Tag Archives: orlando city soccer club

#WelcomeHome: 5 things to know about the new Orlando City Stadium

#WelcomeHome, City fans! Kickoff Week is over, and your time is finally here! For those living under a limestone rock, Orlando City Soccer, Orlando City B, and Orlando Pride all have a new home in the Historic Parramore community – Orlando City Stadium! And if you thought City matches at Camping World Stadium were loud and rowdy, just wait until you experience this brand new, state-of-the-art stadium for yourself! Did we mention the natural grass pitch?

(BTW, how fantastic is the Welcome Home collage above by Derek Gores?!)

Here’s what the seating chart looks like:

Last week on our Facebook page, we showed you a very quick inside view of this gorgeous, very purple addition to the Downtown Orlando cityscape. In case you missed it, check it out here…

 

Here are 5 things we think you should know before leaving home:

1. SunRail WILL be running on Sunday!

2. Orlando City Stadium has a Clear Bag Policy

You’ll see this A LOT as people become familiar with the new Stadium’s rules. Each ticket holder (including kids) will be able to carry a clear bag no bigger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″ AND a small clutch type bag. (Click here for ADA information.)

You can bring a blanket, just carry it over your shoulder but no seat cushions. Diapers, wipes, additional clothing, small cameras, binoculars, cell phones, etc. are all okay as long as they are in an approved clear bag. (Exceptions for medical items will be made.)

Also, there is no storage for prohibited items. You’ll be asked to toss said item(s) or take it back to your car so make sure you and your purple fam are covered beforehand! Here’s a list of Orlando City Stadium prohibited items;

3. The LionNation App is AWESOME! Paperless Tickets!

Exclusive team access, live coverage of practices, interviews with your favorite players, get pre-sale access to team merchandise, complete ticket management right from your phone (paperless tickets & season passes!) – you can even order concessions from your seat (if you’re sitting in sections 133, 134 or 135)! This app is truly a new or seasoned Supporter’s best friend.

Get LionNation on iOS | Android!

 

4. Parking, Transportation & Road Closures

[Using Pine Street as a guide] If you have seats on the South side of the Stadium, use Gate A. East side seats, use Gate B. North end seats, use Gate C. Supporter section has its own gate. Club seats and Suites use Gate D (opposite side of Gates A, B, C). Click here to see all the transpo info, and click here to see road closure info!

 

5. Don’t miss the Season Opener Pre-Game Party on Wall St.!

A free Heine is not a bad way to start off the day, right? Get to Wall St. or Elixir Kitchen & Drinks early! Make a day of it! Don’t forget to sign up to get notified when the Academy Sports + Outdoors FANCAM goes live! In other related advertisements, if you need marble restoration company, checkout Geova Stone Solutions.

Sunday’s match is SOLD OUT so if you don’t already have your tickets, be sure to catch the national TV broadcast on ESPN, or listen live via Real Radio 104.1!

If you want to get a SUPER headstart, tune into WFTV at 8am to watch special Opening Day coverage!

 GO CITY!!!

Central Florida Top 5’s 2017 Soccer Preview

We are just days away from 2017 and The City Beautiful is already filling the calendar with the Beautiful Game! If you are a fan of soccer and you live in the Central Florida area, you will not be disappointed with this line up.

Florida Cup 2017

There will be two separate competitions in the Florida Cup this year.  The Florida Cup Challenge, will feature six international club sides from four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and USA).  The competition will take place from January 8-15, with each club playing two matches.  The club with the most points at the end of the competition, wins!

The Florida Cup Playoff, is a single elimination tournament where only one club is left standing. There are six clubs from four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador) all fighting to lift the cup at the end of the tournament.  This leg of the competition runs from January 15-21.  For more information on both Florida Cup competitions including clubs, venues, and fixtures, visit http://www.floridacup.com.

 

Orlando City SC

It has been two years in the making but the wait is almost over! We recently found out when Orlando City Soccer Club will finally play in the new Soccer Specific Stadium (SSS) located in Downtown Orlando.  The date for the first ever match in what will be Orlando City’s forever home, is March 5, 2017.  The Lions will face New York City FC in the opening match of the season for the second time in three years. If you enter LionNation’s 12 Days of Christmas you can win tickets to this opener! [Linkhttp://orlan.do/LN12days] The match is scheduled to kick-off at 5 pm and will be televised on ESPN.  For tickets and more information, visit http://www.orlandocitysc.com.

