Friday, July 25, 2014

Orlando City Notebook: Heath previews Rhinos meeting; Lampard to NYCFC; and injury updates

(Courtesy of Orlando City)
By Mike Gramajo

SANFORD, Fla. — Orlando City’s Adrian Heath made it no secret on July 12 that he believes his squad can go unbeaten in their last USL PRO season. 

After a scoreless draw at Sacramento last week, which kept that dream alive, Heath’s men will look to keep living up to that expectation when they visit the Rochester Rhinos on Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium (WATCH HERE). 

“They’re (Rochester) probably more dangerous now then they would of been if they won their last five,” Heath told the OSJ ahead of their league clash against the Rhinos. “I believe so much in this group and if they play in their full potential, we can go all the way without a loss."

The Lions look to have an advantage heading into Sunday’s match, as the Rhinos have lost three of their last five matches, while only winning and drawing once. 

OCSC are currently riding an 18-game unbeaten streak, four games away from tying the 2013 Richmond Kickers unbeaten run. With Orlando and Richmond not scheduled to play each other toward the latter part of the season, Heath did add that it’s not easy regarding their unbeaten start given that in the past, the Kickers have always proved to be a tough opponent. 

“It’s tough, we haven’t played Richmond yet who’s second in the league,” said Heath. “We have some big games coming up. If we don’t perform anything like our best, then we will get beat. It’s about bringing your A-game. This group is very good when we play at our maximum.” 

Here’s more regarding Orlando City push for the post-season: 

Heath talks about Lampard joining New York City FC 
From one Englishman to another, Heath voiced his thoughts on former Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard joining fellow expansion club New York City FC on Thursday. 

“He’s had an unbelievable career,” said Heath. “Frank arguably has gotten more out of his career than any player in the history of English football. He performs at the maximum, he’s consistent, he looks after his body. I don’t care that he’s 36, he’s fit and this year broke the Chelsea record.

“Without a doubt, Frank on the field will be very, very good for New York City.” 

Orlando City and New York City are set to join Major League Soccer in 2015 as expansion clubs. 

Orlando City injury list sheds some light heading into the week
While Orlando City’s injury list seemed to pile up, good news surfaced on the horizon but the shade of a dark cloud still surfaced. 

Corey Hertzog (groin) and Brad Rusin (knee/ankle) trained apart from the team on Friday, but told the OSJ that they should be clear to play in the next home game after a ‘productive’ training session. 

However, Bryan Burke’s injury may seem more serious than thought previously. After breaking his leg in 2013, which saw the defender out for 10 months, Burke recovered quickly than expected. He resurrected his form and worked his way back into the starting lineup until he tore a ligament located where his previous injury was. 

A source told the OSJ that his rehabilitation is back to day one like his previous injury, and could be out for the rest of the season. 

Midfielder Anthony Pulis (quad) also remained sideline during Friday’s practice, and is expected to be out for a ‘couple more weeks’ after picking up the injury during a July 12 league game vs. Wilmington.

Yordany Alvarez (concussion) did not practice with the team, while the club is expected to make an announcement regarding his injury. Meanwhile, defender Justin Clark also remained sidelined for Friday’s practice session after Heath confirmed he picked up a knock (did not reveal what type of injury). 

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