; and two mezzanine-level outdoor terraces.
    Display booth equipped with state-of-the-art production equipment for managing in-stadium entertainment, including a 33′ 7″ wide by 21’7″ high jumbo screen which can display ESPN programming, customized videos, daily highlight reels and interviews from the sports complex.

PRODUCTION CENTER

  •  2,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility with eight edit bays and uplinks to ESPN in Bristol, Conn., Los Angeles, and New York.
  • 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including 3 jumbo screens that can capture and display footage, event highlights and interviews that will broadcast throughout the complex and on various Disney and ESPN platforms.
  • The ESPN Production Center has produced over 2,000 hours of content for the ESPN family of networks this past year.

HP FIELD HOUSE

  • 165,000-square-foot multi-sport indoor arena includes high arches and trusses and other architectural and design elements reminiscent of a classic 1950s style fieldhouse (capacity: 5,500). This multi-purpose facility can accommodate virtually any indoor sport that does not require ice, including basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, volleyball, martial arts, team handball, roller hockey, cheerleading and dance, trampoline and tumbling, indoor tennis, etc., in addition to concerts and conventions.
  • The HP Creation Center offers guests a place to download, design and enhance commemorative event photos and images, then immediately produce and print them onsite. It also includes a retail area featuring a variety of imaging-related product options for athletes and consumers, such as creating life-size posters of action photos, wallpaper covering and other photo keepsakes.
  •  The fieldhouse has room for six full-size collegiate basketball courts (four on main level and two upstairs on auxiliary court).

JOSTENS CENTER

  •  A state-of-the-art multi-sport fieldhouse, Jostens Center includes space for six college-size basketball courts, or 12 regulation-size volleyball courts, or two roller hockey rinks, and four locker rooms, two conference rooms and two officials’ rooms.

HESS SPORTS FIELDS

  • The Sports Fields venue, sponsored by Amerada Hess Corporation, are large enough to accommodate a variety of outdoor sports — soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, field hockey, rugby, softball, cricket, etc. The seven grass playing surfaces and four fields may be used collectively for one large event or multiple events may take place simultaneously on various fields.
  •  Permanent bleacher seating is available at each field and additional bleachers may be added for larger events (capacity: 10,000).

BASEBALL QUADRAPLEX/ SOFTBALL COMPLEX

  • The Baseball Quadraplex includes four professional baseball fields and a half field (used for infield drills). The quad annually hosts MLB players during spring training and minor league players during Rookie League (Gulf Coast League) and Fall Instructional League seasons, as well as camps, clinics and tournaments for amateur and youth players.
  • The Softball Complex includes six fields that can accommodate fastpitch and slowpitch softball, as well as youth baseball (12 and younger).

TENNIS COMPLEX

  • Tennis complex includes 10 “HAR TRU” green clay courts, including a stadium court, and can accommodate events ranging from youth clinics to major professional tournaments. Formerly hosted U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships on ATP Tour (1997-2000).

TRACK & FIELD COMPLEX

  • World-class 400-meter polyurethane Track & Field Complex meets IAAF world governing body standards and measurements, and is consistent with Olympic T&F venues throughout the world.
  • The Track & Field Complex features an adaptable Cross Country Course.

ESPN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS GRILL

  •  An enlarged and enhanced sports-themed fast casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating located across from Champion Stadium. The restaurant contains a full bar and menu items include burgers, pizza, signature sandwiches and salads, along with a variety of desserts and beverages.
  • Includes high-definition TV screens, live radio remote capabilities and a SportsCenter desk.

ESPN INNOVATION LAB

  •  New home for the Emerging Technology group at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
  •  Facility develops various broadcast-related technologies that eventually may make their way to air on ESPN Networks.
  •  ESPN has utilized the sports complex and its numerous sporting events to build and test future on-air applications, such as player and object tracking and player game simulation.

UNIQUE EXTRAS 
Retail facilities: Three sports-themed merchandise locations reside at the sports complex, while customized merchandise vehicles are located throughout the other venues during individual events.
The Welcome Center provides assistance to sports complex guests during their visit to Walt Disney World Resort, including planning for theme park visits, dining and golf reservations.

– See more at: http://disneysportsnews.com/fact-sheets/2011/03/29/espn-wide-world-of-sports-complex-facility-breakdown/#sthash.uqfsCx7K.dpuf

I will be writing more about my #ESPNatDisney experience! It was a great few days full of information!

DISCLOSURE: I was a guest of Walt Disney World for the #ESPNatDisney FAM trip, but all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Special Olympics Florida Summer Games Opening Ceremony

Special Olympics Florida ESPN Wide World of Sports

The Special Olympics Florida 2014 State Summer Games were held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports this weekend, and over two days more than 3,100 athletes, coaches, and family members came to the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games, and the energy that ran through the Wide World of Sports Complex was electric with positivity.

Special Olympics Florida

At a private reception before the Opening Ceremonies, we were treated to a look at some of the new sports, initiatives, and partnerships coming to Special Olympics Florida this year as well as hearing from Athlete Ambassadors.

image

Starting this year there are some great new sports coming to Special Olympics Florida! Surfing Invitationals with Ron Jon in 17 counties, Unified Flag Football, Cheerleading, and 3 Stand-Up Paddling Invitationals are going to be held this year.