ProTip: Sign up for LionNation and get single game ticket priority! Info here: http://orlan.do/2hg9wfA

 

Orlando Pride

News broke earlier this week that Alex Morgan would be temporarily leaving the Orlando Pride to play in France. Morgan has agreed to a six month deal to play with Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon in the Division 1 Feminine. Not to worry too much Pride fans, Alex is scheduled to be back stateside in May 2017.  The Orlando Pride kick off their season in April in the new SSS downtown. The schedule has not been released yet, but updated information (and some great gift ideas!) can be found at http://www.orlandocitysc.com/pride.

 

Orlando City B

Orlando City B (OCB) will be making the move to Orlando after only one season in Melbourne. With the new SSS opening, OCB will be one of three clubs playing their home matches in Downtown Orlando in 2017.  OCB will also attempt to resurrect the I-4 Derby with cross state rivals the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The Rowdies made the move from the North American Soccer League (NASL) to United Soccer League (USL) at the end of the 2016 season.  If you have never attended one of the original derby matches, this is a can’t miss.  More information regarding Orlando City B’s  upcoming schedule can be found at http://www.orlandocitysc.com/ocb.

 

International Champions Cup and Visit Orlando

The International Champions Cup (ICC) is the premier preseason competition for European football clubs. The friendly competition will take place in July, just one month before most of the domestic leagues across Europe begin play. The ICC brings some of the biggest clubs and stars in the world of football together for a tour of the United States, Australia and China. Past clubs in the tournament have included, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, AC Milan, and Bayern Munich to name a few.

 

Welcome to Orlando @IntChampionsCup! ⚽️💜 #ICC2017 #VisitOrlando

A photo posted by Jen (@jenvargas) on

The ICC and Visit Orlando have partnered up to bring this competition to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium in the summers of 2017 and 2018.  Imagine the possibility of stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi playing right here in our backyard! More schedule and ticket information will come in the new year, and this is sure to be the hottest ticket in town this coming summer.  Stay tuned for updates as they become available. For more info regarding the ICC, go to http://www.internationalchampionscup.com.

David in Peru Orlando City

Me sharing love of Orlando City in Peru!

Next year is shaping up to be the best year for world class soccer The City Beautiful has ever seen. I look forward to being there with Central Florida Top 5 every step of the way!

Vamos Orlando!

Orlando City Soccer Club: The End of an Era

With the close of the season just a few days away, the Lions are looking to finish strong in their final match at Camping World Stadium (CWS). Over the past six seasons, Orlando City has played 93 matches at CWS, and there have been a lot of memories made here.

Orlando City Supporters

A view from the supporter section!

From the first ever preseason match against the Philadelphia Union… to the championship matches in 2011 and 2013… To the first ever MLS match in 2015. From playing in front of a few thousand people every week, to playing in a packed house of 65,000 fans…This is where the dream was realized.

Orlando City Soccer #FillTheBowl

Orlando City Soccer Inaugural effort to #FillTheBowl

The final game has been dubbed a “throwback game” by the club, and will have a “where we came from” theme. A look back at the short, yet rich history and intoxicating embrace this club has put on The City Beautiful.

It will be a chance for all fans to reflect on the past and look forward to the new soccer specific stadium (SSS) on Church St. Out with the old, and in with the new, but maintaining that sense of knowing where it all began. Kick off is set for 4 pm this Sunday.

Join me at the match! I’ll be where I always am… doing my part to “Man the Wall“.  Let’s get the place rockin’ and send the Lions out with a bang one last time at CWS!

Photo by Jen Vargas

Photo by Jen Vargas

There will also be a renewal of the I-4 Derby of sorts this Saturday at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford.  Tickets are just $10 and kick off is set for 7pm.

I highly recommended attending this match if you were not around during the club’s United Soccer League (USL) days. This will be a throwback for the supporters as well as the players. The Orlando City SC alumni players will take on alumni players from the Tampa Bay Rowdies (Tell me how it feels).  Supporters will have full smoke and pyro at this match so bring your bandanna enjoy the show!

If you attend the I-4 Derby, and you run into anyone from Ralph’s Mob (Tampa’s supporter group) make sure you ask them how they feel… you know, about losing 7 times in a row. They love that!

Get your tickets to the I-4 Derby and/or the final home game at CWS by visiting http://www.orlandocity.com/tickets

Vamos Orlando!

 

 

 

 

Orlando City SC: The Thin Red Line and #RethinkHomelessYouth on 8/28

With only five home matches left in the Lion’s season, the push for the playoffs is in full effect!

