MATCH RECAP: Orlando Draws Charlotte 1-1

Orlando City Soccer

MATCH RECAP: Orlando Draws Charlotte 1-1,

Moves to Top of League Standings

Team                 1    2    Final

Orlando City         1    0    1

Charlotte Eagles     0    1    1

Scoring Summary:

Orlando- Dom Dwyer (Luke Boden) 8th

Charlotte- Nathan Thornton (unassisted) 90th

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City- GK Sean Kelley, D Yann Songo’o, Bryan Burke, Luke Boden, Rob Valentino, M Anthony Pulis, Freddie Braun, Kevin Molino, Jamie Watson, F Dom Dwyer, Long Tan (Jean Alexandre 61’)

Charlotte- GK Eric Reed, D Fejiro Okiomah, Tyler Newnam, Matthew Gold, Shaun Francis M Nathan Thornton, Sergio Villasenor (Mitchily Waul 41’), Stephen Okai (Christian Meda 27’), Juan Guzman, Samuel Asante, F Christian Ramirez  (Stefan Smith 79’)

Penalty Summary:

6’ Sergio Villasenor (Yellow)

26’ Fejiro Okiomah (Yellow)

40’ Freddie Braun (Yellow)

45’ Kevin Molino (Yellow)

45’ Samuel Asante (Yellow)

72’ Shaun Francis (Yellow)

73’ Tyler Newnam (Yellow)

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:00 p.m. EST

Weather: Clear

Orlando Draws Charlotte 1-1, Moves to Top of League Standings

Late Charlotte Goal in 90th Minute Equalizes Match, Lions Earn Point On The Road

Charlotte, N.C.— Orlando City (3-2-0, 10 points) drew the Charlotte Eagles (1-1-1, 4 points) 1-1 at the Queen Sports Complex in Charlotte, N.C. Tuesday night, moving the Lions to the top of the league standings through five games played. A goal by Dom Dwyer in the 8th minute put Orlando up early, only for a late equalizer by Eagles’ Midfielder Nathan Thornton in the 90th minute allowing Charlotte to grab the tie and win from the Lions.

The Lions jumped out to an early lead, with a well-placed corner from Winger Luke Boden finding an unmarked Dom Dwyer in the box for the header and goal in the 8th minute. Dwyer, who’s currently on loan from Orlando’s Major League Soccer affiliate Sporting Kansas City, whipped his conversion into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. The goal was Dwyer’s third of the regular season, which ties him for team and league best with Midfielder Jamie Watson.

Orlando continued to create more chances in the first half, along with deterring the Eagles of any scoring opportunities of their own. The scoreline remained at 1-0 to close out the first 45 minutes of play, with a familiar face in goal helping the Lions’ defense keep the score sheet clean.

Orlando Goalkeeper Sean Kelley made his first start of the 2013 season with the Lions for a sidelined Miguel Gallardo and banged-up Jon Kempin. Kelley, who was signed prior to the start of the season, is familiar to Head Coach Adrian Heath’s system, playing for the Lions in 2011 and 2012 as backup to Gallardo.

The Lexington, Ky., native made key saves for the Lions in the first half, including a diving deflection in the 27th minute. Eagles’ Defender Shaun Francis rocketed a shot outside the 18’ yard only for Kelley to punch it out of danger while extending his arms and diving to his left.

Charlotte came out of halftime with a more active attack, putting pressure on the Orlando backline. After trying to breakthrough, Charlotte capitalized in the closing minutes of play. A long ball by an Eagle defender found Midfielder Nathan Thornton toward goal, with a costly defensive miscommunication, allowing him to weave around Kelley and easily slot home the equalizer in the 90th minute of play.

The Lions come back home this Saturday, April 27, to play the Dayton Dutch Lions at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Orlando is 2-0-4 (W-L-T) all-time against Dayton, who currently holds a 1-0-0 record through one game played in the young 2013 regular season. For more information on the Saturday’s match, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

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Orlando City Lions Travel To North Carolina

Orlando City Soccer

Orlando City Travels To North Carolina For Tuesday Night Matchup

Orlando plays the Charlotte Eagles Tuesday night at 7 p.m. EST

Orlando, Fla.— After winning back-to-back home games, Orlando City  (3-1-0, 9 points) goes back on the road to face the Charlotte Eagles (1-0-1, 4 points) at Queens University Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. EST. Tuesday night.