Special Olympics Florida

We also heard more about the expanded programs of Project Unity to create more unified sports, the Healthy Athlete Program which utilized volunteer Doctors and Medical Professionals, the Special Olympic Florida Youth Programs, and the expanded Athlete Leadership Program. It is great to learn about all the awesome things that Special Olympics does for the counties of Florida!

image

The WWE is a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games to be held in New Jersey from June 14-21, 2014, and we got to hear a little more about their support locally and spoke about the Unified Training Day that they held at the WWE Performance Center in town.

Special Olympics Florida WWE NXT Superstars and Divas

But, before the Opening Ceremonies began we were able to walk with the WWE & NXT Superstars and Divas that were in attendance and the 128 members of Team Florida who will be traveling to the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games as they staged to walk into Champions Stadium.

Special Olympics Florida

It was awesome to see everyone talking, taking pictures, and reflecting on what was about to happen.

Then it was time for us to make our way to Champions Stadium to get ready for the Opening Ceremonies to begin.

Special Olympics Florida

Walking into Champions Stadium from right outfield entrance was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever had. The stadium was full of athletes, coaches, volunteers, and their families all singing and dancing and getting excited about an awesome night.

Special Olympics Florida

The Opening Ceremonies started with the individual counties being welcomed, and then there was a presentation of colors and the raising of the Special Olympics Florida Flag.Special Olympics Florida

Special Olympics Florida

Attorney General Pam Bondi then took to the stage to talk about her personal involvement with Special Olympics Florida, and then Publix donated $2.2 million dollars to Special Olympics Florida.

Special Olympics Florida

The highlight of the evening was the culmination of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, where over 300 law enforcement officers guided the torch into the stadium and then passed it off to Special Olympics Florida athletes to light the Flame of Hope to officially start the evening.

Special Olympics Florida

Special Olympics Florida

Special Olympics Florida

As the fireworks went in the air and the lights from the law enforcement vehicles were going off, I couldn’t help but shed a tear to celebrate these athletes, their coaches, their families, and most importantly their success.

Special Olympics Florida

Special Olympics Florida

It was an absolutely beautiful evening, that definitely ignited a spirit within me to do more!

We will be bringing you more Special Olympics Florida events and ways to get involved, and I hope that you will join in with us!

Special Olympics Florida

 

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Orlando City SC Extend Their Unbeaten Streak

Orlando City SC
Photo: Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC Kevin Molino

Scores Hat-Trick in Lions’ Win over Eagles

Orlando City defeats Charlotte Eagles 3-1 to Extend Unbeaten Streak

 

Propelled by a hat-trick from Kevin Molino, Orlando City SC (8-0-3, 27 points) defeated the Charlotte Eagles 3-1 on Wednesday night at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The hat-trick moves Molino into first place on the USL PRO scoring charts, as Orlando City extends its unbeaten streak to start the season.

“Some of our attacking play was outstanding tonight,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath after the 3-1 win. “But I’m a little bit concerned because I thought that we gave a few too many chances to the opposition.”

Tonight’s match marked the first meeting between both sides since the thrilling 2013 USL PRO Championship match last September that saw the Lions defeat the Eagles 7-4 in front of a record crowd.

Charlotte came close to pulling off an upset in the 2013 final and looked to do the same in Wednesday’s match, as Orlando City, who currently sits in first place in USL PRO, has yet to lose a game this season.

However, Orlando looked dangerous in the early stages of the first half, particularly from set-pieces, and seemed destined to secure a quick goal. In the 11th minute, on City’s third consecutive corner kick, the ball bounced around the box before being cleared out to Defender Bryan Burke, who fired a powerful effort that forced Eagles ‘keeper Brock Duckworth to parry the ball in Kevin Molino’s path.

The Trinidadian international, who leads the teams in goals and points, made no mistake finishing from 10 yards away for his sixth goal of the season, putting him in first place for goals scored in USL PRO.

Molino has been playing arguably his best football since arriving to Orlando and would add a second for Orlando in the 31st minute. The club’s first MLS signing pounced on a poor clearance from the Eagles inside the box and smacked home his seventh goal of the 2014 campaign.

“Kevin has always been an incredible footballer since he’s come to Orlando,” added Heath “But we’ve been pushing for him to take that next step and he’s managed to do that this year.”

Aside from a few half-chances, Charlotte struggled to gain any momentum in the first half as the Lions seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. The Eagles’ best opportunity to find the back of the net came in the 18th minute when Midfielder Drew Yates created space for himself and fired a cracking shot from close range.

Unfortunately for Charlotte, the midfielder’s effort went directly to Gallardo, who was able to push it wide.

The second half was similar to the first 45 as the Orlando attacking players proved to cause ample issues for the Eagles’ backline.

City’s attacking midfielders and full-backs were continuously finding space in behind, and as a result, created multiple opportunities that put Duckworth and the Charlotte defense under pressure.

In the 61st minute, Adama Mbengue came close to providing Corey Hertzog with his first league goal for City. The Senegalese, who was a constant threat all night long, combined nicely with

Alvarez for a one-two before playing a probing ball across the six for Hertzog who placed his effort just wide of the target.

