By Danny Morales
Orlando City SC will be without the services of Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin, Christian Duke and Yann Songo’o when the clubs faces Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, June 12 in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
All four players are with Orlando on loan from Sporting KC, which is the clubs official MLS affiliate.
“It is obviously a very difficult situation for everyone concerned,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins told the club’s website. “I can understand Sporting’s position on this; they are paying the boys’ salaries and paying for them to be here with us. The last thing they want is them playing against them.
“It’s also bitterly disappointing for the boys. They are desperate to play, and that’s understandable,” added Rawlins. “We have a great relationship with Sporting KC and we talked through the situation with Robb Heineman and Peter Vermes. This could all have been avoided had the two clubs been put in separate brackets for the draw. I went to training this morning to tell the boys personally. They are obviously upset- they wanted to play and feel a big part of our set-up here but understand how difficult this situation is for everyone concerned. We will just have to ensure we win so Dom and the guys can play in the 5th Round.”
Dwyer leads Orlando as well as the USL Pro in scoring with 13 goals in 10 games. He has more than twice as many goals as the league’s second leading scorer.
Orlando City made history on Tuesday when they defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1, marking the club’s first victory over an MLS side in U.S. Open Cup play and the first time the club has advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
It is worth noting that DC United allowed their loaned out players to play against them when they faced the Richmond Kickers this past round in the U.S. Open Cup. DC United eventually won that game 4-3 on penalty kicks, after finishing scoreless through 120 minutes of regulation and overtime.
By Danny Morales
ORLANDO — Orlando City Soccer Club canceled their game against VSI Tampa Bay on Tuesday, April 30 at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl due to weather after nearly an hour of delays.
The match against VSI Tampa Bay was going to be Orlando City’s first match against their new rivals from across the state.
VSI Tampa Bay was coming into the game with a 3-3-0 after losing 1-0 to the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday, April 26 at home.
Orlando City was going into the game with a 4-1-1 record and were riding a 21-game unbeaten streak at home after defeating Dayton 4-0 this past Saturday at home in front of a regular season record crowd of 9,589.
This was the first canceled game in the franchise’s history.
There has been no date announced yet for when the game against VSI Tampa Bay will be rescheduled. Fans who had tickets for the April 30th game will be allowed entry to the rescheduled match with proof of their ticket stub.
Orlando City’s next game is at home against the Antigua Barracudas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.
By Danny Morales
Dom Dwyer scored two goals and drew a penalty kick as the Orlando City Soccer Club defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 4-0 on Saturday, April 27 in front of a record crowd of 9,589 at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.
“I feel confident here,” said Dwyer after the game. “I enjoy it and I feel like my teammates believe in me and the coach believes in me. If someone believes in you it gives you confidence as a player.”
City scored early and often, starting with Dennis Chin who scored his first goal of the season in the 28th minute after Jamie Watson slid him a pass behind the defense and he put the ball passed Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams.
“It’s been difficult for him,” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath about Chin. “He’s gone from being top scorer last year to not playing as much football as he would like”
“Today he’s put himself back in the pecking order.” added Heath.
Dwyer scored his first goal of the match in the 34th minute, giving Orlando City a 2-0 lead. Dwyer later drew a penalty kick after he was taken down in the box by a Dayton defender. Watson took the penalty and put it past a diving Williams to give City a 3-0 lead in the 39th minute.
“I love it,” said Dwyer about going after crosses in the box from fellow teammates. “That’s what I want to go in for. I’m not scared to go in a 50-50 and get hit and get hurt, I’ll dive on the end of the ball to score a goal. I want to fight for this team and I want to win.”
Orlando City went into the locker room at halftime leading Dayton 3-0, while outshooting the Dutch Lions 7-2 during the first half. Dayton would fail to get a shot on goal in the second half.
Dwyer scored his second goal of the game in the 73rd minute when he blasted a shot into the top right corner passed the Dayton goalkeeper, giving him a USL Pro leading five goals for the season.
“I knew that when we were talking to Sporting about bringing three or four players in,” said Heath of his fellow Englishman. “Dom was one of the first that spoke to mind because I was really confident that he would score a lot of goals at this level.”
