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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Orlando City Continue US Open Cup Play Wednesday #GoCity

Orlando City Soccer - Weekly Review

Lions Take On MLS’ Chicago Fire Wednesday Night

Orlando City SC continues their run in the US Open Cup this Wednesday, June 26, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., against Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire in the tournament’s quarterfinals. Kickoff for the game is set for 8:30 p.m. EST and will be livestreamed on Chicago’s YouTube channel.

The Fire have been on a hotstreak as of late in MLS regular season action, remaining undefeated in their last five matches (seven including US Open Cup). Chicago has advanced past the Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) 2-0 and Columbus Crew (MLS) 2-1 to get to Wednesday’s quarterfinal match.

Chicago, who’s never faced Orlando City in Open Cup play, are 20-0-1 all-time in Open Cup matches in the state of Illinois.

Since 1998, the Fire have won the Open Cup Championship four times- making Chicago one of six teams to capture the title at least four times in the tournament’s 100-year history.

The Lions advanced past MLS affiliate Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in the last round of US Open Cup play, with an early score by Forward Long Tan giving Orlando the lead and win. The win marked the club’s first-ever win over Sporting KC and advancement to the quarterfinal round of the US Open Cup. If the Lions advance past Chicago, Orlando will host the semifinals on Wednesday, August 7, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

Orlando previously topped MLS’ Colorado Rapids 3-1 at the Citrus Bowl and the PDL’s Ocala Stampede in the second and third rounds of the knockout tournament. The four Sporting loanees who did not play against Sporting, including Dom Dwyer, Christian Duke, Yann Songo’o and Jon Kempin, will be eligible for the June 26 match against Chicago.

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and is open to United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams. This year marks the centennial edition of the tournament. This year’s field consisted of 68 teams, the largest field in US Open Cup history.

Orlando City Soccer - Weekly Review
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 U23s Kickoff Season With US Open Cup

Orlando City Soccer

Orlando City U23s Kickoff Season With US Open Cup Tuesday, May 14

2012 PDL Southern Conference Champs play VSI Tampa Bay at Seminole Soccer Complex

The 2012 PDL Southern Conference Champion Orlando City U23s kickoff the 2013 season in the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Tuesday, May 14th at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. The U23s will face USL PRO side VSI Tampa Bay FC in the first round of the knockout tournament after winning the Southern Conference title in the 2012 season.

“We are excited to play our opening game this season against VSI,” said Head Coach Paul Shaw. “They are a tough and organized team but we will be ready.”

The U23s are a key component of the Orlando City developmental structure and will employ the same system as the pro side, providing familiarity for players who receive a call up from Head Coach Adrian Heath. First team players Adama Mbengue and Jonathan Mendoza were the first two to receive the nod from Heath, and Shaw has made it clear that his main focus is continuing to develop players while also building upon the success generated from last year’s Final Four run. The U23s fell short, 2-1, to the Carolina Dynamo in last year’s semi-finals, but marked their first appearance in the Final Four since the 2004 season.

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and is open to United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams. The Open Cup was first held in 1913, with this year marking the centennial edition of the tournament. This year’s field is made up of 68 teams, with the event beginning on May 7 with a play-in round consisting of teams from lower-level leagues around the country.

Squaring up against a USL PRO team this early in the season side will certainly align with Shaw’s views, as it will provide valuable experience for the Lions heading into their first regular season match against IMG Bradenton Academics on May 19 at Seminole Soccer Complex. Representing the U23s this year are top players from universities throughout the United States, such as Clemson, Georgetown and the College of Charleston. Striker Nicolas Russo will also join the U23s this season after spending a sufficient amount of time in training with the first team.

The match against VSI will kick off at 7 p.m. and tickets will be sold for $8 for adults and $5 for kids. Similar to the pro side, the TPASS grants access into all regular season home games, but is not valid for Open Cup matches.

The pro team will enter the tournament in the second round of play on Tuesday, May 21st. The opponent and venue of the game will be determined in the upcoming weeks. The Lions fell to eventual Open Cup Champions and current Major League Soccer (MLS) affiliate Sporting Kansas City last year 3-2 at Sporting Park.

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 Faces Dayton at Home Saturday Night at 7:30 p.m.