“I thought that Adama was fantastic tonight,” Heath continued. “If Kevin hadn’t scored three goals, he would’ve had my vote for Man of the Match.”

Nevertheless, Molino was able to maintain his excellent form throughout the match and scored his first-ever hat-trick for Orlando City just 15 minutes later. After a poor giveaway from

Charlotte in its defensive third, Mikey Lopez kick-started a counter, which saw City have the advantage in numbers, and played a precise ball to Molino on the back post.

Molino caught Lopez’s cross cleanly on the half-volley, placing home his first-ever professional hat-trick.

Charlotte secured a conciliation goal in the 80th minute when substitute Guiseppe Gentile was able to capitalize on a mistake made by Tommy Redding. The 17 year-old center-half played flawless up until that point but showed signs of being a youngster on that particular play.

With the win secured, Orlando City extends its unbeaten streak in league play to 11 consecutive games. The Lions’ record for most games in a row without a loss occurred in 2012 when the team went 14 games straight without losing.

City’s next match will take place on Friday, May 23, against AS Roma of the Italian Serie A at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Lions will then take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 28 before returning back to league play for a match against the Charleston Battery at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com

Orlando City SC Match Recap

Team                              1    2    Final

Orlando City SC              2    1    3

Charlotte Eagles             0    1    1

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Kevin Molino (unassisted) 11’

ORL- Kevin Molino (unassisted) 31’

ORL- Kevin Molino (unassisted) 77’

CHA- Guiseppe Gentile (unassisted) 80’

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Luke Boden, Tommy Redding, Brad Rusin (Tyler Turner 78’), Bryan Burke, M Darwin Ceren, Yordany Alvarez, Adama Mbengue (Mikey Lopez 76’), Brian Span (Anthony Pulis 62’), Kevin Molino, F Dennis Chin (Corey Hertzog 41’)

Charlotte Eagles- GK Brock Duckworth, D Matt Gold, Bilal Duckett, Ben Newnam, JJ Greer (Richard Dixon 69’), M Fred Sekyere, Drew Yates, Juan Guzman, F Zak Boggs, Jorge Herrera (Tyrone Hall 69’), Wells Thompson

Penalty Summary:

CHA- Bilal Duckeet (Yellow Card) 56’

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. EST

Weather: — Clear

Orlando City SC Crest

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

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Orlando City SC Wins Again!

Orlando City SC
Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC Wins Fifth

Straight League Match

Lions defeat OKC 3-1, remain unbeaten in USL PRO

Continuing their winning ways, Orlando City SC (5-0-2, 17 points) defeated Oklahoma City Energy FC (2-4-0, 6 points) 3-1 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sunday night. The win marks the fifth straight for City, as the Lions remain unbeaten in USL PRO.

Head Coach Adrian Heath was heavily critical of his side earlier this week, despite the Lions securing a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies of NASL in the opening match of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer.

Directly after the Rowdies match, the English manager stressed that the result wasn’t enough and demanded a better performance from his side.

Although City didn’t quite get off to the quick start that Heath would’ve liked, the Lions settled in nicely as the first half progressed.

“I’m pleased with the performance,” said Heath after the 3-1 win. “They’ve worked hard and responded to a lot of the things that we’ve been talking about. There are a few areas of our game that are still worrying me but I thought that we did more than enough to win the game.”

The majority of the first-half featured both sides exchanging opportunities, with neither side able to breakthrough until Orlando’s first Major League Soccer (MLS) signing Kevin Molino created two quality chances towards the end of the first-half.

Orlando City SC
Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

In the 32nd minute, Molino received the ball on the right-hand side and floated a lovely ball in the area to Dennis Chin, who out-jumped the OKC center-halves to nod the ball past his former teammate, Jon Kempin.

Chin’s finish was the final product of an efficient counter-attack, as City only needed three passes to find the back of the net.

Less than two minutes later, Molino would get free on the right side again, after a poor giveaway from the Energy, and played a driven ball across the six-yard box for former Real Salt Lake City Midfielder Yordany Alvarez who had a comfortable finish for the second goal of the match.

The consecutive assists puts the Trinidadian tally at four for the season, as the midfielder inches closer to the club record, which stands at seven in one season.

Despite the Lions’ strong play, OKC also managed to create dangerous chances themselves and came close to converting on multiple occasions.

The majority of the Energy’s looks at the City goal came from set-pieces that forced two tough saves from Gallardo and a goal-line clearance from Adama Mbengue.

However, OKC would pull one back in the 41st minute when Philip Lund scored from 12 yards away. The goal was the result of a dangerous ball that was played into the box and redirected by Midfielder Steve Perry to Lund, who fired it passed Gallardo.

Orlando City SC
Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

To begin the second half, Orlando City would find the score-sheet much more quickly when Chin outran the Energy defense to score his fourth goal in the past five USL PRO matches.

The speedy striker went on a forty yard run with the ball before slotting home the final goal of the match in the 47th minute.

The Lions will now begin preparing for an upcoming two game road-trip, that includes back-to-back matches against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (5/9) and the Rochester Rhinos (5/10).

Both matches will be live streamed via the Riverhounds’ and Rhinos’ YouTube channels.

