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.
The NFL preseason slate got underway this week with state teams and former UCF players taking part. Quarterback Blake Bortles had an impressive showing in his first game with the Jacksonville Jaguars at home in the team’s refurbished stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who rolled out a new unique uniform look.
On Saturday the Orlando City Soccer Club travels to Harrisburg City for a match at 6 p.m. J.C. and Chris talk about the City of Orlando’s decision to move the downtown soccer stadium. Thoughts are also shared about Kevin Durant dropping off the USA Basketball roster, San Antonio Spurs hiring Becky Hammon as first full-time female assistant coach, the Orlando Pro-Am postseason taking place on Sunday, and Landon Donovan announcing his retirement from professional soccer.
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.
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.
Each year the football season begins with Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio. The inductees for 2014 include linebacker Derrick Brooks, tackle Walter Jones, punter Ray Guy, defensive end Claude Humphrey, wide receiver Andre Reed, defensive end Michael Strahan and defensive back Aeneas Williams.
But who deserves a spot in next year’s class? Maybe names such as Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley and Kurt Warner will be called upon next.
The July 26, 2014 edition of Carnahan Chronicles closed out with a caller asking some interesting questions about Major League Soccer. I was then joined by producer Chris Vazquez to debate whether the Orlando City Soccer Club could and should finish the USL PRO regular season unbeaten before talking a bit about the final regular season game for the playoff-bound Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. A special shoutout to former Orlando Magic player Jameer Nelson was also in order as he recently signed a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Dwight Howard-era.
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.
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 move 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been exciting to cover the Orlando City Soccer Club the past few years during their rise from minor league franchise to members of Major League Soccer. What’s made the journey worthwhile though is hearing from head coach Adrian Heath, who has never met a question he didn’t have a meaningful answer for.
Last week I wrote a profile piece on Heath for MLS, featuring quotes from team president Phil Rawlins and Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer. I hope it sheds a some light on the England transplant and gives fans the chance to learn a little more about the leader of the Lions.