WORK

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club preps for Major League Soccer Expansion Draft

There’s so much to be done before the Orlando City Soccer Club even steps foot on the pitch as a Major League Soccer participant at the start of the 2015 season. Among the many obstacles to navigate is the MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 10 as Orlando City joins New York City FC in each selecting 10 players from those made available by current clubs.

( – Click here to read J.C.s story for MLSSoccer.com about OCSC preparing for Expansion Draft – )

Orlando City currently has just 10 players under contract for 2015 after defender Luke Boden and midfielder Harrison Heath finalized contracts with the club on Monday. Boden has spent the past four seasons with the Lions while Heath joined Orlando City near the end of the 2014 USL PRO season.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story for MLSSoccer.com about Boden and Heath signing contracts – )

Carnahan Coverage: Temple becomes latest foe to fall at hands of UCF

The UCF Knights have yet to drop an American Athletic Conference game in the second year of the league’s existence. Despite a close outcome a season ago, Temple showed little fight on Saturday as the Owls were turned away 34-14 at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Two different quarterbacks combined for three interceptions for Temple as both P.J. Walker and Connor Reilly were largely ineffective. The Owls also lost a fumble and surrendered four sacks.

UCF outgained Temple 466-182 in total yards and held them to just 3 of 13 conversions on third down, in what was just another day at the office for a defense that improved the Knights to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in AAC play.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Temple at UCF for the Philadelphia Inquirer – )

Carnahan Coverage: Quarterback Nick Montana not good enough for Tulane on road at UCF

Backup quarterback Nick Montana had a chance to make his mark under center for Tulane while in Orlando as his hall of fame dad watched from the stands against UCF.

Joe Montana is known for taking part in thrilling finishes as a quarterback in college at Notre Dame and in the NFL while with the San Francisco 49ers. Nick is more likely to be remembered for his mishaps on Saturday, which included errant passes and spiking the ball on fourth down with seconds remaining before halftime of the Green Wave’s 20-13 loss to the Knights.

Montana finished 18 of 42 passing for 147 yards and two interceptions. Many of his passes fell out of the reach of his intended receivers or failed to travel far enough to move the chains. Twice in the fourth quarter Tulane took possession with the chance to tie the game, only to fall short despite the Green Wave defense forcing four turnovers in the loss.

“We just didn’t take advantage of some of the turnovers our defense gave us,” Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said. “We’ve got to get to the point where, offensively, we can make touchdowns or field goals or something when they give us the ball way down there.”

The Green Wave defense has recorded at least one takeaway in 16-straight games and in 31 of their last 32 outings.

It was the second-straight backup quarterback to enter Bright House Networks Stadium. The result was no different for the Knights the last time around.

( – Click here for J.C.’s story on Tulane’s 20-13 loss at UCF for The Times-Picayune – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club breaks ground at site of new soccer stadium

The Orlando City Soccer Club and its supporters continue to ride the momentum of minor league championships toward Major League Soccer, right into the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods in town.

On Thursday thousands of fans gathered in downtown Orlando and marched down Church Street to the site of the new soccer-specific stadium in Parramore for a ceremonial groundbreaking. The club pulled out every bell and whistle to ensure the occasion went off in a larger-than-life manner, and it worked with what appeared to be ease.

Orlando City is slated to open its new stadium in 2016. They’ll open their first season in MLS at the Florida Citrus Bowl in March 2015.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on the groundbreaking for Major League Soccer – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Aftermath of Orlando City Soccer Club Playoff Loss

The Orlando City Soccer Club is now entirely focused on a move to Major League Soccer in 2015 after suffering an upset loss in the opening round of the USL-PRO postseason Saturday.

Despite the impressive run over the past four years for the club, the way it all ended won’t soon be forgotten.

On Tuesday Orlando City released all but three players from the 2014 USL Pro roster. The Lions are currently in negotiations to retain defender Luke Boden, Adama Mbengue and Harrison Heath.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Kevin Molino reacting to loss for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Adrian Heath reacting to loss for Major League Soccer – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Orlando City’s 2015 roster for Major League Soccer – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club Falls Short in Final USL Pro Postseason Run

On Saturday the Orlando City Soccer Club suffered its first home loss in 20 matches at the worst possible time.