For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com.

Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC Match Recap

Team                                1    2    Final

Orlando City SC                2    1    3

OKC Energy FC                1    0    1

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Dennis Chin (Kevin Molino) 32’

ORL- Yordany Alvarez (Kevin Molino) 33’

OKC- Philip Lund (Steven Perry) 41’

ORL- Dennis Chin (unassisted) 47’

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Tyler Turner (Bitielo Jean-Jacques 62’), Justin Clark, Brad Rusin, Luke Boden, M Yordany Alvarez, Darwin Ceren, Adama Mbengue, Kevin Molino (Mikey Lopez 88’), Brian Span (Anthony Pulis 70’) F Dennis Chin (Corey Hertzog 76’)

OKC Energy FC- GK Jonathan Kempin, D Kyle Miller, Kevin Ellis, Tark Morad, Gareth Evans, M Philip Lund (David Leichty 74’), Christian Duke (Nate Shiffman 74’), Michael Thomas, Adda Djeziri, Steven Perry (Adnan Gabeljic 63’), F Kyle Greig

Penalty Summary:

ORL- Tyler Turner (Yellow Card) 47’

OKC- Michael Thomas (Yellow Card) 65’

ORL- Anthony Pulis (Yellow Card) 86’

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. EST

Weather: — Clear

Attendance: 4,532

 

 

 

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Orlando City SC Wins First Match of 2014 Season

Orlando City SC Wins First Match of 2014 Season

Orlando City SC
Photo: Orlando City SC

Lions continue unbeaten streak against Rochester Rhinos 

Orlando City SC gained their first win of the 2014 USL PRO regular season on Saturday, April 5, with a 3-1 victory over the Rochester Rhinos. The win against the Rhinos continues the Lions’ unbeaten run against Rochester, as City have never lost to the upstate New York based club in three years (7-0-1).

“I’m pleased that we won the game and I’m pleased that we scored three goals, but I think that our performance could have been a bit better,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We had a bit of break when we needed it tonight, unlike last week.” 

After only coming away with two 1-1 draws in their opening matches against Charleston and Pittsburgh, Head Coach Adrian Heath mentioned that City needed to score early to open the game up and prevent opposing teams from bunkering in.

On Saturday night, the gaffer got his wish when attacking midfielder Kevin Molino put the Lions up 1-0 in the third minute. The Trinidadian international began the match in cracking form and was active in the final third, creating chances for not only himself but also for his fellow attacking players.

Molino missed an early strike from inside the area in the 1st minute, but would make up for it two minutes later with a comfortable finish from a Tyler Turner cross.

With the early goal secured, the Lions looked more relaxed and began playing vintage Orlando City football.

The three attacking midfielders, da Luz, Molino and Ceren were popping in and out of the free space in Rochester’s defensive third, and the holding midfielders, Quinn and Alvarez, continuously made themselves available when the front three ran into trouble.

Meanwhile the backline looked equally impressive, as Orlando were fervent in their efforts to press the Rhinos high up the pitch and force them to clear it away.

However, despite not maintaining much possession, Rochester nearly equalized when Midfielder Minh Vu came close to capitalizing on a defensive error from Orlando. Luckily for the Lions, Vu tapped his strike just wide of the target.

Vu’s chance was the only clear-cut opportunity for the visitors in the opening half.

Orlando, on the other hand, managed to create several in the first period. With da Luz and Molino drifting further inside, Defenders Luke Boden and Tyler Turner found more space on the wings and were able to drive low crosses to the near-post.

After coming close to scoring on several occasions, including a chance from Hertzog that ricocheted off the post, Valentino scored the second goal of the game for Orlando.

Valentino scored six goals for the Lions in 2013 and added another to his career while wearing purple and white by calmly re-directing a well-placed cross from Alvarez. 

With the momentum in their favor, Orlando came close to scoring a minute later when Hertzog had a one-on-one with Goalkeeper Luis Soffner, but the former Whitecaps striker hit his final strike directly at the ‘keeper.

Orlando City looked even more confident to begin the second half, but an early mistake from rookie Aodhan Quinn gave the visitors a bit of life. 

Quinn attempted to play a back pass to Rusin but, instead, ending up splitting the two center-halves, and Rochester Midfielder JC Banks was able to run on to it and place it past Gallardo.

Two of three goals allowed by Orlando this year have come from their own mistakes, and City’s confident play became a bit more cautious. But in the 72nd minute, Heath made a tactical change and brought on attacking players Adama Mbengue and Dennis Chin. 

Within minutes, Heath’s substitution would yield dividends when Chin scored a tap-in from six yards out in the 76th minute. The goal marked the first in 2014 for the Lions’ all-time leading scorer.

The remaining 14 minutes featured professional football from City as they maintained possession and didn’t allow Rochester to take advantage of any mistakes.

Next week, Orlando will host the Charleston Battery on Saturday, April 12, before venturing on a two-game road trip against F.C. Dallas and OKC Energy.

