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 current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the month, and while contract negations are ongoing between MLS and the MLS Players Union one of the most notable players in the league, Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley, recently warned that a work stoppage is on the table if progress is not made.
“There’s nothing we can do about that,” Heath said Friday morning of those negotiations.
“I believe in the powers that be, and hopefully common sense will prevail,” Heath said. “The game’s never been on an upward curve like it is now and it would be a tragedy for it to suddenly come to a grinding halt, so hopefully common sense prevails on both sides. I think both sides have got a legitimate argument, so lets hope we can get something sorted out because March the 8th can’t come quickly enough for me.”
The MLS season opens March 6. Orlando City debuts Sunday, March 8 at home at the Florida Citrus Bowl against fellow expansion team New York City FC.