The Lions, the USL Pro regular season champions, lost 1-0 to eighth-seeded Harrisburg City in the first round of the playoffs at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. The setback ended a bid at capturing a third title in four years for the defending champs before moving up to Major League Soccer in 2015.

Defender Tommy Redding, just 17-years of age, played the entire 90 minutes. He compared the loss to how he felt when he and current teammate Tyler Turner played together on the U-17 National Team and became the first group to fail to qualify for the World Cup a year ago.

“It was tough, but because of that process it makes this a little bit easier, but not too much,” Redding said. “I’ve felt this pain, but not as high of a scale. I was brothers with the guys at Bradenton (home of the U-17 residency program) but wasn’t as close as all my teammates here in Orlando, so it’s really tough.”

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Tommy Redding and Tyler Turner for Major League Soccer – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Caps Final USL PRO Regular Season Match with Win

The Orlando City Soccer Club played its final USL PRO regular season game Saturday, winning 1-0 over Richmond on a goal by Kevin Molino in the 23rd minute.

The win improves the Lions to 45-4-10 all-time in league matches at home, setting them up in good position for a run at their third championship in four years with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap of Orlando City vs. Richmond for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s preview of Orlando City’s regular season finale for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Dedicates Hat Trick to Injured Teammate Yordany Alvarez

Orlando City Soccer Club midfielder Kevin Molino added three more goals to his USL-PRO leading total Sunday in a 7-0 thrashing of the Dayton Dutch Lions at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The hat trick is the second of the year for Molino and gives him 19 goals on the season.

When Molino collected himself for the post game presser he made it a point to dedicate his three-goal effort to Yordany Alvarez, who after suffering an injury during a game June 7 was forced to retire from the sport last week. The disarming comments made by Molino about his teammate were a change of pace from the typical answers he’s given to questions in the past.

As Molino knows, the games must go on. With just two regular season games remaining the Lions are in position to wrap up the regular season title and earn home field advantage throughout the postseason.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story about Yordany Alvarez for Major League Soccer – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap for Orlando Sentinel of OCSC’s 7-0 win over Dayton – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s advance for Orlando Sentinel about returning from road trip – )

Carnahan Coverage: North Carolina A&T Dominates in Orlando’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge

James Spady coached under Rod Broadway at Grambling State from 2007-09. On Sunday they were on opposite sidelines as Spady opened the season for the first time as a head coach against his mentor in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando.

But Spady soon found out that he’s not at Grambling anymore.

Broadway and the MEAC’s North Carolina A&T Aggies proved to be much more equipped for the challenge as they throttled Spady’s Alabama A&M Bulldogs 47-13 in the 10th edition of the game at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Kwashaun Quick and Tarik Cohen led A&T by combining for four touchdowns in the first half. The Aggies defense recorded three sacks and recovered two fumbles in the win.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap for Orlando Sentinel of North Carolina A&T’s win – )

( – Click here to read J.C.’s advance for Orlando Sentinel about Spady and Broadway – )

Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Sets New USL-PRO Record For Goals Scored in a Season

I talked to Orlando City Soccer Club’s Kevin Molino and a couple of his teammates who’ve played alongside him over the past four years for a feature on the midfielder for the Orlando Sentinel.

Molino, who set a new USL PRO single-season record for goals scored last Saturday, is one of five current players looking to wrap up their third title in four years with the Lions when the playoffs open next month.

As much as I’ve already written about Molino this season, it turns out there was even more to be expressed. Not all of the quotes I gathered from Molino, Orlando City coach Adrian Heath, goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and defender Rob Valentino could fit into the story. So I’ve provided them below. Enjoy.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Kevin Molino for the Orlando Sentinel – )

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Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Ties USL-PRO Record in 3-1 Win

The Orlando City Soccer Club secured a home playoff game in the opening round of the USL PRO postseason on Saturday and extended their home winning streak to 17 matches in a 3-1 win over Harrisburg City.