For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com

Orlando City SC Match Recap:

Team                               1    2    Final

Orlando City SC              2    1    3

Rochester Rhinos           0    1    1

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Kevin Molino (Tyler Turner) 3’

ORL- Rob Valentino (Yordany Alvarez) 35’

ROC- JC Banks (unassisted) 53’

ORL- Dennis Chin (Kevin Molino) 76’ 

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC-GK Miguel Gallardo, D Tyler Turner, Rob Valentino, Brad Rusin, Luke Boden, M Aodhan Quinn (Mikey Lopez), Yordany Alvarez, Darwin Ceren, Kevin Molino, Austin da Luz (Adama Mbengue 71’), Hertzog (Dennis Chin 71’)

Rochester Rhinos- GK Luis Soffner, D Ayao Sossou (Tony Walls 53’), Kyle Hoffer (Patrick McMahon 77’), Patrick Slogic, Babacar Diallo, Minh Vu (Samuel Petrone 76’), Lance Rozeboom, Tyler Rosenlund, Alex Dixon (Jonathan Mendoza 64’), JC Banks, Colin Rolfe (Ohua Obasi 76’)

Penalty Summary:

ROC- Kyle Hoffer (Yellow Card) 17’

ORL- Luke Boden (Yellow Card) 54’

ORL- Tyler Turner (Yellow Card) 68’

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. EST

Weather: — Clear

Orlando City Soccer Orlando City SC I-4 Derby

About Orlando City SC:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

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Orlando City SC Draws in Home Opener

Orlando City SC Lions Draw Riverhounds in Final USL PRO Home Opener

Orlando City SC march 29 2014
Photo: Allison Petro

City draw back-to-back matches after conceding in second half

Orlando City SC opened their final US PRO season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday with a draw to the Pittsburg Riverhounds.

It is awesome to have the Lions playing at ESPN WWOS! 

 

Here is more information about the game! Go City!

Orlando City SC drew the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday, March 29. Defender Luke Boden provided the equalizer in the 58th minute as City drew their second consecutive match in the early stages of their final USL PRO campaign.

“I have a lot of confidence in this group, despite the result,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We scored a lot of goals in the past three years and I guarantee that we’ll score more goals this year.”

In their first home game at ESPN WWOS, City began in typical fashion, controlling the pace of the game in the early stages. The Lions entertained large amounts of possession in midfield and the final third, but were also equally impressive in defence, allowing Pittsburgh very little time on the ball.

City’s cohesive high-pressure defending forced the Riverhounds to employ route one tactics and knock the ball long, rather than allowing them any threatening build-up play through the middle of the park.

On the other hand, Orlando’s midfielders were in complete control in the first 45, leading to several quality opportunities for the hosts. Orlando’s first MLS signee, Kevin Molino, provided the first chance for the Lions when he curled a dangerous effort that went just past the post.

Following Molino’s effort, Hertzog also added two close chances that kept visiting Goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap on his toes. Left and right fullbacks, Luke Boden and U.S. international Tyler Turner, also got involved in the attack and provided multiple crosses to the near-post for Hertzog from deep inside Pittsburgh’s half.

Luckily for Gilstrap, the Riverhounds’ defense did well to make several last minute clearances and prevent Hertzog from earning his first goal in purple and white.

On the other end, Pittsburgh’s few chances came primarily from set pieces as Orlando’s organized defending made it difficult for them to gain a real grip on the match. The visiting’s side’s best chance of the half came when lethal striker Jose Angulo almost nodded home a chance in the 27th minute, but saw it skip off the cross-bar.

Valentino and Rusin managed Angulo quite capably in the first period, but the poaching striker, who scored a team-high 13 goals last season, was able to break through in the second half. In the 48th minute, City fans argued for a foul as Angulo knocked Valentino to the ground and skipped past Gallardo to put the visitors up 1-0.

Nevertheless, City would continue to dominate the run of play and would fight back to level the score-line.

After progressing their way down the pitch, Orlando earned a corner in the 58th minute, which led to a cracking finish from Boden. Gilstrap was able to punch away Molino’s initial cross, but the former Sheffield Wednesdaydefender was left all alone inside the area and controlled the ball well before volleying a powerful strike into the top-corner.

Adding to Pittsburgh’s woes, Gilstrap was also injured during the set-piece and reserve ‘keeper Greg Blum was brought in for relief, giving City more of a reason to fire away at the target. In light of the Lions’ equalizer, Pittsburgh began to show a bit of attacking life but Orlando regained their first-half form and re-took control of the game.

In the waning moments of the match, Head Coach Adrian Heath also brought on Forward Dennis Chin for Aodhan Quinn and moved Ceren alongside Alvarez, providing attacking flare and defensive support simultaneously as Orlando kept probing for the winner.

In the 83rd minute, Chin came close to providing the second goal for City but his header went just wide of the post. With time ticking away, the Lions’ chances of gaining three points were beginning to look slim until the fourth official announced seven minutes of stoppage time.

As Pittsburgh bunkered in, Orlando continued pushing forward with multiple attacking players but key saves by Blum maintained a 1-1 score through 90 minutes. The draw against Pittsburgh marks the second consecutive match in which the Lions have conceded early before battling back to earn a point.