The 4-0 win gave Orlando City goalkeeper Sean Kelley his first clean sheet of the 2013 season. City finished the game outshooting the Dutch Lions 19-2.
With the win Orlando City improves their record to 4-1-1 and now sit in first place in the USL Pro standings with 13 points.
“It’s been a good performance tonight,” said Heath after the game. “They had a decent team, they had a good start but I think that’s the best performance we’ve had this season probably.”
City’s next match is on Monday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. against in-state opponent VSI Tampa Bay FC at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.
By Danny Morales
Long Tan and Dom Dwyer both scored for Orlando City as the Lions defeated Phoenix FC 3-1 in the first game of the 2013 USL Pro season on Sunday, April 7 in front of 2,329 fans at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
Diego Faria gave Phoenix an early 1-0 lead when he took advantage of a bad back pass by City and scored on goalkeeper Jon Kempin in the 16th minute.
Dwyer tied the game at 1-1 with a header off of a Jamie Watson cross into the box in the 35th minute.
Tan, who was substituted into the game in the 63rd minute, scored four minutes after coming into the game to give Orlando City a 2-1 lead in the 67th minute.
Kevin Molino extended the Lions lead to 3-1 in the 87th minute when he scored the insurance goal that secured Orlando City the win in the USL Pro season opener and gave the team a 1-0 record to start the year.
Orlando City’s next game is Wednesday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. EST against the LA Blues in Los Angeles.
By Danny Morales
ORLANDO — Jean Alexandre scored a goal on four shots to help Orlando City Soccer Club defeat the Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-2 in the first leg of the inaugural I-4 Derby on Saturday, March 9 in front of 6,877 fans at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
“If I’m being honest I’m disappointed it ended up 3-2,” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath after the game. “Because the game really I thought could have been out of sight tonight.”
Jamie Watson started the game with three shots for Orlando City, but the Rowdies got on the scoreboard first when Amani Walker got a breakaway goal in the 17th minute of the game.
Orlando City went into the locker room at halftime trailing Tampa Bay 1-0, despite outshooting the Rowdies 12-2 during the first 45 minutes.
“If you look at the half as a whole,” said Heath about the first half. “We were probably the dominate team.”
Watson tied the game at 1-1 for Orlando City, when he scored off of a corner from Freddie Braun in the 49th minute.
“We needed a break and we got it from the corner,” added Heath. “We ended up getting what you class as a scrappy goal from the corner.”
James O’Connor then scored in the 58th minute to give City a 2-1 lead over the Rowdies, after the initial shot by Long Tan was blocked by a Tampa Bay defender.
Tampa Bay had a chance to tie the game in the 68th minute, but Orlando City defender Bryan Burke saved what would have been Amani Walker’s second goal of the game.
“That’s what Burkey’s job is,” said Heath about the save by his defender. “When he’s not involved in it, he has to get around and cover and he bailed us out there.”
Alexandre scored in the 70th minute, just moments after the save by Burke, giving Orlando City a 3-1 lead late in the game.
“Jean’s a good player,” said Orlando City midfielder James O’ Connor. “I think Jean can play in a number of positions and he’s a good football brain.”
The Rowdies cut Orlando City’s lead to 3-2 when Luke Muholland scored on a free kick for the Rowdies in the 75th minute.
After four minutes of added time Orlando City secured it’s victory in the first leg of the inaugural I-4 Derby.
Orlando outshot Tampa Bay 22-7 for the game, while also collecting 10 corners compared to Tampa’s one. With the win City improves to 2-0 against the Rowdies in 2013.
“I thought we were the better football team all evening,” said Heath. “We grew into the game as the game came on.”
Orlando City and Tampa Bay face-off again on Saturday, March 30 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. for the second leg of the new rivalry.
By Danny Morales
Orlando City Soccer Club is set to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the first leg of the inaugural I-4 Derby at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl on Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Orlando City , also known as the Lions, faced the Rowdies on February, 23 at the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic, in a match that City won 2-0 thanks to goals from Dennis Chin and Jamie Watson.
