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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Orlando City Ties Philadelphia Union in Game 1 of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic

Orlando City

The Walt Disney World® Resort is teaming up with Major League Soccer to bring you the Walt Disney World® Pro Soccer Classic set to take place February 9 through February 23, 2013.

This action- packed event will feature eight professional teams competing in pre-season soccer tournaments at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In 2012, Fans traveled from across the U.S. and Canada to get up close and personal with their favorite teams at this premiere spring training soccer event.

 

The participating teams are Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, DC United, Montreal Impact, Orlando City, Tampa Bay Rowdies.

And Shalon and I were THERE this past Saturday to support our favorite home town team Orlando City Lions while they faced the Philadelphia Union.

While the game ended in a tie, the energy at the pitch was fantastic! Iron Lion Firm showed up to cheer on the guys and lots of fans of the other teams participating showed their support as well! Orlando City Played a fantastic game and while they didn’t come out with the win, the tie was totally fine with us!

The Disney Pro Soccer Classic runs through February 23, 2013 at ESPN Wide World of Sports! Orlando City’s next game against the Toronto FC is Wednesday, February 13th at 8 pm at ESPN Wide World of Sports. You can find a match preview of the game here.

PLEASE make sure you follow along with us on Twitter @OnTheGoInMCO for live tweeting of the games! The next Orlando City Game is Wednesday night against the Toronto Football Club!  And you KNOW We will be there!!!!!

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