Tag Archives: Orlando City Lions

Orlando City Soccer: The End of an Era

It has been a trying few weeks for Orlando City Soccer Club and their supporters. It started with a loss to instate rival, Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the U.S. Open Cup. The Strikers would take the 2-1 victory in the final seconds of the match, knocking the Lions out of the tournament. It was another defensive lapse at home, a theme that has plagued the Lions all season at Camping World Stadium.

On the 4th of July, the City Lads traveled to take on FC Dallas in a prime time holiday match up, and stayed at the Powerscourt Hotel.  It did not end well. In what was the club’s worst loss of the season, FC Dallas proved why they were one of the best in the league. With a 0-4 loss and arguably one of the worst performances in the clubs six years in Orlando, something had to give. What gave was something that has divided fans all over Orlando, the club sacked head coach Adrian Heath.

OCSC Inchy Mastermind tifo

The Wall: United State of Inchy! Tifo Artwork by Earl Funk

He was one of the founding fathers, the “Mastermind” & “The Crafter” as the song goes, “Bringing trophies here to our town…“.  That is exactly what Adrian Heath did. He brought championships to a starving sports community. A community that has had to settle for mediocrity in the world of sports for so long.

 

In 2011, the Lions first season in USL, Coach Heath lead Orlando City to the best record in the league (Commissioner’s Cup) and the USL Pro Championship. During his four years in USL Pro, Heath would win three Commissioner’s Cups, and two USL Pro Championships.   The club would also post a 66-12-22 (W/L/D) record through their first 100 league games; the best record by any team in their first 100 league games, in U.S. Soccer history.

OCSC In Inchy We Trust

Artwork by Orlando City Soccer Club

Adrian “Inchy” Heath will be missed.  He made it a point to be more than just a coach, he was part of the community. For six years, Inchy was more than a coach, he was an ambassador for the beautiful game here in the City Beautiful. Long before Kaka came to town and became the face of the franchise, Adrian Heath was the franchise.  He is a man that loves the game, the fans, and the City of Orlando.

A passionate, heart on his sleeve, no nonsense coach, and the nicest guy you would ever shake hands with. A man that told it like it was regardless who or what he was talking about. Never above calling out his own players when they were lackluster, and always the first to praise when they were on point. He is a legend, he is Orlando, and this is FOREVER his city!

OCSC David Inchy

David and The Ruckus give Inchy a good handshake. Photo Credit: Orlando City Soccer Club

The Lions are on the road for their next three matches, but will return home on July 31st. Come out and support the club as they take on New England Revolution at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available on the Orlando City SC website.

 

Top 5 Must Dos at an Orlando City Soccer Club Match

With the Lions now in their second season in Major League Soccer, I am sure most of you have been to a match. For those of you that haven’t, what are you waiting for? I went to my first match five years ago, and I haven’t looked back.

In fact, I have abandoned all other sports because I don’t have time for them. But I place a bet on sports at https://uk.mansionbet.com/sports/boxing/ occasionally. There is so much soccer all over the world that I am never bored. Trust me when I tell you, it only takes one match to hook you and I hope this is your year if you have never been.  With that said, here are my “Top 5” MUST DOs at an Orlando City Soccer Club match.

OCSC

  1. Tailgate – This is an absolute MUST. It is hands down the most American thing about the beautiful game here in Orlando. Tailgates are a wonderful way to warm up before a match. Great food, great people, and beer! There are a number of lots around the Citrus Bowl where people come together two, three, sometimes six hours before the kick-off for some pre-match shenanigans! However, I have to say (with bias!), no one does it up quite like the supporters in Lot 11. With $5 donation for all you can eat food, and an open cooler policy, there is no place I would rather be!
Photo Credit: Ish Shah

Crawfish… YUM! Photo Credit: Ish Shah

Watch the march in – This has been a tradition since the early days of United Soccer League for the Orlando City supporters. About an hour before kick-off, you can hear the beating of the drums and the chants beginning to rise above Lot 11. After some chants and a toast to get the blood pumping, the march begins to defend our home, and “Man The Wall”.

