Monday, February 10, 2014

Match Preview | Orlando City SC vs. Chicago Fire (preseason friendly)

Photo by USA Today

By Mike Gramajo 

With only a week of preseason now out of the way, Orlando City SC will kickoff their month of friendlies when they visit the IMG Bradenton Academy to play the Chicago Fire on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. 

“It should be a difficult task, Chicago has been down here for a couple of weeks,” Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath told the OSJ. “We’ll try to give everybody some playing time at some stage during the game.” 

While Orlando is entering Tuesday’s match as their first preseason friendly of 2014, Chicago currently have two preseason games under their belt, defeating most recently DC United last Saturday, 2-0. 

Last time the Lions played the Fire was on June of 2013 during the quarter final stage of the U.S. Open Cup, which saw Chicago claim a large 5-1 victory at Toyota Park. 

OCSC will look to benefit from Tuesday’s matchup, after acquiring their third MLS player Darwin Ceren last week, which is a clear indication that Heath will more than likely rely on his midfielders to create chances towards scoring goals. 

“We’ll probably give him an hour, maybe a bit more but we’ll see how he feels,” said Heath on his most recent player signing. “He said he feels well, we forget he’s in the middle of his season, so he should adjust well.” 

Heath also mentioned that academy players along with trialist’s will see action against the Fire, stating, “One of them is only 16 and two of them are 17-years-old, so I would like to give them some time as well.” 

The Fire saw last year’s head coach Frank Klopas resign after the 2013 MLS season. However, they were quick to bring in former San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop to manage and revamp the squad, which also saw CJ Brown and former US national team star Clint Mathis step into the role of assistant coach.

Perhaps the recent changes in the Chicago coaching staff would change the tempo of Tuesday’s friendly, however, the Englishman told the OSJ that he doesn’t believe the system the Fire have been playing hasn’t changed one bit. 

“I’m not sure if there’ll be a awful lot of difference with the system, obviously new approach, new coach, and there roster is a bit different from last year,” added Heath. “I’m looking forward to the game, they have a couple quality players, I like watching Mike Magee play and the young one they took from the draft.” 

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What are your score predictions for Tuesday's match? Do you think the Fire will claim another victory? Would you like to see Dennis Chin score? Out of the three Orlando MLS signings, who do you want to see the most?

Share your thoughts below. 

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