Orlando City will continue their home stretch, when they take on the Rochester Rhinos at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Team                              1    2    Final

Orlando City SC               0    1    1

Pittsburgh Riverhounds   0    1    1

 

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Luke Boden (unassisted) 58’

PIT- Jose Angulo (unassisted) 48’

 

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Rob Valentino, Bradford Rusin, Luke Boden, Tyler Turner, M Yordany Alvarez, Aodhan Quinn (Dennis Chin 76’), Austin da Luz (Adama Mbengue 72’), Kevin Molino, Darwin Ceren, Corey Hertzog

 

Pittsburgh Riverhound- GK Hunter Gilstrap (Greg Blum 62’), D Brian Fekete, Sterling Flunder, Andrew Marshall, Anthony Arena, Rob Vincent, Danny Earls, Matt Dallman (Brian Salazar 85’), Anthony Oboda (Mike Green 80’), Jason Johnson, Jose Angulo (Alfonso Motagalvan 89’)

 

Penalty Summary:

PIT- Andrew Marshall (Yellow Card) 33’

 

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. EST

Weather: — Clear

For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com

Orlando City Soccer - Weekly Review

 

About Orlando City SC:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

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Orlando City SC Home Opener At ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex Saturday

Orlando City SC to Play Final USL PRO Home Opener on Saturday

Orlando City Soccer - Weekly Review

Kick-off set for 7:30 p.m. at ESPN Wide World of Sports

 

Orlando City SC kicks off their final USL PRO home opener at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, as they welcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, March 29. The match will kick-off at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re delighted to play in-front of our fans this weekend and we’ll be looking to come out of the gate strong,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath on the home-opener. “Pittsburgh is a good side and we know that we have a bigger target on our backs this year, but we’ll be up for it.”

The WWOS complex will serve as a temporary one-year home for the Lions and has increased capacity to allow approximately 5,500 fans to attend City’s home matches this season.

After starting the season on the road in South Carolina with a 1-1 draw against the Battery, the Lions will look for their first win of the season. Newly signed Midfielder Austin da Luz looked sharp in his debut with Orlando, recording the team’s first goal of the 2014 campaign.

“The fans that made the trip to Charleston were unbelievable,” da Luz said ahead of Saturday’s matchup with Pittsburgh. “I can’t imagine what the home opener is going to be like. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to get our first win.”

Defender Rob Valentino should be ready to go for the home opener this weekend. Valentino and Rusin looked to be a formidable partnership during the Pro Soccer Classic, as the Lions only conceded two goals in the two games Valentino and Rusin played together.

However, during the off-season Pittsburgh added even more attacking firepower to their core lineup and will provide a solid test for the City backline. After resigning lethal Striker Jose Angulo, who recorded 13 goals last season, the Riverhounds also added former Fulham and Chicago Fire Forward Collins John. Pittsburgh’s squad also includes three loanees from MLS affiliate Houston Dynamo.

During the 2013 season the Lions went 1-1-1 against the Riverhounds, but defeated them in the USL PRO quarterfinals en route to City’s third USL PRO Championship.

Orlando City Soccer Orlando City SC

About Orlando City SC:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

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2014 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic
A super huge thank you to Kelly Christine Delaney for sharing her soccer knowledge, for tweeting from the games, and for this post! 
The fifth annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic was a great kickoff to the 2014 soccer season as excitement mounts for Orlando City SC to join Major League Soccer, MLS. Eight teams participated and Orlando was the only USL team to participate this year.
The other seven teams were from Brazil (Fluminense FC) and Major League Soccer teams (Red Bull New York, Philadelphia Union, Sporting Kansas City, Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC.)
Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.
I was able to attend a fair amount of the matches for the third year in a row and I’ve really enjoyed seeing internationally known world class athletes in a more laid back environment.
There’s something special about seeing players and coaches you admire in such a close setting that you can’t experience during the regular season or in other preseason tournaments. It was also interesting to see the rosters of these teams take form as they cut various trialists to prepare for the season.
Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.
Michael Bradley playing in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.
I highly recommend you check out the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic next year at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as it will be your first chance to see Orlando City in their new role as an MLS team and congratulations to the Columbus Crew for winning the Classic this year.
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Atlanta Braves Spring Training Schedule At ESPN Wide World of Sports

Atlanta Braves Spring Training Underway

at ESPN Wide World of Sports

Atlanta Braves Spring Training

This year’s Spring Training game lineup will showcase some of Major League Baseball’s marquee teams, including the reigning World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals. 

This year’s roster retains many of the players on the 2013 National League East champion squad, including a core of strong young players, first baseman Freddie Freeman, right fielder Jason Heyward, left fielder Justin Upton and shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The Braves’ pitching staff remains mostly unchanged (excluding the loss of Tim Hudson) from the league-leading ERA lineup of last year. The projected rotation includes Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood, with Craig Kimbrel, Jordan Walden and Luis Avilan in the bullpen.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training

Information on the Braves’ Spring Training season tickets, suite/hospitality, group tickets and mini-plans is available by calling our Premium Sales team at 407/939-GAME (4263) and online at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves.  The popular mini-packs are now on sale, featuring four separate three-game options in 2014 and giving fans their first opportunity to purchase tickets to specific games on the Braves’ 2014 spring training schedule.

