Tag Archives: cyle larin

Orlando CityPride: The City’s Beautiful Game

February’s in full swing but January turned out to be a busy month for the Beautiful Game here in The City Beautiful!

  • Orlando City SC has released their schedule and participated in the MLS Super Draft.
  • Orlando Pride also participated in their inaugural draft, and added some new faces to the club.
  • Copa America announced the dates of the three matches that will be held here in Orlando this summer.

All in all, there is a lot going on and I’ll do my best to keep you informed!

OCSC

 

Orlando City SC
With the full schedule being released earlier this month, there were a few dates everyone was waiting for. We found out last month that the opening match would be on March 6th vs. Real Salt Lake here at the Citrus Bowl. But what other home matches had supporters of the club chomping at the bit?

April 3rd vs Portland Timbers FC – With one of the loudest and proudest (I stress “one of”… We all know The Wall is the loudest and the proudest!) Supporter clubs in the country, Timbers Army, this match is a must see! Last year Orlando City SC travelled to Portland to take on the Timbers, and came out with a 2-0 victory over the eventual 2015 MLS Cup Champions. Cyle Larin scored his very first MLS goal in this match. He would eventually go on to score 17 goals on the season and win the 2015 Rookie of the Year award.
August 7th vs Seattle Sounders – The City lads and their supporters will be looking for a little revenge when these two clubs face off. Last year the trip to Century Link Field was not a pleasant one for the Lions. After a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Clint Dempsey and the Sounders, the club was sent packing with one of their worse losses of the season.
August 28th vs New York City FC – This right here… Nothing really needs to be said about this. There is no love lost between the supporters of both of these clubs. This will be the first trip to the Citrus Bowl for NYCFC this season.
September 17th vs Columbus Crew SC – Out of all the matchups last season, Columbus and Orlando are probably the most evenly matched. The clubs finished 1-1-1 in three matches played last season. After year one, this matchup is probably the most organic of rivals the Lions have. All three matches last year were full of energy and animosity from the players on the pitch to the supporter groups for both clubs. This is one I personally cannot wait for!

 

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

SuperDraft 2016
This year, the MLS SuperDraft took place in Baltimore, where Orlando City had the 7th overall pick. The Lions selected Richie Laryea from the University of Akron. Laryea, (originally from Canada) just happens to be best friends with current Orlando City striker and MLS Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin. I can’t wait to see what he brings to the pitch! However, I have a feeling he will probably start the season in Melbourne with Orlando City B in USL (United Soccer League). The club also picked up UCF standout Hadji Barry with the 13th overall pick. Barry led the Knights in points with 25, and found the back of the net 11 times in his senior year.

Orlando PrideOrlando Pride
In their inaugural NWSL College Draft, the Orlando Pride picked up three players for the upcoming season. With the tenth, fifteenth, and thirty-first overall picks, the Pride selected defender, Samantha Witteman from the University of California, Berkley; Midfielder, Christina Burkenroad from California State University; and Midfielder Dani Weatherholt from Santa Clara. The schedule for the Orlando Pride’s inaugural season is expected to be out in the next few weeks. I will be sure to keep everyone posted as more information becomes available.

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Copa America
In case you haven’t heard by now or just crawled out from under a rock, Copa America is coming to Orlando this summer. The City Beautiful will host three matches at Orlando Citrus Bowl. The dates have been set for June 4th, 6th, and 8th. The final draw will be held on February 21st to fill in all the blanks in the schedule. The only team confirmed for Orlando at this point is Brazil on June 8th. Who will they face at the Citrus Bowl? I’ll let you know as soon as the fixtures are available for all three matches.

Follow me (@davidjxblair) and Central Florida Top 5 (@CentralFLTop5) on Twitter for more updates and maybe some live tweets from The Wall at this Saturday’s match against the Jacksonville Armada!

#VamosOrlando

Orlando City SC: Final Countdown and New Beginnings

As I sit here thinking about the past seven months, I can’t help but think how awesome this ride has been.  It seems like yesterday when Central Florida Top 5’s Managing Editor (Hi Jen!) messaged me to ask if I would be interested in writing an Orlando City SC blog.

At first I was a little hesitant about doing it because I had never written a blog before. Sure, I kept journals growing up that I would write in all the time, but none of that was for public consumption. Jen assured me that I would be fine and I took her at her word. Why she chose me, I am not 100% sure. However, if I had to take a guess, it was probably because of my manic posting of anything Orlando City SC on social media. Whatever the reason is, I just want to say thank you to Jen and the rest of Central Florida Top 5, for allowing me the chance to get up close and personal with Orlando City SC, the club that I love!

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The Final Regular Season Game

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It is crazy to think that this is the end of the road for the City Lads in their inaugural season.  It has been one giant roller coaster ride of emotions.  In the beginning we looked like world beaters, and as a supporter I was on top of the world.  First we took a 1-1 draw in the home opener off Kaka’s deflected free kick.  Then we had the 1-0 win on the road at Houston the following week.