Orlando City Soccer

Lions on 20-game home unbeaten streak during regular season play

Orlando, Fla.— After earning a point on the road in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday night, Orlando (3-1-1, 10 points) comes back to Central Florida for a three-game homestand starting this Saturday night against the Dayton Dutch Lions (1-0-0, 3 points) at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. as the Lions look to extend their 20-game home unbeaten streak in USL PRO regular season play at the Citrus Bowl.

The Lions drew against the Charlotte Eagles late Tuesday night, moving Orlando up to top spot in league standings with 10 points 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.

Orlando topped the visiting LA Blues 3-2 in front of a regular-season record crowd of 9,140 in their last home match at Fifth Third Bank Field. Midfielder Jamie Watson, who was named the USL PRO player of the Week Tuesday, was involved with all three goals as Orlando avenged their only loss of the young season.

Orlando is 2-0-4 all-time against Dayton, who plays their second match of the season on Friday in Plant City, Fla., against expansion VSI Tampa Bay. The team is coached by Patrick Bal with Gibson Bardsley and Remco Klaasse leading the team in scoring with one goal a piece. Their lone win came against Pittsburgh on April 20, topping the Riverhounds 2-1.

The Lions then continue their homestand this Tuesday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. against fellow Florida side VSI Tampa Bay. Pregame festivities including a concert by local band Posterra. For more information on this week’s upcoming matches, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

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

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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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CFVRMA Supports Orlando City Soccer MLS Bid

Orlando City Soccer

Central Florida Vacation Rental Manager’s Association Supports Orlando City Soccer Club’s MLS Bid

ORLANDO, FLA.– Central Florida Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (CFVRMA), the largest group of vacation rental manager’s in the state of Florida, have endorsed Orlando City Soccer Club’s (OCSC) bid to become a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

 

Following the news that a site has been chosen for the new downtown multipurpose soccer stadium, CFVRMA has decided to throw its support behind the bid for MLS in Central Florida.  Wednesday, Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the $8.2 million site for the stadium as being the two blocks bordered by Central Boulevard, Church Street, Terry and Parramore Avenues. If the bid is successful, Orlando could be awarded a franchise by this December and play in MLS in 2015.

 

“ The vacation rental industry in Central Florida has largely flown under the radar for approximately two decades,” said CFVRMA Vice President Nigel Worrall. “In that time, the industry has grown to create over 33,000 local jobs and to bring an economic impact of over $1.7 Billion to the local economy, largely in Osceola and Polk counties.”

 

“We believe the time is right for Orlando to have another major league sporting team and we’d like to play a part in helping that bid,” Worrall continued. “Approximately $12 million dollars a year is created by the vacation home industry in tourist development taxes in Osceola County alone. Orange County, by comparison, collects just a small fraction of that from vacation rentals. We’d like to change that and help bring more dollars to the county. We believe we can contribute a similar amount to that collected in Osceola County if given the opportunity and that would undoubtedly help Orange County with future projects and planning.”
“We are proud to have the support of the CFVRMA,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “Tourism is important to our organization as we strive to bring a MLS franchise to Orlando by 2015.”
About Central Florida Vacation Manager’s Association:  The Central Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association was founded in 1998 to unite Central Florida vacation home management companies as a professional body, and to work together to promote the vacation rental industry, support compliance and serve and protect the interests of property owners and guests. Vacation rental managers are held to a code of ethics and membership must be approved by a majority of the board of directors. Members attend monthly meetings, which include educational training, networking opportunities and updates relevant to the vacation rental industry.

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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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Release: Soccer Foundation Aims To Build Soccer Fields In Downtown Orlando

Orlando City Soccer

Orlando City Soccer Foundation Aims To Build Soccer Fields In Downtown Orlando

OCSF kicking off 2013 with special initiatives that include Parramore area and player outreach

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando City Soccer Foundation (OCSF) kicks off 2013 with exciting initiatives to give back to the Orlando community through outreach programs and services targeted at children and families, including building two soccer fields in the Parramore area. The soccer fields, which would be lit, outdoor turf pitches, are meant to provide a safe place to play while promoting healthy lifestyles.

