Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Weekly- 19- Charleston preview, Roster changes, NY Cosmos revival

SANFORD -- With a lot happening this week, the Orlando City Lions returned back to the practice pitch to begin preparations for Thursday's road game at Charleston.

Saturdays 4-0 home win provided City a comfortable 10 point lead atop the USL Pro standings. The win was also Orlando's second consecutive 4-0 win, and it extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

"We approach each game the same, and we can't take our foot off the petal," said City coach Adrian Heath on the remaining six games left of the season. "If we win the next two games against Charleston and Wilmington, we'll put it to bed for us."

Griffin out and changes in the midfield
Last week Orlando made more changes to its roster, when Max Griffin, 2011 leading goal scorer for the Lions, was loaned to the L.A. Blues in exchanged for George Davis.

With Luzunaris and Chinny's recent good goal scoring form, Coach Heath believes Griffin's place in the starting IX was just too hard to break in.

"One reason why we let Max go was because we got six games left, and I just can't see him getting in."

Heath praised new comers, George Davis and Rodrigo Lopez, on their role on the wings. "They showed everybody during the weekend how good players they are."

With Anthony Pulis suffering from a hamstring injury and Ian Fuller with a swollen ankle, Heath is looking at extra help in the midfield.

"We're trying to bring a midfield player from the MLS, a young boy, who will just be another body for us."

Heath praises defense
Since the start of the USL Pro season, Orlando has only conceded 13 goals, which leaves Adrian Heath satisfied.

"Kieron Bernard has been magnificent, Valentino is back, Jerome Mechack, Luke Boden and Miguel, that little five has been exceptional for us and we're going to need them."

Lions weigh in on New York Cosmos second coming 
Last week, American soccer fans were able to see the revival of the New York Cosmos.

Many Orlando City soccer fans were left skeptical on how that affects City's bid for MLS.

"It doesn't make any difference to us," said Heath. "I think the Cosmos coming back is good for the game, it is a name everybody knows."

The Cosmos, who played in the first edition of the NASL, made it clear last week when it announced it's joining the newly formed NASL, with plans to begin play in the start of 2013.

Heath remains optimistic that there isn't a road block to an MLS bid, "I don't think they're going to stop at 19, 20 not even 21 either."

"We got a meeting with MLS in a couple months."

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