WORK

Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Fuels Orlando City Unbeaten Streak

(– Click here to read the edited version of this story at Major League Soccer –)

While the Orlando City Soccer Club has been preparing for its move to MLS by pursuing global stars such as the recently acquired Kaka and potential transfer Robinho, the club’s first MLS signee is having a breakout season in USL PRO.

Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino hasn’t had a lot of time to ponder what the 2015 roster might look like while helping the Lions (14-0-4, 46 points) remain unbeaten by way of an offensive explosion unlike any in his career.

“As a player that’s already signed for MLS [in Orlando] you always wonder who will come in and who you’ll be playing with next year,” Molino said. “It’s great to see that a couple big names want to come here. It shows we’ve been doing some good over the past couple years.”

Entering Sunday’s match at Rochester, Molino leads the league in points (29) and assists (7) and ranks third in goals scored with 11 in 17 appearances.

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Wins 2-0, Fans Removed From Venue

It’s been a week of transition for the Orlando City Soccer Club and its most loyal of fans, the two recognized supporter groups that gather at one end of the stadium each match and lead the crowd in passionate chants.

Last night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney the club implemented stiffer guidelines as they look to adhere to a more formal code of conduct for fans before moving up to Major League Soccer next year.

It was a moved that was forced upon the club after Orlando City fans brought embarrassment to the brand last Sunday during a road match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where four fans were arrested and many others ejected from the stadium.

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club Pulls Scoreless Draw with Brazil’s Sao Paulo FC

Was it any coincidence the reports of Ricardo Kaka retuning to Sao Paulo FC, where he’ll play the remainder of the year before joining Orlando City Soccer Club in Major League Soccer in 2015, came out the same week the clubs were scheduled for an international friendly?

( – Click here to read my MLS story on Kaka comments from Orlando City coach – )

While Kaka was back home in Brazil, Orlando City and Sao Paulo played to a scoreless draw. The match came down to Orlando City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, who made a save in the 90th minute off the foot of Alexandre Pato from the top of the box. It felt anything but routine despite the one-timer being offered up to his chest.

If you’ve been watching the World Cup this month you may remember the impressive day turned in by Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil during a 0-0 draw in group play. Gallardo, who is of Mexican decent, was asked about the coincidence.

“I’m just happy that Brazilians couldn’t score on Mexicans,” he said with a laugh.

( – Click here to read my recap of Orlando City-Sao Paulo for Orlando Sentinel – )

( – Click here to read my preview of Orlando City-Sao Paulo for Orlando Sentinel – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Extends Unbeaten Streak to 14 Games

The start of the match was delayed 20 minutes because of inclement weather, but by the time it ended Wednesday the Orlando City Soccer Club had tied a franchise record set in 2012 when they last went 14 consecutive matches without a loss.

The Lions (11-0-3) made easy work of the visiting Orange County Blues by way of a strong defensive performance and three second-half goals.

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

Carnahan Coverage: U.S. Men’s National Team Finishes Preparation for World Cup in Jacksonville

If you’ve ever wondered what’s become of former Major League Baseball shortstop Rafael Furcal I’ve got some news to pass along to you.

I spent the past weekend in Jacksonville covering the U.S. Men’s National Team for Major League Soccer, where I wrote a number of stories over the course of Friday and Saturday. But I did other things while I was there as well, such as attending a Jacksonville Suns baseball game before walking across the street to EverBank Field for the soccer match.

Below are the links to all eight soccer stories about the USMNT from the weekend. The first story created quite a bit of buzz among soccer fans and media members alike, which makes interest in a Furcal comeback pale mightily in comparison. But while I was at the park…

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Carnahan Coverage: Brek Shea Training in Orlando With Shorthanded Lions

The World Cup is just around the corner, and the preparation for some countries has shaken up the Orlando City Soccer Club’s roster.

The Lions went into Saturday’s match against the Montreal Impact Reserves riding an unbeaten streak of 12 games, but were without three key contributors due to national team obligations.

I talked to Orlando City coach Adrian Heath about how the club would handle those losses and also asked him his thoughts about English Premier League midfielder Brek Shea, who spent a little more than a week recently training with the team.

(– Click here to read my story about Orlando City’s roster changes for the Orlando Sentinel –)

(– Click here to read my story about Brek Shea in Orlando for Major League Soccer –)

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Stays Unbeaten in USL PRO, Advances in Open Cup

What a busy month it’s been for the Orlando City Soccer Club. The Lions took part in nine matches throughout the month of May and although they came away with great results, there’s been plenty of wear and tear along the way.

Despite falling to one of Italy’s best clubs in a friendly a couple weeks ago, Orlando City remains unbeaten in USL PRO through 12 matches after getting a win over Charleston on Saturday. Just a few days earlier they advanced to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by way of a win over Tampa Bay.

I was there for both matches.

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Carnahan Coverage: East River Drops Thrilling Spring Football Game to Titusville

My second video assignment was much more interesting than the first.

Last night Tanner Hearn threw four touchdown passes and Aldo Barahona booted two long field goals for the Falcons, who lost 35-34 to Titusville. Although these spring football games don’t count for much, they do make for a nice highlight reel.

(– Click here to watch my footage of the East River-Titusville game for Orlando Sentinel –)

Carnahan Coverage: Pittsburgh Beats Orlando on Final Play

I’ve kept up with the Arena Football League ever since attending my first game during the 2001 season. I would soon go on to work for one of its teams on multiple occasions and later cover the league in some form or another, all while remaining a fan that genuinely enjoyed the sport.

I can’t say I feel that way about the AFL today. Maybe one day I’ll write more about why I’ve lost faith for those who don’t know how far the league has fallen since its relaunch in 2010.

But I must admit that on Saturday, when I made it out to my first game of the 2014 season while on duty for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in Orlando, I was lucky enough to cover a nail-biter that came down to the final play of the game. It was one of those classic AFL finishes.

(– Click here to read my recap of Pittsburgh at Orlando for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review –)

It almost made me forget how shady the people running the league have been in recent years and how terrible they’ve treated players during that time. At least for a few hours. Good luck, AFL.

Carnahan Coverage: Kevin Molino Nets Hat Trick For Orlando City

On Wednesday the Orlando City Soccer Club hosted the Charlotte Eagles in a rematch of last season’s USL PRO championship game. Kevin Molino made the most of the rematch as he finished the night with three goals to keep Orlando City unbeaten 11 matches into the season.

( – Click here to read my recap from Wednesday for the Orlando Sentinel – )

Wednesday’s match marked the first of six consecutive matches to be played at home for the Lions. Among the opponents making their way to Orlando are Italy’s A.S. Roma and NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies.

( – Click here to read my feature on Orlando City’s upcoming schedule for Orlando Sentinel – )