“Reaching out to our local community using the powerful platform of sport is imperative,” said Foundation Chair Kay Rawlins. “Our main focus is promoting a healthy lifestyle for children, such as eating healthy and engaging in exercise. The project is important because it will provide a safe place to play for kids in the community while also teaching them about a healthy lifestyle.”

Through an ongoing process with the US Soccer Foundation, OCSF has targeted Parramore, which is located near downtown Orlando. Providing a soccer facility in the neighborhood will offer children a free and safe place to play, and would be the only soccer facility located in the neighborhood. OCSF hopes to announce that funding has been secured by the end of 2013, with construction starting immediately afterwards.

Placing the two soccer-field facility in Parramore serves as a catalyst to other great benefits for the neighborhood. The Foundation will hire coaches and other necessary staff members to help facilitate soccer activities and maintain the fields. These coaches will provide free guidance and tips for children on the field as well as important life skills that they can use off it.

The Foundation plans on fulfilling other civic duties to the community, such as going to local schools and youth groups to advocate staying active and eating healthy. Many players have already partnered with existing non-profits and civic organizations including ROCK, Easter Seals Disability Services and New Image Youth Center (NIYC). Additionally, team members will provide free soccer clinics for children as part of an ongoing relationship with the NIYC.

“This year will be full of promise,” Rawlins added. “We want to start our initiatives in the heart of Parramore, which will hopefully start a trickle effect throughout Orlando. Preparing the children for the future is something that the whole city of Orlando should be involved in.”

OCSF is a 501 ©3 non-profit organization, and is dedicated to fulfilling the charitable objectives of Orlando City SC by providing outreach programs, services and initiatives for individuals and organizations in need. For more information, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

 

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

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

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Orlando Receives Four Players On Loan From MLS’ Sporting KC

OCKS

Orlando Receives Four Players On Loan From MLS’ Sporting KC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

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

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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 Soccer To Host Brazilian Powerhouse Fluminense Football Club!

Orlando City Soccer

Orlando To Host Brazilian Powerhouse Fluminense FC

Game to be played on June 22 at the Florida Citrus Bowl against 2012 Brazilian Champions

Orlando, Fla.—Orlando City SC, in cooperation with Fluminense Football Club, is proud to announce an international friendly between the two teams on Saturday, June 22, at the Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The announcement comes off the heels of new Brazilian Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva making a significant investment in Orlando City last week, exhibiting the Lion’s strong new ties with the country of Brazil.

“We are delighted to be hosting the reigning Brazilian Champions, Fluminense,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “They are one of the very best teams in all of Brazil and have a host of world-class players in their squad. I’m sure it will be a great spectacle for our fans.”

Fluminense FC competes in Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, the top level of Brazilian soccer.  This year they are also one of the sides representing Brazil in the prestigious Libertadores of American Cup Led by Head Coach Abel Braga, who began his professional career with the club, Fluminense boasts some of the top talent from the country of Brazil and beyond. Midfielder Deco and forward Fred headline the club’s players coming to Orlando for the friendly.

We are honored to have been invited to participate in this international friendly match and, most importantly, of the new relationship being built with Orlando City,” said Fluminense’s president Peter Siemsen.

The match adds to the list of top-level clubs Orlando has played in the Central Florida area, which includes: English Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and A.S. Roma of Serie A. The ability to draw major franchises from top-level leagues is something Rawlins says is an important factor in Major League Soccer’s considerations of who gains entry into the league.

“Arranging this took a lot of work and several meetings with Fluminense but it once again shows our commitment to bringing the very best in club soccer to Orlando,” Rawlins added.

The Lions announced last Monday that the Rio de Janeiro native Silva invested in Orlando City, funding the club’s share of a private/publicly funded multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando and future acquisition of a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.  The new owner also told those in attendance that his Brazilian contacts with major companies and soccer franchises will be important moving forward, with the Fluminense release displaying just that.

Fans can buy their tickets to the friendly beginning Tuesday, February 26, at 12 p.m. Tickets start at just $15 and can be bought online by going to Ticketmaster.com. Fans can also buy Orlando City 2013 season tickets, which start at just $125. The Lions kick off the regular season at home on Sunday, April 14, at the Florida Citrus Bowl against the Rochester Rhinos. For more information on tickets, fans can call 855-ORL-CITY.

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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