SPORTS

Orlando City Soccer Club poised for grand return to Citrus Bowl

The Orlando City Soccer Club called the Florida Citrus Bowl home for three of their four seasons in USL PRO before spending last year at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.

With an agreement reached late Wednesday between Major League Soccer and its players’ union, the Lions will make a grand return to the Citrus Bowl on Sunday for their first MLS match against New York City FC at 5 p.m.

The club expects 62,000 fans to be on hand for what is shaping up to be the biggest sporting event in the area in recent memory.

The last time OCSC played at the Citrus Bowl – on September 7, 2013 – Dom Dwyer scored four goals and the Lions claimed their second league title in three years with a 7-4 win over the Charlotte Eagles.

The announced crowd that night? A respectable 20,886.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Will strike threaten start of MLS season?

The Orlando City Soccer Club is poised to open its inaugural Major League Soccer season on Sunday, March 8 against fellow expansion side New York City FC.

But there’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding negotiations between the league and players’ union that could threaten a big opening weekend for MLS.

Valencia Voice and The Skyboat editor/contributor Danny Morales joined me on the show Saturday to talk about how a player strike might impact the hype locally surrounding OCSC and the start of the MLS season.

Orlando City announced Monday that they’ve sold 60,000 tickets for Sunday’s match at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

NASCAR wrecks that changed racing

Today’s Daytona 500 looks a lot different than it did decades ago. Although that’s a bummer for most purists of the sport, the advancements in safety that’s since altered races has proved necessary at each and every turn throughout NASCAR’s existence.

Take a look at the YouTube video below posted by MarkED912 featuring a long list of the crashes that have changed NASCAR over the years.

Carnahan Coverage: Tim Mitchell has rebounded in major way since high school basketball days

Tim Mitchell didn’t survive roster cuts his junior year at Orlando’s University High School. The following year he played a major role though in a successful season for the Cougars, setting the stage for where he is today. I had a chance to cover Mitchell during my time at the East Orlando Sun newspaper during the 2007-08 season. Below is an edited version of a story I wrote about him for the January 3, 2008 edition.

Tim Mitchell_EOSunBut first an update: Mitchell is currently finishing out his senior season at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida after helping lead the program to its first trip to the NAIA Division II tournament a year ago. Southeastern entered the postseason unseeded but finished third in the country after earning wins over No. 16 Huntington (Ind.), No. 1 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and No. 9 Davenport (Mich.), before falling to the eventual champions, No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan, in the semis.

Mitchell led all tournament players with nine blocked shots and averaged 10 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games for a team that finished 27-7 overall. During the 2013-14 season Mitchell blocked 67 shots and shot 58 percent from the floor while averaging 13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Southeastern is currently 15-11 overall and 9-8 in The Sun Conference.

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Tim Mitchell was unable to secure a roster spot at University High School before the start of his junior year, he had all but given up on his prep playing career.

It seemed as though the closest he’d get to a varsity basketball game would be while watching from the stands. That’s about the time reality set in for the 6-foot-7 post player as he began accounting for his own actions, or lack thereof.

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Carnahan Coverage: No. 22 UCF baseball pushing for first postseason trip since 2012

The UCF baseball team reached a regional championship game in 2012, capping a back-to-back run in the postseason with one of the strongest squads in recent memory.

A year ago the Knights lineup featured a majority of players new to the program, yet they barely missed out on being selected for the NCAA Tournament.

Entering this season UCF has just five players on roster from that 2012 team. But the experience this group garnered a year ago has them ranked No. 22 in the Baseball America preseason rankings.

I spoke with senior JoMarcos Woods and head coach Terry Rooney for the Orlando Sentinel this week about how valuable that experience will be this year. The Knights will face five teams this season that open ranked in the Top 25.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Soccer Futurist Ted Westervelt talks about state of the sport in United States

The Orlando City Soccer Club opens its Major League Soccer season March 8 after dominating the competition the past four years in the lower-division USL PRO.

That’s if players don’t strike while demanding free agency and fair wages from MLS as collective bargaining conversations continue this month.

On Saturday I was joined by “soccer futurist” Ted Westervelt of Soccer Reform and Pot Hunting on AM 740 The Game to talk about the current CBA situation, the lack of promotions/relegation in the US, and other soccer topics here stateside.

Be sure to follow Ted Westervelt on Twitter and take part in what you love and hate about his opinions. From my point of view, it’s safe to say he’s fairly acclimated to the abuse by now.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Super Bowl Sunday trouble, new football league, angry high school soccer dad and National Signing Day hype

I found myself caught up in a couple of crazy circumstances a week ago and decided to share those stories on the show this past Saturday.

For starters, my carelessness while running late to a Super Bowl party resulted in banging up the car of Mike Bianchi, columnist at the Orlando Sentinel and host of AM 740 The Game’s “Open Mike,” while in the parking lot at Ker’s WingHouse. We capped the opening segment by also talking about a new football league forming in 2016 that’s looking to bring yet another minor league team to Orlando next spring.

Then on Friday, while on assignment to cover a prep soccer game at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, I was nearly attacked by an angry Warriors dad in the press box. We finished the show talking about that wild encounter while giving props to the local high school state tournament teams and touching on the disturbing hype that surrounds National Signing Day on a yearly basis.

Enjoy.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Bright House Sports Network’s Austin Lyon talks future of National Signing Day

On Saturday I was joined by Austin Lyon of Bright House Sports Network to talk about college football’s upcoming National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Lyon provided a preview of what to expect from BHSN’s coverage while also touching on what the future may hold for National Signing Day as more and more student-athletes opt to become early enrollees at their colleges of choice.

