Tag Archives: the ruckus

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: Approved for All Ages

When I asked my nephew what he wanted for his birthday, an Orlando City Soccer Club match was at the top of the list.  So I did what any good uncle does…I took him.

Dom's First Match!

Dom’s First Match!

Once the 2015 season schedule was released I sent it over to my sister so Dom (my nephew) could pick the match he wanted to attend.  His birthday is in April, but I told him that he could select any match he wanted.  He picked the DC United match because he said he used to like them.  Now I am pretty sure Dom has never watched D.C. United play, however I am sure he likes the colors red and black.  A little background on my nephew here… He has a vivid imagination.  At breakfast he asked for a Cup of Joe, because he used to drink it back in high school… He’ll be seven at the end of the month.

April 3rd finally arrived and we were on our way to the Citrus Bowl for the match up against DC United. Once we arrived, we headed to lot 11 so I could show Dom around the Ruckus tailgate.  We met up with my fellow SC (Seminole County) Ruckus members in our little section of lot 11.  Dom went around like a seasoned veteran giving high fives and hugs to everyone he met.  Dom even meet The Ruckus’ @orlandounicorn himself, Danny Voss.

20150403_165855

Dom with @orlandounicorn Danny Voss

After we finished doing the rounds at the tailgate, we headed over to the Mane Street Fan Zone sponsored by Publix. This was my first trip to the Fan Zone, but it was pretty cool.  There are activities for kids, a band, and plenty of freebies for the taking.  One of the coolest giveaways was from Continental Tires. If you filled out a short survey, they would give you an Orlando City SC scarf.  I know there isn’t much need for a scarf here in Orlando, however the scarf is universally known as a “soccer thing“.  So hats off to the folks at Continental Tires for “getting it“.

20150403_171606

Free Scarf!

I asked Dom if he wanted to participate in the march in or get better seats in the supporter section, he opted for the latter.  We made our way into the stadium, and for me it was a little weird.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I entered the stadium without a hoard of smoke loving supporters, but this was Dom’s birthday so he was the boss. The match may not have ended the way we hoped, but I am pretty sure this kid didn’t care too much.

Win or lose, still fun!

Win or lose, still fun!

In my opinion, there isn’t a better value in The City Beautiful than an Orlando City match.  If you are looking for an exciting and affordable night out with the family, head on over to the Orlando Citrus Bowl for the next Orlando City SC match. Tickets are available now for the next home match against Toronto FC on April 26th on the Orlando City SC website,  http://www.orlandocitysc.com/tickets

Next Match: April 12 at 5:00 pm at Portland with The Timbers.  As with all away matches all City Pubs will be hosting watch parties complete with drink specials.  To find your nearest City Pub, please use the link below.

http://www.orlandocitysc.com/gameday/citypubs

Vamos Orlando!

 

 

 

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!

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