OCSC

The City Lads currently sit just below the “red line” in the log jam that is the Eastern Conference. If the boys plan on making the playoffs this year, they are going to need a serious run of positive form for the remainder of the season.

The Lions return home to Camping World Stadium tonight, Wednesday, August 24th to take on Toronto FC.  The Lions defeated Toronto back in June, but is was no walk in the park.  Tied at 2-2 late in the match, it was Kaka who would step up hit the penalty kick in stoppage time to put the Lions on top for good.

The Lions will also be in action at home on Sunday August 28th, against New York City FC. This will be the third and final meeting of the year between the two clubs.

The Lions took the 1-0 win away at New York in the first meeting back in March.  Then in May, the Lions would come back from two goals down, to earn the point on a 2-2 draw in the Bronx.

This will be the first trip to Orlando for NYCFC this season. [Tickets are still available for this match.  Visit http://www.orlandocitysc.com/tickets to get yours!]

Image by Macbeth Photo

Images by Macbeth Photo

Whether in attendance or not, something special will happen on social media during Sunday’s match and you can be part of it! During the game (on August 28th), post on social media using the hashtag #rethinkhomelessyouth. Every post using this hashtag will be matched by a $1 donation from Orlando Health, up to a total of $20,000!

Supporters at Camping World Stadium can join the fight to end youth homelessness by attending the Rethink Homelessness advocacy campaign kickoff at the Orlando City Soccer match on August 28th (and the tailgate beforehand). 40% of homeless youth age 18-24 identify as LGBT, and with as hard as this community has been hit this year, we encourage anyone and everyone to help in any way they can.

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New Stadium News

The new stadium is coming along nice and according to the club, it is still on track for the beginning of next season.  If you don’t have the chance to drive by, you can follow the link below to the live construction cam.  There is also a very cool time lapse video which was compiled over the last eight months. [Link]

Away Days – City Pubs

Don’t forget that Orlando City SC also has official watch parties at five different City Pub locations.  All City Pub locations guarantee to show all 2016 matches with sound, as well as discounted Heineken on match days. The next big watch party to be hosted by the Orlando City promo team, will be September 24th at Wall St. Plaza.  The match against D.C. United is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 pm.

For your local City Pub, follow this link:  http://www.orlandocitysc.com/gameday/citypubs

Vamos Orlando!

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 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

Orlando City: Match Day Experience

Orlando City Soccer Club opened their inaugural Major League Soccer campaign yesterday in epic fashion. I was there with 62,510 of my closest friends to witness this historic event!

A photo posted by Top5 (@CentralFLTop5) on

As I am sure most of you know by now, our boys played to a 1-1 draw with the Manchester City B (New York City Football Club) side. The entire day was filled with many first for not only myself, but many of the SC (Seminole County) Ruckus supporters.

Orlando City SunRail

Photo Credit: Max Levine

  The Sunrail Experience

We started arriving at the Lake Mary SunRail station around noon. One of our fellow supporters, Dan was the first one to get on the train in DeBary. He sent us a text letting us know the train was pretty full. By the time it got to Lake Mary, it was busy but we all managed to get on. The same could not be said for the folks waiting at the Longwood station, many of them were turned away. People were also told not to board at the Altamonte Springs and Maitland stations. At each of these stations, there was easily 50-60 people left behind. The demand for SunRail service was there, unfortunately the supply did not meet the demand.  

The Tailgate & March In Experience

We arrived at Orlando Citrus Bowl just before 2 pm. The place was already a buzz with excitement. Shortly after arriving, I ran into the one and only Jen Vargas! We talked for a bit as I took her around the supporter’s tailgate in Lot 11. Let’s just say her and Bun could hardly contain themselves in this sea of purple bliss.

The overall tailgate experience was amazing. The Wall came through with food, drinks, and a very welcoming experience for all. I even saw a NYCFC supporter getting a hotdog at the Ruckus food tent. If that doesn’t say friendly, I don’t know what does!

After a couple of hours of drinking, eating and mingling about with everyone, we started our march into the stadium. The drums and chants started as the purple smoke bombs were being handed out to anyone with a free hand. This was it, we had arrived in the top flight of US Soccer and this march was one for the history books.

Not to sound cheesy, but this is the type of day you tell your kids about. The type of day that no supporter would have missed for anything in the world. This was the day the world took notice of Orlando City Soccer Club and The Wall. We have officially arrived!