This will be the first home game for the Lions at newly named Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl after starting the season with four game in Lake Buena Vista.
The Lions recently added midfielder Freddie Braun to the roster, Braun started his professional career in 2011 with the Portland Timbers of the MLS.
Orlando City also added Jean Alexandre who after being on trial in England for the Bolton Wanders, has signed with the Lions for the 2013 season. Alexandre is familiar with the state of Florida after playing his collegiate soccer at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
The second leg of the inaugural I-4 Derby, which is presented by United World Soccer, will be on Saturday, March 30 in Tampa at 7:30 p.m. before Orlando City starts the regular season in Arizona for a game against Phoenix FC.
By Danny Morales
Orlando City Soccer Club announced on Sunday that they have scheduled an international friendly against Fluminense Football Club on Saturday, June 22 at Fifth Third Field at the Citrus Bowl.
Fluminense FC plays in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, which is the top level of Brazilian soccer. Some of the Brazilian players coming over on Fluminense’s roster for the game against Orlando City include midfielder Deco, along with forward Fred.
The announcement of the scheduled match against the Brazilian club team comes less than a week after Orlando City introduced Brazilian native Flavio Augusto da Silva as it’s newest investor.
Augusto da Silva said at a press conference last Monday that he would use his connections in Brazil to bring Orlando the best soccer it can see and with the move on Sunday, it seems he has done just that.
Tickets for the June 22 friendly will go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 12:00 p.m. Tickets will be $15 and can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com.
By Danny Morales
ORLANDO – Flavio Augusto Da Silva was announced as the newest member of the Orlando City Soccer Club’s ownership group on Monday afternoon at a press conference in the Fairwinds Tower Room at the Amway Center.
Augusto Da Silva is a wealthy entrepreneur who was born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He started in 1995, when he got a $10,000 loan at the age of 21, Silva then began his company, which he called Wise-Up.
After recently selling his company in a multi-million dollar deal, Augusto Da Silva shifted focus to his real passion, soccer.
Phil Rawlins will remain the president of the team, but the plan is for Augusto Da Silva to eventually become the majority owner of the club.
The organization has stressed that should the Major League Soccer franchise be announced by the end of 2013, the club could potentially begin playing as a MLS team as early as the 2015 season.
“We are already working toward MLS,” said Augusto Da Silva after the press conference. “But on the field we’ll still be playing in the other league (USL Pro).”
One of the requirements to make the leap to the MLS will be building the club a soccer specific stadium in downtown Orlando.
“Downtown Orlando is like a requirement for the MLS,” said Augusto Da Silva. “Because they have a proven business motto and it’s very important for them to have a stadium in a location downtown.”
Rawlins mentioned during the press conference that the club doesn’t need the stadium finished by 2015, but does need to have a plan in place before making the jump to the MLS.
Augusto Da Silva and his business partner Alexandre Leitão choose Orlando partially because of the amount of Brazilian tourist who come to the area each year.
According to Visit Orlando, Brazilian tourist’s average length of stay was nine days when visiting Orlando in 2011, while spending an average of $1,800 per trip, that’s nearly $700 more than the average overseas visitor.
Club president, Phil Rawlins also mentioned during the press conference Augusto Da Silva’s plan to bring what he calls a Brazilian David Beckham to play for Orlando City in the future.
“Our goal is to bring a real soccer stars from Brazil or from Europe,” said Augusto Da Silva when asked about possibly trying to sign Brazilian stars such as Ronaldinho or Kaka. “But of course from Brazil we have great connections and we are going to bring people of this level.”
“Once we get into the MLS,” said Rawlins. “Yea we’re looking to bring a Brazilian Beckham here, or maybe two to develop the franchise with us.”
Orlando City now has an ownership group which has ties to Brazil and England, two of the world’s most soccer enthusiastic nations.
“You’ve got two of the major soccer countries in the world in the same, plus the United States,” said Rawlins after the conference. “This is happening, this is real. This game has taken off in this country and Orlando is a great, great place to be and to build that into development.”
The club opens up the 2013 USL Pro season on April 14, at home against the Rochester Rhinos.