“We had a great turnout (Friday night) and we have to go out and win on Tuesday,“ said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “The league is a lot tougher this year and we have to put together a full 90 minutes each game we play.”

The Lions topped the visiting LA Blues 3-2 in front of a regular-season record crowd of 9,140 Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Midfielder Jamie Watson was involved with all three goals as Orlando avenged their only loss of the young season. The Lions now sit atop the league table through four games played tied with LA, who have a game in-hand on Orlando.

Orlando is 3-0-1 all-time against the Eagles, who have yet to allow a goal through two games played. The Eagles are led by Head Coach Mark Steffens, who’s currently in his 17th year of the position with Charlotte. Forward Christian Ramirez and Midfielder Nathan Thornton both lead the Eagles in scoring with one goal a piece. Tuesday night’s game will be live streamed on USLNation.com.

The Lions then return home for a game on Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Pregame festivities including a concert by local band Built To Be Broken. For more information on this week’s upcoming matches, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

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Orlando Signs Former Goalkeeper Kelley, Gallardo Out 4-6 Weeks

Orlando City Soccer

Orlando Signs Former Goalkeeper Kelley, Gallardo Out 4-6 Weeks

Team adds familiar face as team captain out with injury

ORLANDO—Orlando City SC announced Wednesday that the team has signed former backup Goalkeeper Sean Kelley, pending USSF approval. The move comes as starting Goalkeeper and Team Captain Miguel Gallardo sustained a knee injury in training and will be out 4-6 weeks. The team begins the 2013 USL PRO season away against expansion franchise Phoenix FC on Sunday, April 7 with kickoff set for 10:30 p.m. EST.

“We hope Miguel has a speedy recovery,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “But we are lucky to have Sean with us. He’s been with us and knows the team. It’s a great opportunity for him and it’s good to have him back.“

Kelley is familiar to Heath’s system, signing with the team in 2010 in Austin, Texas, and moving with the franchise to Orlando in 2011.  The backup famously came in for Gallardo in the 2011 USL PRO Championship game, making key saves in the penalty shootout against the Harrisburg City Islanders to help secure the league championship. The Kentucky native appeared in four matches for the Lions in 2012, recording an 0.571 Goals Against Average (GAA) and two shutouts.

Kelley, along with new Sporting Kansas City loanee Jon Kempin, will have to fill in for the injured Gallardo for the beginning of the 2013 USL PRO season. Gallardo appeared in 21 games for the Lions in 2012, leading the league is GAA (.780) while recording eight clean sheets. The 2011 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year holds the record for clean sheets in a season with 11 in 2011.

 

Acquisition: Orlando City SC (USL PRO) Signs Goalkeeper Sean Kelley

Birthday: 04/15/1988

Height: 6’5”

College: George Mason

SeanKelly

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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MATCH PREVIEW: Lions Kick Off Regular Season On The Road Sunday

OrlandoCitySocer
Lions Kick Off Regular Season On The Road Sunday

Orlando Starts 2013 USL PRO Season Against Expansion Club Phoenix FC in Arizona Sunday night

Orlando, Fla.— Orlando City kicks off the 2013 USL PRO on the road Sunday, April 7, in Phoenix against expansion club Phoenix FC at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Kickoff for the game is set for 10:30 p.m. EST as the Lions look to capture their third straight USL PRO regular season title.

“We’ve had a great preseason and I think we’ve gotten progressively better, ” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath after Orlando’s win in St. Petersburg over the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night. “We’re looking forward to having another bit season.”

The Lions begin the regular season with a head of steam after concluding the 2013 preseason, which wrapped up Saturday night as Orlando captured the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer against 2012 NASL Champion Tampa Bay Rowdies in St. Petersburg. Orlando scored late to secure the 3-2 win over the Rowdies and 6-4 aggregate overall. Kevin Molino, Adama Mbengue and Dom Dwyer all score for the Lions in the win in front of hundreds of City supporters who made the trip down I-4.

