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.
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.
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.
Were you surprised to hear of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston deciding to enter the NFL Draft later this spring? After winning a Heisman Trophy and national championship with the Seminoles it seems Winston is ready to leave his off-the-field troubles behind in Tallahassee to embark on an NFL career as a likely top pick in this year’s upcoming draft.
Also during the segment was discussion about college football transfers, the Orlando City Soccer Club’s schedule for their first season in MLS, and a good laugh about the starting the lineups of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
The MLS Cup goes down this Sunday at 3 p.m. in Los Angeles between the Galaxy and New England Revolution. There’s plenty of star power involved in the matchup, led by Landon Donovan, perhaps the greatest American soccer player of all time, playing in his final professional game.
On Monday Major League Soccer teams will begin submitting their list of unprotected players for the upcoming Expansion Draft as the Orlando City Soccer Club and New York City FC are scheduled to pick through those leftovers on Wednesday.
I spoke with Orlando City coach Adrian Heath earlier this week about his impression of the MLS postseason, and what he’s been doing as of late to prepare for the upcoming MLS drafts and signing periods for the Lions.
I took a road trip to the Fort Worth-Dallas area this past week. A few days before starting the journey I decided to buy an engagement ring and plan a proper way to propose to my girlfriend of many, many years.
That proposal took place in an end zone at Cowboys Stadium on the final day of our trip as our 2-year old son ran wild on the field. Our final day in the area proved much more rewarding than my first night in east Texas, which resulted in a hefty speeding ticket.
When Estrela and Rafael Ramos each earned Major League Soccer contracts with the Orlando City Soccer Club in August the move from Portugal to Florida was made easier because of their existing friendship, forged under the youth soccer system of Benfica.
The 19-year olds played out the final month of the USL PRO season with the Lions this year and joined Portugal’s U-20 national team this month in what’s proved to be a busy stretch away from family and friends.
In just a matter of months they’ll continue the journey when they make their professional debuts with Orlando City as members of MLS in March.
The Orlando City Soccer Club is a long way away from being ready for the start of the 2015 Major League Soccer season. Finding MLS experience to fill out the roster is a top priority this offseason as the Lions make a move from the minor leagues to the top division in North America.
Last week I caught up with OCSC general manager Paul McDonough and president Phil Rawlins about the pending acquisition of Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, who started in back-to-back MLS Cup matches in 2011 and 2012.
The Orlando City Soccer Club unveiled a new kit for the 2015 Major League Soccer season Wednesday. The club left no stone unturned when designing the new look, which honors its four minor league seasons with several different features. Check out the details in the photo below and marvel at its uniqueness, in all its purple glory.
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.
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.
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.
As if being a first-time parent wasn’t tough enough, my 22-month old son greeted me with a new surprise in the world of parenting last week while we sat on the recliner together to watch afternoon postseason baseball. I’m still not sure if it was the actual act of puking, or the clean-up that followed, that nearly made me sick to my own stomach.
On Saturday Oviedo High School, Rollins College and Orlando City Soccer Club product Dennis Chin opened up on AM 740 The Game about OCSC’s early exit from the playoffs and shared his thoughts on being one of many players recently released as the club began preparations for Major League Soccer.
Chin said that although everyone was aware of the upcoming changes to be made at the start of the year, some players took the news harder than others at the end of the season. When I asked if the uncertainty surrounding player’s positions on the MLS roster became a distraction late in the season, Chin replied “I’m pretty sure it was for some.”
The Carnahan Chronicles weekly radio show on AM 740 The Game got back up and running this week with a number of topics from the world of football, soccer and baseball.
Producer Chris Vazquez joined in on the conversation about the Jameis Winston suspension and college football weekend, along with recent injuries in the National Football League. We also talked about the injury to Giancarlo Stanton and the postseason races in Major League Baseball after answering a call from Austin about the Orlando City Soccer Club interview with Dennis Chin.