Rob Valentino

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: 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: 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: 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: 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 – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Hosts Tampa Bay & Fans Prep For 2015

The soccer coverage has been keeping me busy as of late.

This week I made it out to Seminole County to check in with the Orlando City Soccer Club as they prepared to host the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the first leg of the I-4 Derby, which they won 3-0.

– (Click here to read my Orlando City-Tampa preview for the Orlando Sentinel) –

I also took a look at how Orlando City fans are preparing for the 2015 MLS season now that the team announced it would have to wait a little longer than expected to move into their new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando.

– (Click here to read my feature on Orlando City fans for Major League Soccer) –