On The Road with Orlando City Soccer: Carolina Challenge Cup

Credit: Charleston Battery

There was an electricity in the air when we arrived at The Plaza Live in Orlando’s Milk District. When Matt and I pulled up at 7:30 am there was already a party in the parking lot. The flags were waving high, the drums were lined up on the pavement, and adult beverages were already being consumed. It was a beautiful purple clad army ready to hit the road in support of our club.

Univision Orlando showed up to interview us and shoot some video before we rolled out at 8:30. The chants and drums filled the air. It was a little taste of what was to come at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston. You just knew this was going to be an unbelievable day.

OCSC Carolina Challenge dudes

Me, Matt Armijo, Pablo Sierra & Kevin Gurnett getting ready to Ruckus!

 

The ride was… well let’s just say it was a blast! It would be hard for me to paint a picture because so much happened on the six-hour trip. It is one of those, “you had to be there” deals. What I can tell you is we used this dress rehearsal to perfect our new chants and formulate our plan of attack for our opening match.  Trust me when I tell you, the Ruckus will be brought on March 8th!

Once we got to Blackbaud, I could see the different supporter groups had sections of the parking lot set up for their tailgate. It was hard not to notice that our reserved area was 3 times larger than any of the others, later I would find out why.

OCSC Carolina Challenge field

Photo credit: David Blair

Right before the first match between Charleston and Houston kicked off at 5 pm, the ratio of Orlando City Supporters to all other supporter groups combined (Atlanta, NYC, Charleston, and American Outlaws) was at least 5:1. Needless to say we traveled very well. In total there were two 60 passenger buses between the Ruckus and ILF (Iron Lion Firm). Plus there were an additional 50-60 supporters who drove up for the weekend. All in all it was an awesome turnout from both groups.

At around 7 pm we marched into the stadium, Charleston wasn’t ready for this. Once the drums started up and our voices filled the crisp evening air, phones came out of pockets. People took pictures and videos of us from any where they could. They were on top of the stands, hanging off the rails, and walking along side us. We were center stage, and Charleston was not disappointed. We even closed the show with some pyro for good measure.

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

When Kaka scored in the 31st minute, we went bananas! It was a nice little sequence between him and Kevin Molino that created the opportunity to bury it in the back of the net. I feel like these two are going to give everyone a lot to feel good about this season. In the end we drew 1-1 with NYCFC. There are still some kinks to work out but I am confident Inchy will have the boys ready to dominate on March 8th. (You can watch the whole match on Charleston’s YouTube Channel!)

If you still do not have tickets for the home opener, please visit http://orlandocitysc.com/FillTheBowl!

The club will be hosting a number of events the week leading up to opening match. Many of these events include a ticket voucher for the match on March 8th.

For more details, visit http://www.orlandocitysc.com/ockickoff or follow them on social media via FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Forever Our City!