Sunday’s opponent, Phoenix FC, is one of two expansion franchises for the 2013 USL PRO season. Phoenix was announced as USL franchise on July 2 of 2012 and is led by Head Coach David Robertson. Robertson played in over 220 first team games for Scotland’s Aberdeen, helping his squad win the Scottish League Cup in 1989 and the Scottish Cup in 1990.

His club defeated fellow expansion side and cross-state VSI Tampa Saturday night 1-0, with Phoenix’s Netinho scoring the only goal of the game, and the first in the club’s history in the Wolves’ first win. Overall the club is 1-1-0 (W-L-T), falling to the LA Blues in the USL PRO opener back on March 23.

For more leading up to Sunday’s game, please visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.

Training Times:

Monday          Tuesday         Wednesday                Thursday       Friday

Off                   10-11:15**    10-11:15 **               10-11:15**    10-11:15**

*Practices are held at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla, and are open to media. Times are subject to change. Please contact Chris Jones (cjones@orlandocitysoccer.com) on confirmed times before attending training.

**times a.m.

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MATCH RECAP: Orlando Captures Inaugural I-4 Derby Title Over Tampa Bay Rowdies

Orlando Captures Inaugural I-4 Derby Title Over Tampa Bay Rowdies

 

                          Team                 1    2    Final (Aggregate)

       Orlando City         2    1    3    (6)

Tampa Bay Rowdies    1    1    2    (4)

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Kevin Molino (Adama Mbengue) 5th

ORL-Adama Mbengue (unassisted) 32nd

TB- Takuya Yamade (penalty) 41st

TB- Amani Walker (unassisted) 52nd

ORL-Dom Dwyer  (unassisted) 90th

Lineups:

Orlando City- GK: Jon Kempin, D Bryan Burke, Yann Songo’o, Rob Valentino, Luke Boden, M James O’Connor, Christian Duke, Kevin Molino, Adama Mbengue F Jamie Watson (Dennis Chin 73’), Dom Dwyer

Tampa Bay– GK Andrew Fontein, D Frankie Sanfilippo, Takuya Yamada, Daniel Scott Raphael Cox, M Evans Frimpong, Luke Mullholland, Stuart Campbell, Devin Del Do, F Georgi Hristov, Amani Walker

 Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m.

Weather: Clear

 

Orlando Captures Inaugural I-4 Derby Title Over Tampa Bay Rowdies

Lions win 6-4 on aggregate, capturing inaugural I-4 Derby Championship in St. Petersburg

Orlando, Fla.— Orlando City SC took down the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-2 Saturday night at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., capturing the inaugural I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer on aggregate 6-4. More than 150 Orlando City supporters travelled to see the Lions hoist the I-4 trophy, which wraps up the 2013 preseason for the Lions.

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I’m pleased for our players as they worked really hard tonight, and I’m really pleased for the supporters as they’ve been unbelievable. This one is for them.“

The Lions didn’t take very long to get on the scoreboard, with a well placed through ball by Midfielder Adama Mbengue to a charging Kevin Molino giving Orlando the early advantage. The 2012 USL PRO MVP found the pass in stride right outside the 18-yard box from Mbengue, rounding Rowdies Goalkeeper Andrew Fontein in the 5th minute to put the Lions up 1-0.

Orlando kept pushing on the attack, with it paying off in the 32nd minute. Forward and Sporting loanee Dom Dwyer blasted a shot that was deflected by Tampa’s Fontein, only for Mbengue to put in the follow up – giving Orlando the two goal advantage.

Tampa responded just before halftime, with a penalty kick conversion by Defender Tayuka Yamada in the 41st cutting down the Lions’ lead to one. Defender Rob Valentino entangled with a Tampa striker inside the Orlando18-yard box, with the referee pointing to the penalty spot immediately after both fell from the collision.  Yamada slid it by Goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who made his first start for Orlando since being loaned from affiliate Sporting Kansas City, to give the Rowdies some hope before half.