We were two games in with four points and it felt amazing.  Then there was the back to back home losses against Vancouver Whitecaps and DC United, both lost on stoppage time free kicks.  Suddenly there was an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.  The club that dominated in USL the previous four years was no more. We were in a league where we faced real, tough competition. Of course I am talking about the PRO Referees. I kid (kinda), but seriously a 2 game home losing streak was not something I was accustomed to with my Lions.

In any case, there have been plenty of memories for players and fans alike.  One of my favorites was and still is the growth of Cyle Larin through out the season.  From his first ever goal as a Lion against Portland, to his brace last week against New York City FC (goals 16 & 17 on the season), Cyle has become one of the most potent strikers in all of MLS.  I sincerely look forward to watching him do big things for many years to come! This weekend, the Lions travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union this Sunday at 5 pm. Mathematically, the Lads are still able to make the playoffs, but a little luck will need to be in the cards for sure. Currently Orlando City has once chance to get into the post season, and it involves A LOT of goals. Currently the Lions would need to make up an 8 goal difference against the New England Revolution. Which means, for example, Orlando City would need to beat Philly 4-0, and hope NYCFC beats New England 4-0, thus making up the 8 goal difference between the two clubs.  Is it possible? Yes. Keep in mind, Orlando City has scored 5 goals on a few occasions this season.   The big questions are, can NYCFC manage to score 4 goals or more on New England without allowing a goal? Probably not. I for one have absolutely no confidence in the ability of NYCFC to help our cause. I could be wrong though… it has happened before (see Chicharito tweets from July). This is one situation where I would be happy if I am wrong on my face if it meant the Lions get to the playoffs.  

Orlando City B, So Nice We Did It Twice!

OCB_Announcement_FB_NoText(1) It was announced last week that Orlando City would be going back to USL in 2016. If you remember earlier this summer, the club announced it was cutting ties with Louisville City (currently in USL). The partnership was short lived after the USL franchise rights were sold to Louisville City before Orlando City began play in MLS this season. The original plan was to have Louisville City act as “minor league” club for the Lions. Our site is a place where players could be loaned out for playing time if they were not seeing minutes with the first team.  It also gave Orlando City a pool of players they could pull from in the event of an injury “plague” the team can’t take any more injuries, the have been working non stop with cases coming from them. Now that Orlando City SC will have their “minor league” club about an hour away in Melbourne, player transfers between the clubs should be smooth. Orlando City B will begin play in April 2016 on the campus of Eastern Florida State College.  For those that live in the area, this is an amazing opportunity for them to see quality soccer at an affordable price.  In fact, there is already a supporter group ready to bring an amazing atmosphere to every home match.  Visit the Harbor City Hooligans by liking them on Facebook.  Orlando City B will also bring back a couple of fan favorites.  Rob Valentino and Anthony Pulis will join the coaching ranks with the club. This is very exciting news for the fans, but it is not the only breaking soccer news in The City Beautiful…  

Orlando Pride Have Arrived! 

mpY0S5ED_400x400 Just when you thought Phil and Flavio couldn’t surprise Orlando City fans more than they already have, the Orlando Pride are here! The Pride begin play in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) next April.  I have to say, this is probably the worst kept secret since the signing of Kaka, but it is exciting none the less. As the father of a little girl, I am happy that she will have players like Alex Morgan and Kaylyn Kyle to look up too. Oh yeah, If you didn’t know, now you do. Alex and Kaylyn are supposed to be “officially” announced  as members of the Orlando Pride on Monday, October 26th. This is one day after the US Women’s National Team takes on Brazil at the Citrus Bowl.   There has been speculation for a few months now that Alex Morgan would come play in Orlando once the team was announced. How do I know this? Well, she has been at most of the Orlando City home matches since August 1st. Plus, her husband Servando Carrasco is a midfielder for the Lions. It just makes sense for them to want to be in the same city during the season.  Especially since both leagues follow pretty much the same season schedule, currently Alex plays for the Portland Thorns. The recently married Carrasco and Morgan would probably love to see each other as much as possible during the season. Then again, I could be wrong (again see Chicharito tweets from July), but Flavio did drop a “Major Announcement” tease on social media today.  I guess we will just have to wait and see how this all pans out.

From @OCPres: “We have a lot of girls playing the sport, now they have someone to look up to.” #OrlandoPride #NWSL A video posted by Central Florida Top 5 (@centralfltop5) on Oct 20, 2015 at 11:02am PDT

Follow me on Twitter @davidjxblair for Orlando City SC tweets and other random ramblings!

Vamos Orlando!

Orlando City SC: The Final 3

A Good September

After a July and August to forget, September has given the Lions their best start of the season. Capturing nine points in three matches, and collecting their first three game win streak of the season, the Lions are making a post season push.  With just three matches left, the soccer lads are hoping to slide into the 6th and final play-off spot in the east. It won’t be easy, but the current run of form has given everyone involved a lot of hope.