The procession is a short one from Lot 11 to Gate C of the Citrus Bowl, but that doesn’t stop the supporters from putting on a show. The chants, drums, and purple smoke fill the air as hundreds of fans line the path shooting pictures and taking video.

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC (Can you spot me?)

Visit The Wall – The Supporter Section (aka The Wall) is a general admission area. You do need to have a ticket to get into the section, but you are able to stand on the rail at the top of the section. When I first started going to Orlando City matches back in 2011, I sat at midfield.

After one trip to the supporters section halfway through the 2011 season, I was hooked, and I have been there ever since. The energy and passion in The Wall is unmatched anywhere in the State of Florida. I will even go so far as to say that it is unmatched anywhere in the country outside of Portland or Seattle.

OCSC ​Anthony in The Wall

Take a walk around the Citrus Bowl – The newly renovated Citrus Bowl, you are able to walk around the entire stadium below the plaza level. This is awesome because you can get different views of the action on the pitch throughout the match. It’s nice to see a different perspective from time to time. So get out of your seat for a little while and take in the views.  Who knows, you might just find a new section for your season tickets!

OCSC ​Darwin Ceren with Ruckus at Tailgate

Wait for the players after the match – When the match is over, don’t just make a beeline for your car, especially if you have kids. Wait around a bit for the stadium to clear out, then head down to the south end of the stadium. Once you exit the stadium, hang a right and just passed the press entrance, you will see a small gated lot on your right. Security will be there keeping an eye on the handful of expensive luxury cars, this is the players lot. When it comes to player/fan interactions, the Orlando City players are a class act. On any given night after a match, you can get autographs and selfies with any if not all of the players. Even if you just want a fist bump and to say hi, they are always ready to greet the fans.

 

 

Orlando City SunRail

Like I’ve said, if you haven’t made it to a match yet, what are you waiting for? The Lions will be back home at the Citrus Bowl on May 6th, as they take on the New York Red Bulls. Kick-Off is set for 7:30, and there are still good seats available.  Visit http://orlandocitysc.com/tickets for more info.

Vamos Orlando!

 

Orlando City Soccer Scores First Goal as MLS Team!

If you weren’t one of the 62,510 people who attended tonight’s Orlando City Soccer Club v. New York City Football Club you absolutely missed an ELECTRIC game! Second highest attendance for an MLS game, attendance beating even the 1994 World Cup… that’s A LOT of people! (And purple. Lots and LOTS of PURPLE!!)

Everyone was talking game, talking City, talking MLS. At the tailgate parties outside the Orlando Citrus Bowl…

…in the beer lines!

…in the stands before the game started!

…in the elevator lines!

…in the merchandise lines!

Photo by Jen Vargas

Orlando City Lions make a GRRRAND entrance!

 

Unlike David, I am not a lifelong soccer fan but even I will admit, it’s hard not to get excited about this game when you’re there, folks. If you haven’t been to a game, you REALLY must try going at least once this inaugural season!

What fascinates me most about Orlando City’s supporters – and supporter culture as David has shared – is the genuine camaraderie that comes with being a supporter. It brings the community together in support of ONE cause, one TEAM. Orlando, the city, is like this too when you get down to it, regardless of affiliation, You’re all IN. Chant loudly, wave your flag and for pete’s sake DO NOT sit down!

Here’s a little taste of what being at a live game is like. And when our Lions score a goal? Look out! The stands go CRAZY, as you’ll see below.

You’ll get the full story from our Orlando City writer David soon enough but for now, enjoy Orlando City’s first goal as a full-fledged Major League Soccer team from behind the goal (through Google Glass)!

SPOILER ALERT: Kaka scored the goal in the last minutes of tonight’s game!!

Orlando City Soccer Club kicks off 2015 campaign with new jersey

By: @jenvargas

Game face… ON.