Tampa kicked off the second half with another score, this time from Forward Amani Walker. The striker received a well-placed chip from a Rowdies midfielder, placing it past Kempin to tie the match at 2-2 in the 50th minute.

After the Rowdies quick two scores, Orlando’s defense tightened in the later part of the second half, not allowing Tampa to gain solid footing on the offensive side of the ball. A late goal by Dwyer secured the win and championship for Orlando, slotting the ball from 18 yards out in the 90th minute to give Orlando the 3-2 advantage and 6-4 on aggregate.

Orlando now turns their attention to the 2013 USL PRO regular season, with the Lions traveling to Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University to face expansion side Phoenix FC on Sunday, April 7. The match will be streamed on UNation. For more information leading up to the regular season opener in Phoenix, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

OrlandoCityi4derby OrlandoCityi4derby OrlandoCityi4derby

Photo Credit: Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies, Austin Hittel/Orlando City SC

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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MATCH PREVIEW: Lions Face Rowdies In Second Leg of I-4 Derby Saturday

Orlando City Soccer

Lions Face Rowdies In Second Leg Of I-4 Derby Saturday

Orlando looks for inaugural derby title in St. Petersburg at Al Lang Stadium

 

ORLANDO, Fla.—Orlando City squares off against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the second leg of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer on Saturday, March 30, at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Lions won the first match in the derby series between the two on March 9 at the Florida Citrus Bowl, rallying to down the visiting Rowdies 3-2. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m.

“We know we missed a good amount of chances in the first game against Tampa,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It’s going to be a competitive game down at a tight field down there (in St. Petersburg). I expect a great game.“

 

Orlando has met Tampa Bay twice in franchise history, with both meetings coming within the last month. The Lions first met the Rowdies in the conclusion of the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic, beating the 2012 NASL champions 2-0 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The two then clashed in the first leg of the I-4 Derby just two weeks later, with Orlando rallying to clinch the victory 3-2 over the visiting squad. If Orlando wins or draws in St. Petersburg on Saturday, the Lions will take home the title of champions in the first of what both sides hope to be an annual series.

The 2013 Orlando City roster has seen change since the last time they squared off against the Rowdies. As per the agreement between Orlando and their Major League Soccer affiliate Sporting Kansas City, four players have arrived on loan and are now competing for starting spots. Those players include Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin, Christian Duke and Yann Songo’o. All four have seen playing time in two collegiate friendlies since their arrival, making Saturday’s match even more crucial for each player as the 2013 USL PRO season starts at the beginning of April.

 

“Basically everybody is trying to get themselves into pole position before the start of the season,” Heath added.

The Lions play their last collegiate friendly of the 2013 preseason Monday, March 25, against the University of Tampa at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. Orlando has remained undefeated in the collegiate series in 2013, topping college teams from Stetson, Rollins, FIU and FGCU. Admission is free and kickoff is set for 7 p.m. For more information about the collegiate friendly against Tampa and Saturday’s game at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.

 

Training Times:

Monday          Tuesday         Wednesday                Thursday       Friday

Off                    Off                     10-1130**                 10-1130**     10-1130**

 

*Practices are held at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla, and are open to media. Times are subject to change. Please contact Chris Jones (cjones@orlandocitysoccer.com) on confirmed times before attending training.

**times a.m.

 

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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Match Preview: Orlando Faces Tampa In First-Ever ‘I-4 Derby’ at Florida Citrus Bowl

Orlando Faces Tampa In First-Ever ‘I-4 Derby’ at Florida Citrus Bowl

Home leg this Saturday, March 9, at Florida Citrus Bowl with kickoff set for 7:30

Orlando, Fla.- Orlando City SC faces cross-state and 2012 NASL Champion Tampa Bay Rowdies this Saturday, March 9, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.  In the inaugural ‘I-4 Derby’, a home-and-away series between the two clubs, Orlando looks to gain further traction heading into the 2013 USL PRO regular season.