Orlando City Supporters

Photo Credit: Max Levine

  The Match Experience

The atmosphere inside the Orlando Citrus Bowl was ELECTRIC! There was not an empty seat in the house (except for ours but only because we refuse to sit). Immediately after the National Anthem, our Tifo was unveiled to the world. Now since I was underneath this beautiful piece of art (designed by Earl Funk), I was not able to see how amazing it was until I got home and watched the replay. Once the match kicked off, it gave us everything we had hoped for. Plenty of opportunities on goal for our boys, horrible officials for us to yell at, and a 0-0 score line going into halftime.

The second half kicked off and NYCFC was more active on the ball than in the previous half. Then in the 76th minute, Mix Diskerud (NYCFC) opened up his account with a (it pains me to say this) beautiful strike just out of the reach of Donovan Ricketts. Orlando City was down 0-1 with just under a quarter of an hour to go. There was an empty feeling in all of our stomachs. A groan of nervousness rolled it’s way around the stadium, but we had to go on.

The drums pounded harder and our chants got louder. We needed to let our boys know that we were behind them no matter what. The clock ticked closer to full-time, and a sense of anxiety started to set in. Was it really possible for us to lose our inaugural MLS match? Were we really going to lose to this inferior club from New York by way of Manchester? We needed something, and we needed it fast!

Just then, that something happened… A free kick was awarded to Orlando City just outside the penalty arch. Kaka and Brek Shea both stood over the ball. The whistle blew and Kaka took a shot that bounced off a NYCFC defender, and into the back of the net!

  A photo posted by Top5 (@CentralFLTop5) on

The place went mental and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. It wasn’t the win we hoped for, but fortunately in soccer, a draw is the next best thing and it is WAY better than a loss. We announced to the world that, Our Reign Begins Now!

 Next up…

The next match is away this Friday, March 13th at 7 pm, against the Houston Dynamo. There will be watch parties at all City Pub locations. I will be at Liam Fitzpatrick’s in Lake Mary along with many of the other Seminole County Ruckus members.

To find your nearest City Pub location, please check out: http://www.orlandocitysc.com/gameday/citypubs

¡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!!

Think You’ve Got What It Takes To Be An Orlando City Supporter?

Here’s a little taste of what life is like in the South End

So you want to be a supporter? We would love to have you, but do you completely understand what you are about to sign up for?

For starters, we do not sit. In fact, we are not even sure why the seat is there. I mean sure it’s nice to stand on if the person in front of you is super tall, but that’s about it. Thankfully our new downtown stadium will have a standing supporters section, the only one of it’s kind in MLS!

Another thing you will need to do is lose your voice. Sound weird? Well consider this… from the march to the final whistle, we do not stop chanting and singing. Once we start, there is no turning back. We are in this for Orlando City and we refuse to be silenced.

OCSC Carolina Challenge field

Smoke, it’s in our DNA.

Supporters without smoke is like a tailgate without beer. The two go hand in hand and should never be separated. You never know when the smoke is going to pop off, so make sure you have your bandana. A true supporter has their bandana on them at all times. There is nothing more beautiful than flags and scarves high in the air, surrounded by a cloud of purple smoke.

You have to understand that soccer is the only sport in the world with a true supporter culture. It is the supporters that create the atmosphere for everyone in the stadium. It is something you will not find in any other major sport. Just try popping off smoke or waving a flag at an NFL or MLB game. If you do the only thing you will be seeing is the exit.

David & The Ruckus

Vamos Orlando and Vamos The Ruckus!

 

Being a supporter is not passive. We live and breathe for Orlando City. It’s in our hearts and in our souls. We bleed purple for the club that we love. We are, The Wall!

If you are interested in becoming a supporter there are two recognized supporter groups, The Ruckus and the Iron Lion Firm. You can click on the link below to join or stop by the tailgate to see what we are all about. The official supporter tailgate is in lot 11. Hope to see everyone at Orlando Citrus Bowl on March 8th!

More info:

http://www.orlandocitysc.com/fans

For tickets please visit: http://orlandocitysc.com/tickets

On The Road with Orlando City Soccer: Carolina Challenge Cup

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!

Orlando City Soccer: Forever My City!

Introducing our newest writer, David!

My name is David Blair. I was born and raised right here in Orlando. My first introduction to the beautiful game of soccer was on a trip to England when I was 19 years old.

Prior to this trip, soccer was never part of my life. Growing up I played baseball with SAY and Pine Castle Little League. I had one friend that lived around the block and he was the only one that played soccer. I always thought it was weird he didn’t play baseball or football like the rest of us kids in the neighborhood. What I know now is that he and his parents were ahead of their time.

