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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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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Two Teams Join The Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC Bolster

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Field

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

Major League Soccer (MLS) teams join MLS Cup Champion Sporting KC, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact and USL Pro Club Orlando City in the eight-team field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; Final team expected to be announced soon; Tickets on sale today.

 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

The New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC have joined the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Red Bulls are coming back to the February event at Walt Disney World in suburban Orlando after winning the event in 2010, while Toronto FC has been a regular participant in the event.

The Red Bulls and Toronto FC join Sporting KC, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact and Orlando City soccer clubs in the eight-team field. Teams will begin arriving in Central Florida on Feb. 19 for three weeks of pre-season training camp and competition, culminating with the Disney Pro Soccer Classic title game on Mar. 1.

 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

In 2013, the New York Red Bulls won their first MLS Supporters’ Shield, given to the team with the most regular season points in the league. Led by international standouts Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, along with Winter Park, FL native Dax McCarty, the Red Bulls have qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs 10 of the last 11 seasons.

 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

Toronto FC is looking to rebuild this season under second-year head coach Ryan Nelsen. Toronto FC is led by forward Robert Earnshaw, who scored eight goals last season.

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

Entering its fifth year, the Disney Pro Soccer Classic is designed to boost interest in soccer throughout Central Florida and establish the area as a prime training and competition destination for pro soccer clubs. Last year, the event at Disney attracted fans from across the U.S. and Canada and gave them a unique opportunity for an intimate fan experience at a world-class facility.

The tournament is just one of more than a dozen popular soccer events held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is the leading multi-sports venue in the nation and the official preseason training home of the AS Roma soccer club.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAfeGo3Rl08

For more information on the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, visit www.espnwwos.com/prosoccerclassic. Tickets for the event are on sale today through Ticketmaster.com, search “Pro Soccer Classic” or by calling 800-745-3000. Travel packages are available through GetTravel.com. The packages may include accommodations near Walt Disney World Resort, game tickets, ground transportation and discounted Disney theme park tickets.

 

ESPN Wide World of Sports

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 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.

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