The last time the two clubs met, the Lions defeated the Rowdies 2-0 in the conclusion of the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic last Saturday. Goals from Midfielder Jamie Watson and Forward Dennis Chin led the way for Orlando. Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and the City backline held their own against the Rowdies attack, keeping their first clean sheet in the PSC vs. cross-state Tampa.

The Lions have made roster moves since the last meeting against the Rowdies, adding Orlando City U23s Captain Jonathan Mendoza and University of Tampa standout Brian Fekete to the squad. Both had previously been on trial with Orlando before signing with the team. Defender Jerome Mechack was also signed by Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Sporting Kansas City after spending most of the 2013 preseason on trial.

Tampa Bay comes into the game led by Head Coach Ricky Hill, who heads into his second season with the club. Hill led Tampa Bay to a record of 12-9-7 in the 2012 regular season before making a run in the NASL playoffs, topping Minnesota Stars FC 3-2 on penalty kicks. Lion fans will remember Rowdies standout and Midfielder Luke Mulholland, who won USL PRO Rookie of the Year after notching nine goals and five assists for rival Wilmington Hammerheads in 2011.

The I-4 Derby was announced this past November after continuous fan suggestion of creating a strong rivalry between the two franchises. The Lions and Rowdies, both recent champions in the USL PRO and NASL, are both top-flight clubs that show the rapid growth of the beautiful game in the sunshine state.

Tickets for the first match in Orlando can be purchased now by calling (855) ORL-CITY, while tickets for the second match in Tampa Bay will go on sale at a later date and will be able to be purchased through www.rowdiessoccer.com. Tickets for the Orlando match will not be included as a part of the OCSC season ticket package, but discounts will be available for season ticket holders.

The two sides will meet again on March 30 for the second leg of the derby in St. Petersburg, Fla. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium. The Lions will also continue their preseason against local college teams, including Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast and Rollins College. For the full preseason schedule, visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.
Training Schedule:

Monday          Tuesday         Wednesday    Thursday       Friday

10-11:15**    10-11:15**    10-11:15**    10-11:15**    10-11:15**

*Practices are held at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla, and are open to media. Times are subject to change. Please contact Chris Jones (cjones@orlandocitysoccer.com) on confirmed times before attending training.

**times a.m.

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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Sporting KC Signs Orlando Defender Mechack Jerome

Orlando City Soccer

Sporting KC Signs Orlando Defender Mechack Jerome

First transaction between partners Sporting KC and Orlando City has Lions defender going to major leagues

ORLANDO, Fla.—Orlando City SC, in conjunction with affiliate and Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Sporting Kansas City (SKC), announced Thursday that Defender Mechack Jerome has been signed to the major league side for the 2013 season pending receipt of International Transfer Certificate. Spending much of the 2013 preseason on trial with Kansas City, Jerome impressed the Sporting coaching staff enough to garner a call-up from the 2012 USL PRO regular season champion Orlando team to the majors.

“We’re delighted for him,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We have seen his gradual development and are pleased that he has moved on to one of the best clubs in MLS. It’s certainly gratifying for us.”

Jerome was a key part of the Orlando City backline that allowed the fewest goals in the league in 2012. The Haitian international appeared in 20 games last season, scoring one goal while logging three assists. He established himself as a regular in the starting XI, logging 1,423 minutes over the 2012 season. In total, he has made 34 appearances for the Lions in two seasons with the club.

“I’ve always wanted to play in MLS and I am very happy to have signed,” Jerome said. “It’s a group of great guys and a good team. I feel comfortable here already. It was a great experience playing for Orlando City and I am thankful for the opportunity that they gave me by allowing me to come play for Sporting Kansas City.”

The fullback started three out of the four matches for Sporting in the recently completed Disney Pro Soccer Classic, earning praise from SKC Head Coach Peter Vermes in his time with the club.

“He’s a gamer,” Vermes said in a conference call back on February 14. “He is tough in the position. He understands it defensively. He’s very controlled with the ball. He gets the game. He really does. He hasn’t had a lot of time with us, but he’s done well and I like him so far.”