Fast forward 18 years and here I am writing a blog dedicated to being a supporter of Orlando City Soccer Club. In 2010, when it was first announced that Orlando was getting professional soccer, I was pumped! The first home match in 2011 was against FC New York. I remember being there with my wife, sister in-law, mother in-law, and my friend Kevin. It was around my birthday so they bought me a t-shirt and a scarf at that match. Since then, I have been City Til I Die!

David B & Kaka

David and Orlando City’s Kaka!

 

For most of the first season we sat near midfield. Then a buddy of mine named Pablo suggested that we sit behind the goal in the supporter section, so we did. My life was never the same. I know it sounds silly, but it’s the truth. There is a passion and sense of unity among supporters that you cannot find with any other sports fans. It’s just something you have to experience for yourself to understand what I am talking about. My suggestion to you… DO IT! Come to a match and sit with the supporters. If you hate it, I’ll buy you a beer. If you love it, I’ll buy you a beer. It’s a win/win!

David B 2

See? He wasn’t kidding!

 

This weekend I will be attending the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston with my fellow supporters from The Wall. We open up the tournament against New York City FC this Saturday evening. The Houston Dynamo and Charleston Battery are also participating in the week-long tournament. All matches will be streaming live on the Charleston Battery YouTube Channel. Here is the link for your viewing pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheCHSBattery

I will be sure to keep you posted on the trip to Charleston and the rest of the Carolina Challenge Cup for Orlando City.

Orlando City Soccer #FillTheBowl

This is Orlando!

Orlando City Soccer’s Kaka Meets Orlando Magic’s Vic Oladipo

Kaka, meet Victor. Victor, meet Kaka.

This is exactly what happened from the Orlando Magic center court right before last night’s game against the New York Knicks. (Spoiler Alert: The Magic WON!)

Also, because we love him so, here’s a shot of STUFFMagic and Kaka from Orlando Magic‘s twitter stream…

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.

#WeDigPurple, Orlando City Soccer will too on Thursday

We love Orlando City Soccer Club. We know YOU love Orlando City Soccer Club. Heck, our own @jenvargas is The BIGGEST PURPLE FAN we knowThis Thursday, the City of Orlando may rival Jen’s purple love.


The Lions of Orlando City are planning a DIGITAL takeover of Orlando this Thursday, October  16th, beginning at 5:30pm and the public is welcome! Are you ready Orlando?! Don’t forget to register online for your FREE stadium groundbreaking gift! More details below…

 

Countdown to Groundbreaking: #WeDigPurple Digital Takeover of Orlando 

Groundbreaking for the new Downtown home of the Orlando City Soccer Club takes place on Thursdayevening, but the buzz is growing for the once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Orlando City has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor for a special digital campaign and unique Instagram takeover that will share the groundbreaking event live across 36 digital boards throughout greater Orlando.

On Thursday, October 16, from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. ET, fans will be asked to post images from the groundbreaking to Instagram using the hashtag #WeDigPurple. Those images will appear live throughout the City Beautiful on the Clear Channel digital boards during the hour.

The groundbreaking celebration is open to all, and fans who attend will receive a unique gift to remember this day: a clear miniature Orlando City commemorative paint can which they can use to scoop up and take home purple sand from the groundbreaking ceremony. Over 24 tons of purple sand will be trucked in for use in the unique event.  Fans can pre-register for the souvenir by clicking here.

Below is a full schedule of events for Thursday evening:

5:30 p.m. – Fans gather at Church Street Station

6:15 p.m. – March begins from Church Street to groundbreaking site

*6:45 p.m. – Formal groundbreaking event begins 

*7:20 p.m. – Ceremonial dig

Additional details of the groundbreaking will be announced over the coming days.  Be sure to get the latest updates by following Orlando City via FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

For more information on Orlando City SC or to purchase 2015 MLS Season Tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.

About the Downtown Stadium: 

Through a public/private partnership, a new Major League Soccer stadium is being constructed in Downtown Orlando – it will be the future home of Orlando City Soccer Club and host to other major national events throughout the year.  Scheduled to open for the 2016 MLS season, the stadium will have an initial capacity of approximately 20,000, will be LEED-certified, and will reflect the character and culture of the community, especially the surrounding Parramore neighborhood, to provide an unparalleled and truly unique fan experience.