Rookie Scoring Record Shattered

Cyle Larin broke the single season rookie scoring record in a 5-2 win over the east leading New York Red Bulls. Larin has been knocking on the door of breaking the record since tying it back on August 1st, where he scored two goals against the Columbus Crew. With a hat trick against the Red Bulls this past Friday, Cyle Larin was not only able to break the record but completely shatter it.  The rookie record of 11 goals in a single season has been in place since 2003, but it now belongs to Cyle with 14. With three matches to go, only Larin knows what the final number will be.  In any case, this should secure the MLS Rookie of the Year honor for him.Orlando City Larin

Montreal Impact Are Coming to Town.

If you have yet to make it to an Orlando City SC match, this Saturday, October 3rd will be an awesome one.  In a match with HUGE play-off implications, you can be sure the Citrus Bowl will be rocking on Saturday night.  This is the first trip to Orlando for the Impact, and I can assure you it will be one they won’t forget! In the previous two meetings, the Lions traveled north of the border to claim a draw and a loss at the hands of Montreal.  The Lions hope to make history on Saturday as they try to shut down former Chelsea scoring legend, Didier Drogba. With 7 goals in 6 games, the task looms large for the Lions to shut Drogba down. The battle for the 6th and final play-off spot will be decided in this match-up. Make no mistake, the club and the supporters will pull out all the stops to secure the three points in this one.

Tickets Still Available

Tickets are still available for the final two home games of the season.  Visit the Orlando City SC website for more information.

vs Montreal Impact, October 3rd at 7:00 pm

vs New York City FC, October 16th at 7:00 pm

 

Orlando City SC Weekly

Fourteen games into the season and Orlando City SC is looking like the team we hoped they would.  After a rocky start, the Lions have managed to right the ship, collecting 8 points in their last 4 matches. The club is currently on a four match unbeaten streak. But even with the success as of late, there are still some folks that think it’s not enough. To those people I say, consider this… In the first ten matches of the season, the Lions managed to scrape together 9 points out of a possible 30.  When you look at what they have accomplished since their 4-0 thrashing of the LA Galaxy on May 17th, it’s easy to see the pieces are beginning to fall into place. I mean after all, we could be New York City FC cleaning the cellar in last place, but we’re not! #NotARivalry

With the recent return of Pedro Ribeiro and Lewis Neal, the club has added a bit more depth to the roster. While Ribeiro was out nursing a torn hamstring, Cyle Larin stepped in and gave Lion’s fans something to cheer about. The number one overall pick has five goals on the season, and is currently tied with last seasons Golden Boot winner, Bradley Wright-Phillips.  In the eyes of the Lion faithful, Larin does seem to be well on his way to Rookie of the Year honors.

Coming into Saturday’s match-up against the Chicago Fire, the Lions were sitting in 7th place in the east, one spot out of the playoff race. In what was billed as an important conference match up for both clubs, Orlando City came out sluggish.  The first half saw the good guys go down early with a beautifully placed goal by Chicago’s Kennedy Igboananike.  Chicago managed to score twice in the half, with one of those benefiting the Lions. Pressure from Pedro Ribeiro, forced Chicago’s Adailton to put the ball in the back of his own net to draw the Lions level at 1-1 going into the break.

In the second half however, we saw a much more aggressive attack from the City lads. Cyle Larin would come on to replace Ribeiro, and it wouldn’t be long before he made his presence felt.  Fighting through a couple of defenders, Larin would rip a shot from outside the box that you just had to see to believe! (Highlights can be found by clicking HERE.) Add another own goal by Adailton late in the match, and the Lions would pull out the 3-2 win. This was the clubs first ever win against an Eastern Conference opponent. The win also moved Orlando City up to the 4th place in the conference.  With matches coming up against two more Eastern Conference opponents (DC United & Montreal) the Lions are now hopefully hitting their stride. It’s not crunch time just yet, but if they want to stay in the playoff hunt, they cannot afford to keep giving up points against clubs in the east.

US Open Cup play is set to start next week, and Orlando City will log plenty of miles in a short amount of time. After the home match against DC United on June 14th, the Lions travel to Charleston to face the Battery in the 4th round of the US Open Cup on June 17th. However, there will be no rest for the weary! The lads will then head north of the border to face Montreal on June 20th. Three matches in six days will really test the depth of the bench for Adrian Heath and his club!

But first up is league leading DC United.  The match is scheduled for Sunday, June 14th, with kick off set for 7:00 pm. This will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs for the regular season.  The first two meetings both went the way of United.  A 0-1 heartbreaking defeat at home for the Lions in April and a 2-1 road defeat in May. Tickets are still available for this match-up, so be sure to follow the links below for more information.

If you are not able to make it to the match, City Pubs around town will be broadcasting the match complete with drink specials.  Check out the link below to find you nearest City Pub location.  The game will be carried nationally on Fox Sports 1.

Vamos Orlando!

Tickets

City Pubs