After beginning his career in Haiti with Baltimore de St. Marc, Jerome joined Mirandela of the Portuguese Second Division for the ’09-10 season. He was then acquired by Heath and the Austin Aztex in 2010, moving with the club to Orlando later that year.

The Liancourt, Haiti, native joins Lawerence Olum as former Orlando players who have made the Sporting side after going on trial. Olum appeared 21 times for the Lions in the 2011 season, scoring the opening goal of the 2011 USL PRO Championship match.

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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Orlando City Adds Bryan Burke

OrlandoCitySocer

Orlando City Adds Bryan Burke

2011 USL PDL Finals MVP Joins Lions Backline for 2013 

Orlando City has signed Defender Bryan Burke to the pro team roster. The Newport Beach, Calif., native was a part of the LA Blues last season, leading the team in minutes played (1,867) and tied for the team-lead in games played (23) after moving up from the PDL one year ago. Burke will wear No. 7 for the Lions.

“Bryan is by far the best player we played against all last year,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “When we get the opportunity to take a player like that then we have to sign him. He’s a great athlete and we’re delighted to pick him up.”

Burke got his start with Orange County Blue Star of the USL Premier Development League (PDL).  Playing from 2007-10, Burke appeared 29 times for Orange County, scoring four goals. In 2011, Burke joined the Kitsap Pumas of the PDL, leading them to the 2011 PDL Championship. Burke’s assist led to the game-winning goal in the 11th minute of the championship match, earning himself MVP honors in the 1-0 win over the Laredo Heat.

The signing, which was originally announced at the club’s fan forum in early December, adds to the already impressive Orlando City backline that boasts 2011 USL PRO Defender of the Year Rob Valentino and winger Luke Boden. The backline, which allowed a league-low 18 goals last season, is something Heath says will be key to repeat for a third championship in 2013.

“The way that we play, we see adding Burke as a strong point,“ said Heath. “He’s very good at going down the right hand side and will be a great asset for our attacking half.”

The club is looking to add four to five more players heading up until the regular season starts, with many players on last season’s championship squad now free agents, including Kyle Davies, Erik Ustruck and 2012 USL PRO player of the year Kevin Molino. Stay tuned to all roster updates by going to OrlandoCitySoccer.com through the entire 2013 preseason.

Acquisition: Orlando City (USLPRO) signs Bryan Burke

Pro Experience: 1 year

Last Club: Los Angeles Blues

 

Birthday: 1/3/89

 

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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Match Report: Orlando City Falls To A.S. Roma

OrlandoCitySocerOrlando City

January 2, 2013

Team                          1          2          Final

Orlando City             0          0          0

A.S. Roma                  4          1          5

Scoring Summary:

(ASR) 2rd, Erik Manuel Lamela (Miralem Pjanic)

(ASR) 13th, Erik Manuel Lamela (Alessandro Florenzi)

(ASR) 31st, Miralem Pjanic (unassisted)

(ASR) 45th, Mattia Destro (unassisted)

(ASR) 66th, Alessandro Florienzi (unassisted)

Lineups:

Orlando City: Miguel Gallardo, Jerome Mechack, Alex DeJon, Kieron Bernard, Luke Boden, James O’Connor (Jordan LeBlanc 68’), Jean Alexandre (Ian Fuller 74’), Chris Harmon (Brian Fekete 46’), Jamie Watson (Jonathan Mendoza 57’), Dennis Chin (Christian Eissele 74’), Adama Mcengue

A.S. Roma: Michael Bradley (Simone Perrota 46), Leandro Castan, Erik Manuel Lamela, Miralem Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi (Panagiotis Tachtsidis 46’), Mattia Destro, Ivan Rodrigo Piris, Maarten Stekelenburg (Bogdan Lobont 46’), Jose Rodolfo Dodo (Marco Antonio De Mattos Filho 59’), Nicolas Andrea Burdisso (Alessio Romagnoli 46’), Alessandro Florenzi

Match Facts:

Time of match: 12:30 p.m.