Kevin Molino notched his 15th goal of the season in the win, tying the league’s single-season mark set a year ago by Orlando City loanee Dom Dwyer and Jose Angulo of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

( – Click here to read my follow-up on Kevin Molino’s efforts for MLSsoccer.com – )

( – Click here to read my recap of Orlando City’s win over Harrisburg City for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read my preview of Orlando City vs. Harrisburg City for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Coverage: LeBron James Doesn’t Need Another Title to Appease Cavs Fans

When LeBron James decided to take his talents back to Cleveland, Ohio it was a win-win for both the NBA all-star forward and Cavs fans throughout the world, or at least in the midwest. I tried to explain this on the debut of my radio show on July 12 (listen here) and have done so again in writing for Orlando Sports Mag earlier this month. Below is the full story that can be found on page five of Orlando Sports Mag. A story about the Orlando City Soccer Club and their fans also appears in the issue on page 28.

If you’ve ever moved away from home you know how hard it is to move back.

Even the most nostalgic of us knows this to be true. Each day away from the nest drives us further from the people we once were and ever closer to the possibilities of new adventures in the future.

Of course a salary of $42.1-million over two years could make anyone reconsider, such as is the case of NBA all-star forward LeBron James, who decided in July to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four successful years with the Miami Heat.

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando Predators Advance Past Pittsburgh Power in AFL Playoffs

Four teams remain in the Arena Football League’s postseason.

Over the weekend the San Jose SaberCats and Arizona Rattlers advanced in the National Conference while the Cleveland Gladiators and Orlando Predators moved on in the American Conference. Winners of those matchups this weekend advance to the ArenaBowl on Aug. 23.

On Sunday the Predators held off a late rally by the Pittsburgh Power to reach the conference title game with a 56-48 win. Preds quarterback Bernard Morris passed for 221 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 44 yards and four more scores. Former Florida State wide receiver Greg Carr finished with 97 yards receiving and four TDs on 10 catches.

( – Click here to read my story on Predators vs. Power for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club Back to Winning Ways

After going scoreless in back-to-back matches for the first time in the four-year history of the Orlando City Soccer Club, the Lions returned to form Saturday by dismantling the visiting Charlotte Eagles 4-1.

Orlando City improved to 7-0-2 all-time against Charlotte by way of a 21-8 advantage in goals. The Lions (15-1-4) now own a 16-match unbeaten streak at home.

Kevin Molino scored twice on Saturday to raise his goal total on the season to 13 through 19 matches. Dennis Chin scored his sixth goal of the year and defender Tyler Turner scored his first professional goal early in the first half.

( – Click here to read my story on Orlando City’s 4-1 win over Charlotte for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read my preview of Orlando City vs. Charlotte for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Coverage: Warren Sapp Remembers Apopka Upon Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction

Last year former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Warren Sapp took his place among the greats in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Like most former NFL players in Canton, Ohio the week of their induction, Sapp let his guard down while talking to reporters before his big weekend got underway. Below is the story I wrote for The Apopka Chief, Sapp’s hometown newspaper during his playing days at Apopka High School in Florida.

There was one piece of advice that stuck with Warren Sapp throughout much of his ascent from the dirt roads of Plymouth and the playing fields in Apopka to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“My grandmother said something to me a long time ago that I’ll never forget,” Sapp said at the onset of his enshrinement speech Saturday in Canton, Ohio. “She said, ‘boy, don’t you ever forget where you come from’.”

The late Rosie Lykes would be proud. Not only because her grandson was immortalized over the weekend among an elite group of 280 professional football players, but because he’s maintained a genuine compassion for those that helped him reach these heights along the way.

Sapp, who starred for Apopka High School before becoming a first round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the University of Miami in 1995, spent nearly 12 minutes recognizing family, friends, former coaches and teammates at the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary gathering.

It was a peak behind the rugged exterior of one of the fiercest defensive tackles in the history of the National Football League.

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