World Cup

Carnahan Coverage: Estrela & Rafael Ramos making most of time with Orlando City Soccer Club

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.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Estrela & Rafael Ramos for MLSSoccer.com – )

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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 Chronicles Radio: MLS All-Stars Host Bayern Munich Aug. 6

The excitement from this year’s World Cup has yet to let up here in the United States, and that’s good news for Major League Soccer. On Aug. 6 the MLS All-Stars host Germany’s Bayern Munich in Portland with a number of US Men’s National Team players chosen to take part, including USMNT snub Landon Donovan.

( – Click here to view the 2014 MLS All-Star roster – )

On Saturday Simon Borg of Major League Soccer joined me on AM 740 The Game to talk about a number of soccer topics. We chatted about the fan’s picks for the all-star roster this year and Borg explained how Designating Player signings like Graham Zusi will help the league evolve over the years. I also asked what factored into Dom Dwyer missing out on being an all-star this year.

( – Click here to listen to J.C.’s interview with Simon Borg of Major League Soccer – )

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: MLS Talk; Unbeaten Orlando City; Playoff-Bound Orlando Predators

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.

( – Click here to listen to the final segment Carnahan Chronicles from July 26, 2014 – )

Also, earlier in the week I followed up on a developing story regarding Orlando City and their pursuit of Brazilian player Robinho for Major League Soccer. ( – Click here to read the story at MLSSoccer.com – )

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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 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: 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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