Weather:  Clear

Attendance: 700+

Orlando City Falls To A.S. Roma

Valuable experience gained for Lions in 5-0 loss to three-time Serie A Champions

Winter Park, Fla. – Orlando City kicked off the new year in style, playing a friendly against three-time Serie A champion A.S. Roma in the 2013 preseason opener. Despite the 5-0 scoreline, the Lions impressed the sellout crowd at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla., keeping up with worldwide stars like Michael Bradley, Francesco Totti and Maarten Stekelenburg in a game that the team hopes to be a springboard to a successful 2013 season.

“It’s been a really good experience for everyone,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It’s a huge eye-opener to what the next level of soccer is for everyone on the team.”

Roma, who trained at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney during their winter break, looked sharp against the 2012 USL PRO Regular Season champs.  The Italian squad got started on the board early on, capitalizing on an early breakaway in the 2nd minute to take the 1-0 lead. Forward Erik Manuel Lamela notched a score after a well-directed pass by Miralem Pjanic hit the striker in stride, with the shot going up and over Orlando Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and into the net.

Lamela wasn’t done with scoring in the first half as the Buenos Aires native gave Roma a two goal advantage in the 13th minute. In a scrum around the box, the forward once again found the back of the net, with help coming this time from Midfielder Alessandro Florenzi. Pjanic, who held the assist on the first goal, netted Roma’s third goal in the 31st minute while Mattia Destro added a fourth in the 45th to give the Italian side a 4-0 lead going into halftime.

The second half brought about many changes for both squads, giving each club a chance to look at players who normally don’t see the pitch. Youngsters Brian Fekete from the University of Tampa and Jonathan Mendoza from the U23 squad came on as substitutes for Orlando, gaining valuable experience for players Heath has an interest in for upcoming 2013 season. The same happened for Roma, who gave playing time to keeper Bogdan Lobont, Marco Antonio De Mattos Filho and Panagiotis Tachtsidis.

Roma continued their impressive style of play, with a score by Alessandro Florenzi in the 66th adding onto their lead. The score, however, was not a concern for Heath as his team played against one of the world’s best, with the experience more valuable than a victory in the friendly.

“The match was great for our younger players to see what top level competition is,” Heath said.

All ticket proceeds of the match went to the Orlando City Soccer Foundation. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit, the Foundation promotes exercise and healthy eating to the children and families in the Central Florida area and has done recent work in the Parramore area at the New Image Youth Center.

Orlando City takes a break from friendlies until early February, when the club participates in its third Disney Pro Soccer Classic. The Lions will play against Major League Soccer clubs like the Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew before seeing their placement on championship day on February 23. All matches will be held at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. For more information on the games, go to 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.OrlandoCitySoccer OrlandoCitySoccer OrlandoCitySoccer

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Orlando City Faces Italian Superclub AS Roma

OrlandoCitySocer

 

Orlando City Faces Italian Superclub AS Roma

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

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

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

Orlando City

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

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

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

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

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

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

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Orlando City Head Coach To Stay!

 

ORLANDO CITY HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH SIGNS NEW CONTRACT

Deal comes amidst strong push from MLS clubs to hire the Orlando City manager

 

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) today announced that Head Coach Adrian Heath has signed a new three-year contract that will keep Heath with the organization through October 2015.  Heath has been a target for several MLS teams after completing another successful season, but Orlando City management worked hard to retain Heath as head coach of the Lions.

 

“We are thrilled that Adrian has signed a new contract with us.” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “When you have a coach of Adrian’s ability and track-record, he is bound to attract attention from other clubs. It’s no secret that several MLS clubs have enquired about Adrian but we have been fighting hard over the past few months to keep him as our coach. We believe in his style of play, his philosophy and his leadership of the players. We want to keep Adrian at the helm as we make our own push to bring Major League Soccer here in Central Florida.”

 

 

Heath has been with Orlando since they began operations in late 2010, leading the Lions to records of 15-3-6 in 2011 and 17-1-6 in 2012 during regular season play. In just two seasons with City, Heath has led the Lions to two regular season championships and one postseason title.