The stadium will break ground on October 16, 2014, and is being designed and constructed by Populous, Barton Malow, and ICON Venue Group, who are widely renowned for previous works on venues such as Wembley Stadium, Yankee Stadium and multiple other MLS stadium projects.  One completed, it will be operated by the City of Orlando and owned by the Central Florida community. Community funding partnerships include the City of Orlando, Orlando City Soccer Club and Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.

The soccer stadium is part of the Blueprint Initiative that ensures the local community benefits from the construction with 24 percent of the contracts going to minority or women-owned business enterprises. For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com.

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 team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. 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.

Orlando City Soccer Club vs. Sao Paulo FC Match to be Broadcast Live on Brazilian T.V.

International friendly to be aired live on SporTV 2 and ESPN Brasil

Orlando City SC announced that Friday’s international friendly against Sao Paulo F.C. will be aired live on television in Brazil via prominent sports networks, SporTV 2 and ESPN Brasil. The TV listings revealed that they are scheduled for kick-off on Friday, June 20 at 8 p.m., the Lions’ match against SPFC will air in Brazil directly after the Honduras versus Ecuador World Cup fixture, showcasing the City Beautiful while also further developing the OCSC brand globally.OrlandoBuddyDyerCFLT5

With Major League Soccer (MLS) entry less than a year away, Orlando City has made clear aspirations of becoming a recognizable brand not only locally and nationally, but also outside of the United States’ borders. The Club has already made strides to achieve that mission, with the Orlando City Brasil Facebook page generating over 700,000 ‘likes’ in a short period of time, and City’s participation in numerous international friendlies against sides from premier leagues across the world in the past three years.

“This is another great example of Orlando City’s growing partnerships with the country of Brazil,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “We are proud of the role Orlando City is playing to help promote all the wonderful benefits that Central Florida has to offer to international visitors.”

Since arriving to the City Beautiful in 2011, Orlando City has competed against reputable clubs such as Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United F.C., Stoke City, Fluminense, and most recently AS Roma, who narrowly defeated the Lions 1-0 on May 23, 2014, at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Friday’s match against Sao Paulo F.C. adds to that impressive list of friendlies, as the Brazilian powerhouse is known as one of the most successful clubs in South America. Along with its success domestically, which includes 21 state titles, six Brasilerao titles and three Libertadores Cups, SPFC has also done incredibly well on the international stage- winning three Club World Cups: two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup title.

Barring any injuries, Sao Paulo’s full squad will be available for selection on Friday night, including star players Luis Fabiano, Rogerio Ceni and Alexandre Pato.

Tickets can be purchased via TicketMaster or by calling an Orlando City Ticket Representative at 855-ORL-CITY.

For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com

Mayor Jacobs State of the County This Friday

What is the ‘Year of Transformation‘ all about? How can Orange County residents find out more and get involved?

This is what Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs plans to address in her 2014 State of the County on Friday, June 6, 2014. In this live chat, Mayor Jacobs will focus on the achievements and milestones Orange County has hit thus far, and give a peek of what’s to come.

Even more exciting is, for the first time ever the Mayor is inviting YOU to take part from the comfort of your own computer chair! Do you have any questions about Orange County or for Mayor Jacobs herself? Comment below or tweet us using hashtag #SOC2014 and we will ask her for you!

We hear the Mayor is very excited about this event and is becoming a big fan of social media – and being huge social media nerds ourselves – we couldn’t be happier! A little Twitter birdie may or may not have told us that news of Orlando City Soccer Club, the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, some cool theme park info, SunRail buzz and more might be mentioned during this address on Friday. Hmm… 

Join Mayor Jacobs at the Church St. Ballroom this Friday!

#YearofTransformation | #OCTransformation

State of Orange County Address 

Friday, June 6, 2014, 9 a.m.

The Ballroom at Church Street

225 S Garland Avenue, Orlando

 

The event is complimentary and open to the public. The speech will be televised live on Orange TV which is Bright House Networks channel 199, Comcast channel 9, and AT&T U-Verse channel 99, and will be live-streamed on www.orangetvfl.net.

‘Orlando believes in MLS’ #Mission15k Goal MET!

#GoCity!

‘The 407’ are among the most dedicated soccer fans in the MLS!   (Photo Credit: Jen Vargas)

 

Congratulations #Mission15k supporters!

“I believe in MLS in Orlando! I want to give my support to Orlando City SC in their bid to bring a second major league franchise to Orlando, and urge the governments at City, County and State level to do everything within their power to help make this happen.”

 

Have you signed the petition yet? Do it, and help support Orlando City Soccer Club’s mission to bring MLS to Orlando!