2014 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Home Schedule 
Date 
Opponent Time
Tuesday, March 11 Philadelphia Phillies 1:05 PM
Wednesday, March 12 Washington Nationals 1:05 PM
Friday, March 14 Tampa Bay Rays 1:05 PM
Saturday, March 15 St. Louis Cardinals 1:05 PM
Wednesday, March 19 New York Yankees 1:05 PM
Friday, March 21 Detroit Tigers 1:05 PM
Saturday, March 22 Boston Red Sox 1:05 PM
Sunday, March 23 New York Mets 1:05 PM
Monday, March 24 Houston Astros 6:05 PM
Wednesday, March 26 Miami Marlins 1:05 PM

All times are Eastern and are subject to change

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Inaugural Disney Fit Challenge Coming To ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex

Jump, Squat and Press! Disney Fit Challenge Lunges into Competitive Fitness at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Disney Fit Challenge

Inaugural event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex open to elite, intermediate and recreational participants; Three-day event will test competitors’ speed, strength, endurance, balance and power; Registration opens March 18th

 

The sport of competitive fitness, which is growing rapidly nationally and internationally, is coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the site of the inaugural Disney Fit Challenge this September.

Disney Fit Challenge will be a three-day event (Sept 26-28) involving athletes competing in different fitness challenges that test a participant’s speed, strength, skill, endurance, balance and power.  Challenges are designed based on age and skill level with more experienced athletes competing in movements such as muscle-ups and double-unders while recreational participants compete in movements that may include box jumps, kettle bell swings, push-ups, squats and broad jumps. Competitors with the highest scores in their division and age group from the first two days advance to the final day of competition.

A Health & Fitness Expo will feature the latest fitness merchandise, products and apparel during the competition.

“Competitive fitness is one of the fastest growing sports domestically and internationally with hundreds of thousands of competitors with more and more getting involved every day,’’ said Mike Millay, Director of Sports Development for Disney Sports. “We have uniquely designed the Disney Fit Challenge so that there are a variety of skill levels and age groups which will allow every competitor to test their true fitness abilities while also having plenty of fun, and then celebrate their achievements with a family vacation at Walt Disney World Resort.’’

Disney Sports is collaborating with I AM CrossFit, one of the leading competitive fitness organizations in the Southeast, on the staging of Disney Fit Challenge. The event is the first of its kind held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 sports events each year, and builds on the complex’s wide variety of athletic events geared towards athletes of all ages and abilities.

Registration opens March 18, with competition slated for indoor and outdoor venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Daily admission for spectators is $16.50 for adults and $11.50 for children and can be purchased at the sports complex box office.

 ESPN Wide World of Sports Disney Fit Challenge

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries.  Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The ESPN Production Center produces over 700 hours of live sports programming for consumption around the world. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles.  For more information, visit www.disneysportsnews.com for press releases, photos and videos.  Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports and find us on Facebook.

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Orlando City SC Finishes Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Third Place

Orlando City Soccer - Weekly Review Orlando City SC

Orlando City Finishes Pro Soccer Classic in Third Place

After a draw in regulation, both sides forgo routine penalty-kicks

 

In the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic third place match, Orlando City SC drew the New York Red Bulls 4-4 on Saturday, March 1, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. With Orlando and New York electing to forgo a decision by penalty kicks, both sides will finish the Pro Soccer Classic in third place.

“Despite allowing two or three poor goals, there were a lot of pleasing moments for us, especially going forward,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath after the match. “As their coaches just said, we’re difficult to contain with the way we move the ball.”

After controlling possession early in the match, a miscommunication in the New York defense would provide a golden opportunity for new signing Corey Hertzog. Going against the club who drafted him in 2011, Hertzog was in pursuit of a long-floated ball from Darwin Ceren. 

Ceren’s ball seemed to be an easy clearance for the Red Bulls defense, but Defender Kosuke Kimura accidentally headed it past Goalkeeper Luis Robles who was on his way to clear the danger away. Hertzog was lurking in the area and slotted it home to give Orlando a 1-0 lead.

In light of Hertzog’s early goal, Orlando would get into their rhythm, and Molino and Hertzog would create a few opportunities that kept Robles honest. 

On the other end, the 2013 Supporter Shield winners weren’t shy of going forward either and showed why they were one of the best sides in MLS last year. In response to a cracking effort from Molino that hit the cross-bar, New York progressed their way down the pitch and equalized the match in the 28th minute.

After receiving the ball on the right-hand-side, Midfielder Lloyd Sam whipped in a driven cross to the near-post and Bradley Wright-Phillips was there to place it past Gallardo.

The equalizer from New York was arguably a fair reflection of the first-half, as neither side was ever in full-control of the game. Nevertheless, despite not having as much time on the ball in comparison to the matches in the group-stages, Orlando still looked dangerous in spurts.

Midfielder Darwin Ceren has quickly become a fan-favorite for his contributions on the pitch, and was a key facilitator in City’s attacking plays. As a result, Orlando would create the best chance of the match, in the 43rd minute, after several probing efforts.

After good build-up play on the left-hand side, City worked the ball across the edge of the area to Yordany Alvarez who hit a powerful volley that forced Robles to push it over the bar and into the supporters section.

The play leading up to Alvarez’s effort was almost an identical replication of Darwin Ceren’s first goal for the Lions against Columbus Crew.