 

“I want to thank the club for their support and belief in me,” said Heath. “I am delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement on a new contract.

 

The former Everton star is also a key component of Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS), leading the youth club in a new style of play and direction in their first season under direction of OCSC.

 

“I am looking forward to building on the two regular season titles we have already won and in playing my part in helping Orlando achieve its goal of MLS.  I also want to thank the fans for all support over the past two years, they have been terrific!” said Heath.

 

 

 

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is the premier professional soccer sports franchise in the State of Florida. 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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Orlando City Soccer Club Is Ready To Take On The Hammerheads!

Orlando City Soccer
Orlando City Soccer Club

ORLANDO CITY REMAINS CONFIDENT IN HEADING INTO PLAYOFFS

Rivalry heats up in first-ever playoff meeting between the Lions and Hammerheads

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City Soccer Club begins their title defense on Friday as they kick off the 2012 USL PRO Playoffs against their fierce rivals, the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. at the Citrus Bowl.

“Like I say against everyone, we’ll give them the respect they deserve,” said Orlando City Soccer Head Coach Adrian Heath.  “But we don’t fear anyone.  We’re confident in our own ability to get the job done.”

The bad blood between the two sides has been brewing all season long, starting with the Lions defeating the Hammerheads 4-1 in the 2012 home opener.  Orlando City dominated the game, and set the tone for a record-breaking season with the statement win.

Wilmington returned the favor when the City travelled north to Legion Stadium, and defeated the Lions 3-1.  It was Orlando City Soccer’s only loss of the USL PRO season.  Orlando’s players and coaching staff haven’t forgotten.

“We scored first, early on, but we didn’t play well,” said Heath.  “It’s tight up there, and that gave us some trouble.  Fortunately, we don’t have that issue at home.”
In the two matches between City and Wilmington, the Lions have outscored the Hammerheads 5-2, but in the most recent meeting, the match was played to a 1-1 draw.  Much of that scoreline was the result of the Hammerheads’ defense-minded strategy and willingness to sit and wait for countering opportunities.
“I think it’s difficult for teams to not do that when they come here to play us,” said Heath, referring to Wilmington’s defensive strategy.  “Especially when we play well.  I thought a lot of our football was very, very good in the last game.”

Statistically, the Lions dominated that final match, outshooting the Hammerheads 36-6.  Though Orlando City Soccer scored only once, they also hit the post several times.  The Hammerheads managed just one serious scoring chance, the result of a surprising defensive lapse from the league’s best back line, but they made it count.  Orlando will be keen to avoid those mistakes on Friday.

“If we have that many efforts at goal again, I’ll be delighted,” said Heath.  “That will probably win us the game.  But it’s that time of the year now – play well and carry on or go home.  Our memories of the final last year are still very vivid, very fresh.  That will be out motivation on Friday, because we want to experience that again.
The match will be broadcast locally on AM 740 The Game, and will be simulcast on USLNation.com for those outside Orlando.  Tickets for the match are still available, and start at just $15.  For more information, call 855-ORL-CITY or visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.

Player to Watch – Kevin Molino:
This season, as Dennis Chin goes, so does Orlando City.  The 2012 USL PRO Goals Champion and Points Champion has been the Lions’ breakout star this season, and for good reason.  He makes things happen.  But behind Chin, there has been a far more important player pulling the strings – Kevin Molino.
Though he has registered just seven official assists on Orlando City’s 50 goals this season, there’s hardly a scoring chance the Lions have converted that doesn’t involve Molino in some manner.  Like last year’s USL PRO MVP Yordany Alvarez, Molino pulls the strings in the City offense.  His distribution skills are unmatched in the league.  If Molino plays well, the Lions will move on to the USL PRO Championship for the second straight season.
About Orlando City Soccer Club:Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is one of Orlando’s premier professional sports franchises. Orlando City plays in the USL PRO league, part of the United Soccer Leagues.  During the inaugural 2011 season, the Orlando City Lions captured the USL PRO American Division, Regular Season, and Playoff championships, and was named the 2011 USL PRO Organization of the Year.  For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.

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