He broke down the schools being considered by offensive lineman Martez Ivey of Apopka High School, the top college football prospect in Central Florida, and what schools running back Dexter Williams and athlete Jalen Julius are each considering. Both Williams and Julius finished their prep careers at West Orange High School in Winter Garden.

Lyon wrapped up the segment by talking about the recruiting classes of college programs throughout the state of Florida and gave a short preview of BHSN’s upcoming coverage of the boys and girls basketball postseason.

Carnahan Coverage: Temple routs UCF in men’s basketball

ORLANDO, Fla. – Will Cummings has been hampered by a leg injury over the past few weeks, but in his return to the Sunshine State on Wednesday he helped Temple terrorize UCF to the tune of 86-62.

Family and friends made the trip from Jacksonville to see Cummings in action and he did not disappoint, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Read more about the game in a story I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: UCFSports.com publisher Brandon Helwig talks about state of UCF men’s hoops program

UCF Sports publisher Brandon Helwig joined the show Saturday to talk about the UCF men’s basketball team overcoming NCAA sanctions, the program’s upcoming recruiting class, the dwindling crowds at games the past couple seasons, the impact A.J. Rompza had on the fanbase, and upcoming home games against Cincinnati and Temple.

( – Click here to listen to Brandon Helwig talk state of UCF men’s basketball – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Ernie Banks passes, changes in MLB, Klay Thompson sets record, Orlando Magic struggle, legacy of Mike Krzyzewski, potential strike in MLS

Cliff Bell of CRB Entertainment and Open Mike producer Mike Venditti joined the show Saturday morning to talk about a number of different topics in the world of baseball, basketball and soccer.

Check the links below to listen in on the conversations.

– We got things started by paying our respects to “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks before talking about the proposed pitching changes Major League Baseball plans to experiment with at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this coming year.

– We then talked about the NBA record-setting night put together by Klay Thompson during a 37-point third quarter outburst and how the Orlando Magic continue to struggle against the worst teams in the league. Shout out to Brian for calling into the show to share his thoughts on the Magic.

– The show finished up with a rundown of the top pro and college basketball games scheduled over the next few days, talk about legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski chasing his 1,000th win and about how a potential strike in Major League Soccer could impact the start of Orlando City Soccer Club’s professional debut.

Orlando City Soccer Club coach hopes “common sense prevails” in MLS collective bargaining talks

SANFORD, Fla. – Orlando City Soccer Club’s Adrian Heath awoke this morning to the start of his 37th preseason as both a player and coach as his expansion Lions opened camp for their inaugural Major League Soccer campaign.

With plenty of work to get down during a crucial acclimation process for close to 30 players who are coming together for the first time, Heath is taking an optimistic approach toward the uncertainly that hangs over the start of the MLS season.

While the excitement surrounding the club has been rampant throughout Central Florida, there’s fear that a delay to the start of the 2015 season is a real possibility.

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Carnahan Coverage: Kasey Rakauskas scores hat trick for Lake Brantley in upset of West Orange

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Kasey Rakauskas netted a hat trick for the fifth time this season to help keep the postseason run alive for the girls soccer team at Lake Brantley High School.

The three most recent goals for the senior came at the most opportune time as the Patriots (13-8-2) went on the road Thursday for a Class 5A region quarterfinal and won 3-0 over West Orange (13-3-4), the No. 3 team in the Orlando Sentinel Super Six rankings.

Rakauskas also scored three goals in a game this season against Seminole (Oct. 28), Lake Howell (Nov. 14), Hagerty (Jan. 13) and Lake Mary (Jan. 14).

“She’s a star, she knows how to play and she reads the game so well,” Lake Brantley coach JC Garzon said.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with Orlando Solar Bears President/CEO Jason Siegel

The Orlando Solar Bears play host to the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic at Amway Center on Wednesday as the local team matches up against the best minor league players from throughout the rest of the East Coast Hockey League.

Solar Bears president/CEO Jason Siegel joined the show Saturday morning to talk about this week’s all-star festivities, the three different types of hockey fans in Orlando, their affliction with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and how local kids have gravitated toward the sport over the past three years.

( – Click here to listen to interview with Jason Siegel of the Orlando Solar Bears – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Orlando Magic, Doc & Austin Rivers, Jameer Nelson, Orlando City Soccer Club, Cardale Jones, Pacquiao-Mayweather

The Orlando Magic beat a team with a winning record for just the fifth time this season when they knocked off Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. On Saturday’s show we talked about where the Magic currently stand while also touching on the recent L.A. reunion of Doc and Austin Rivers, who won two state basketball titles at Winter Park High School. Speaking of reunions, former Magic player Jameer Nelson has been making the rounds as of late in a bit of an unusual way as he’s now with his third team this season.

( – Click here to listen to more on Orlando Magic, Doc & Austin and Jameer Nelson – )

The Orlando City Soccer Club made it’s first-ever MLS SuperDraft selection Thursday when the Lions selected Connecticut forward Cyle Larin while UCF forward Romario Williams was taken third overall by the Montreal Impact. We opened the final segment of the show Saturday talking about Major League Soccer before touching on the decision of quarterback Cardale Jones to return to Ohio State. We also shared some thoughts on boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally meeting in the ring.

( – Click here for more about MLS SuperDraft, Cardale Jones & Mayweather-Pacquiao – )