Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MLS & USL Pro announce partnership, Orlando City & Sporting KC Unite

Courtesy of Orlando City Soccer 
BY Mike Gramajo

Soccer in America took a big step to foster youth development with Major League Soccer and USL Pro announcing a partnership while Orlando City became Sporting Kansas City's USL affiliate.

"We are fortunate Orlando City has agreed to partner with us in this new, groundbreaking opportunity. They are a class club and this will be a great partnership for both organizations," Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. "It will provide beneficial opportunities for our players to develop within a competitive environment for a tremendous organization and fanbase. Together, our shared vision for this affiliation made it easy for us to enter into the opportunity."

meanwhile in other parts of Major League Soccer, D.C. United affiliated with USL Pro side Richmond Kickers, New England paired up with Rochester and Philadelphia with Harrisburg. 

“We are excited to begin our partnership with one of the greatest MLS brands, Sporting KC,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “We believe the integration of USL and MLS will go down as an important day in the history of the American soccer pyramid.”

Orlando City, who is about to enter the the 2013 USL Pro season, could use this boost with Sporting Kansas City while maintaining its close relationship with Barclays Premier League side Stoke City, who sit 10th in Premier League table. 

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Mike Gramajo is a writer for Opinions expressed are his and his only and do not come he contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando City SC. All opinions expressed by Mike Gramajo are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Orlando City SC.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

AS Roma hand Orlando City harsh defeat

(Photo Credit: Mike Gramajo) 
WINTER PARK, Fla. — New year. New challenge.

Orlando City opened up its 2013 campaign losing to Serie A giants AS Roma 5-0, Wednesday afternoon at the Barker Family Stadium in Rollins College.

The Italian side which currently sit sixth in the Serie A table, trained for the past two weeks at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. While the Lions played its first competitive match after crashing out of the USL Pro playoffs, back in August.

"We're delighted for the opportunity to play them (AS Roma)," coach Adrian Heath told reporters after the game. "It was a real learning curve for some of ours."

Roma wasted no time in scoring, Erik Lamela opened up the scoring within the first minute of the game after a one-two touch play with Miralem Pjanic, the Italian side were quick to break Orlando's defense and get the ball passed goal keeper Miguel Gallardo.

Lamela would complete a brace 10 minutes later, resulting into a similar play from the first goal, however, this time assisted by Alessandro Florenzi.

With Dennis Chin playing the role of a lone striker, Chinny wasn't able to capitalize in the scoring third.

Miralem Pjanic would score in the 31st minute after sending a rocket shot past Gallardo, while Mattia Destro would end the first half scoring in an assisted play.

The Lions were able to hold more possession of the ball in the second half, but Roma just kept denying City from scoring, leaving Jerome Mechack to blast a shot from the 18-yard line.
"We're confident in bringing in the necessary pieces to be competitive." said Heath.

Orlando City will continue its preseason when they return to action in the WDW Pro Soccer Classic, playing MLS' Philadelphia in their opening match on February 9.