Saturday, April 5, 2014

Valentino: Our focus is USL Pro, not MLS

Photo: Joe Petro / OCSC
By Mike Gramajo

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orlando City’s 3-1 victory over the Rochester Rhinos not only displayed a winning result, their first winning result, but for defender Rob Valentino it was a performance that served as a wake up call. 

“I think it’s important to set the tone for the club, ourselves and not necessarily about MLS,” Valentino told reporters after the result. “We’re going to hear from every single player, we’re not focus on MLS, we’re focus on this season, and the tone in that locker room is what matters this year, not next year.

“We have to focus on every single game, every single Saturday not letting the level drop. Like I said, we set our own standards and we need to know that stays the same. We have the same goal every year, and we want to win both trophies.” 

Valentino, who scored OCSC’s second goal, has been a vital player to the club since their arrival to the minor leagues in 2011. 

Despite the victory, both head coach Adrian Heath and defender Rob Valentino told reporters that the result and performance were two halves, with one outweighing the other. 

“Everything you saw today, it wasn’t them outclassing us, it was us giving them everything,” said Valentino. “It’s their first game, so if we think that performance was good enough, we won’t have a performance like that all through the year.” 

After Orlando City’s ability to score multiple goals came to question during week one and two of the USL Pro, Saturday’s performance did answer those questions. However, it was self-evident that OCSC were lacking in another department, foolish defensive errors, if not the first two weeks then tonight. 

Despite Heath and Valentino criticizing their performance, Valentino did mention that the chemistry in the back line is doing well, it’s just the blinded mistakes that tend to gift the opponents the chance to score. 

“I think Brad (Rusin) and myself have a good communication between the two of us. Bods (Luke Boden) has been with us for the last four years, him and I have a good understanding, and we’re trying to mix Tyler (Turner) in, it’s his third game professionally. He’s still learning, understanding this is the real deal.” 

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