Orlando City Soccer Disney PSC 2014 Orlando City SC
Photo: Alison Petro

To begin the second half, Heath brought on Dennis Chin for Hertzog as his only change during the intermission.

Within two minutes of entering the game, the Chin would score his second goal of the preseason. After Molino earned a corner, Alvarez whipped the ball to the near-post for Chin who nodded it past Robles Robles.

However, Orlando had very little time to celebrate as Wright-Phillips tapped home his second goal of the game in the 50th minute. Wright-Phillips, the brother of former England-international Sean Wright-Phillips, used his pace to get in behind the Orlando defense on several occasions but Gallardo maintained his excellent form with notable key saves.

But in the 68th minute, New York would get the better of the Mexican goalkeeper when Ibrahim Sekagaya scored a tap in. Gallardo made a quality save on the initial free-kick from Orlando-native Dax McCarty, but Sekagya was there to tuck it away after City failed to clear it away.

In the ensuing moments after Sekagya’s goal, Orlando would not lose their fighting spirit and Adama Mbengue, who came on as a substitute in the 57th minute, provided an equalizer in 76th minute.

Stemming from another Yordany Alvarez corner-kick, Mbengue blasted a screamer from the edge of the area that flew into the top-corner. 

Nevertheless, Midfielder Jonny Steele would respond with the Red Bull’s fourth goal of the match, only two minutes later.

Steele’s goal marks the second consecutive game in which Orlando has allowed four goals. However, similar to the Columbus match, City would respond and level the game at four goals apiece.

Orlando’s goal occurred after beautiful build-up play in the midfield that allowed Mbengue to release Molino in behind. The Trinidadian quickly latched on to the ball and dinked it by Robles.

“We played a pretty good New York side tonight and I think we made a good account for ourselves by finishing the tournament unbeaten,” added Heath. 

With neither side being able to break the dead-lock in regulation, the match would finish as a 4-4 draw. After the final whistle, both clubs opted to forgo the routine penalty-kicks and conclude the Pro Soccer Classic with a tie for third place.

Orlando City’s next preseason match will take place on March 8 against Florida International University (FIU). Kick-off is set for 3 p.m., and the match will occur at Seminole Soccer Complex.

For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com

Orlando City Soccer Club Match Recap

 

Team                         1    2    Final

 

Orlando City SC              1    3    4

 

New York Red Bulls       1    3    4

 

Scoring Summary:

 

ORL- Corey Hertzog (unassisted) 7’

 

NY- Bradley Wright-Phillips (Lloyd Sam) 28’

 

ORL- Dennis Chin (Yordany Alvarez) 47’

 

NY- Bradley Wright-Phillips (Jonny Steele) 50’

 

NY- Ibrahim Sekagya (Unassisted) 68’

 

ORL- Adama Mbengue (Unassisted) 76’

 

NY- Jonny Steele (Peguy Luyindula) 78’

 

ORL- Kevin Molino (Adama Mbengue) 85’

 

Lineups/Substitutions:

 

Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Mason Trafford (Trial), Rob Valentino, Luke Boden, Tyler Turner (Jordan Cyrus trial 48’), M James O’Connor (Anthony Pulis 57’), Yordany Alvarez, Austin Da Luz (Adama Mbengue 57’), Darwin Ceren, Kevin Molino, Corey Hertzog (Dennis Chin 46’)

 

New York Red Bulls- GK Luis Robles, D Ibrahim Sekagya, Armando, Kosuke Kimura, Chris Duvall, M Lloyd Sam, Jonny Steele, Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander, F Peguy Luyindala, Bradley Wright-Phillips 

 

Match Facts:

 

Time of Match: 6:00 p.m. EST

 

Weather: — Clear

Orlando City Soccer

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

 

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Atlanta Braves Spring Training

Atlanta Braves MickeyOne of my favorite times of year is just about a week away! Although it may be snowing where you are, the lawns are neatly manicured, the lines are ready to be chalked, the sun is out, and it is almost baseball season! Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to Major League Baseball Spring Training locations in Florida and Arizona in the next few days. My favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, report on February 13th. That means the beginning of Spring Training is not far behind, starting for most teams on February 26th.

I cannot wait to get back to see my team at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Champion Stadium. I absolutely love Spring Training and the access it gives you to some of your favorite stars as well as giving you the opportunity to see the up and comers. You can read about some of my previous Spring Training experiences with the Atlanta Braves in particular as well as other teams here.

The great thing about living in Florida this time of year is the opportunity to catch the Atlanta Braves around at several different stadiums within a couple hours radius of my house. I’m hoping to catch at least one game at Walt Disney World since it is their home field. I am looking forward to the season even more now knowing two of our return players, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, have been locked into contracts for at least a couple of years each.

Tickets are available for purchase now to individual games or in what are called “mini plans” with blocks of three games bundled together. You can buy tickets through Ticketmaster online or by phone, or in person at the Champion Stadium Box Office from 9am to 5pm seven days a week. I like the relatively new feature on the website where you can pick out individual seats, which is handy if you are trying to meet up with friends for a game if they’ve already got tickets.

Have you been to an Atlanta Braves Spring Training game? Are you as excited as I am to get back to America’s pastime? Hope to see you there!

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