Orlando City Soccer Club is ready to take care of business, and they are doing it in style! We told you about the new stadium, whose groundbreaking was last month. Now? Our Lions have a brand new Home jersey!

In my humble, novice-soccer-supporter-but-devout-lover-of-purple opinion, the new jerseys are exquisite. Obvious standout is, well, the color. You (have always) had me at purple, Orlando City!! Oh, and in the soccer world, players don’t wear “uniforms,” they wear “kits.” We’re learning, Orlando City. We’re learning….

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Orlando City-specific Kit advanced features:

  • This is Orlando” sublimated on the inside of the neck tape – laying claim to the City Beautiful
  • Orlando City” and a gold crown 3D heat transferred onto the neckline, highlighting City’s championship success prior to MLS entry
  • Placement of the Club’s previous logo on the inside of the jersey – underneath the Lions’ new MLS crest – keeping the team’s foundation and history close to the heart.

Technical kit advances:

  • Adidas adizero engineering – the lightest soccer kit in history, allowing players to remain fast, cool and comfortable on the pitch
  • Jacquard engineered banding on the front of the jersey, representing Orlando City’s transition to a new era;

Cool, right? More highlights from their press release:

ORLANDO – November 5, 2014 – Orlando City Soccer Club unveiled the team’s 2015 Major League Soccer (MLS) home jersey today during a press conference at Orlando Health’s downtown campus. The event also served as the launch for Orlando City’s new advertising campaign which will run throughout the winter until the Lions’ MLS debut. 

The inaugural Orlando City MLS home kit, both long sleeve and short sleeve, will be available for purchase starting in early December. However, pre-sale for both models is currently available to fans online at www.OrlandoCitySC.com

“We worked very closely with Adidas during the design process of our first-ever MLS home kit, as we want the jersey to have a simple and classic look that accurately represents our brand and prominently displays our long-time partners Orlando Health,” said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “We are very proud of the end result, and we can’t wait to see our team take the field next year.” 

“Four years ago, we entered into a partnership with Orlando City SC and we haven’t looked back. It has been a wonderful friendship between two organizations that stand for the advancement, well-being, growth, and passion for our community,” says Jamal Hakim, M.D., interim CEO for Orlando Health. “We share the excitement our community has shown for the team and are proud to be the jersey sponsor and official medical team for Orlando City SC.” 

City’s new home kit prominently showcases the color purple – the Lions’ primary color – coupled with three white Adidas stripes. 

Orlando Health – the official medical team and jersey sponsor of Orlando City – is highly visible with the healthcare leader’s logo centrally located on the front of the new home uniform. Orlando Health has been the Club’s jersey sponsor since the team’s arrival to the City Beautiful

In 2013, Orlando Health extended their partnership with Orlando City, becoming the first jersey partner in MLS history to commit to an expansion club prior to admittance into the league. 

Orlando City Kicks off 2015 Campaign 

During the ceremony, the Lions’ also unveiled the first of dozens of new ads and billboards that will canvas the City Beautiful over the next five months leading up to the team’s highly anticipated MLS debut. A 16′ x 80′ banner was installed on the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health facing Orange Avenue. This banner highlights the partnership between Orlando City and Orlando Health, with the headline, “Part of Something Major,” and four of the Club’s players: Kaká, Kevin Molino, Tyler Turner and Tommy Redding. 

The marketing campaign will span outdoor, print, radio and digital – prominently featuring Orlando City players Kaká, Darwin Cerén, Molino, Rafael Ramos, Estrela, Redding, Turner, Harrison Heath and Luke Boden. 

For more information on Orlando City SC or to purchase 2015 MLS Season Tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.  Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

 

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Recently ranked 14th among all professional teams in North America, Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion club set to debut in 2015. The Lions’ first team set the U.S. record for best start of any professional soccer club in its first USL PRO league 100 matches (66-12-22). Orlando City has won three USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.