Match Preview: 2.18.2012 - Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union
Adam Soucie previews the Philadelphia Union friendlyORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City kicks off the home leg of the 2012 preseason tomorrow when they welcome Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union to the Florida Citrus Bowl for a friendly match at 7:30 P.M. The match is Orlando City’s first official friendly of the 2012 preseason.
Last year, Orlando City opened the annals of club history against the Union, and came away with a surprise 1-0 victory. After already drawing against another MLS side, 1-1 on Monday versus Seattle Sounders FC, in a preseason scrimmage, the Lions are well aware they can compete, and expect to.
For Head Coach Adrian Heath, the focus is not only on winning, but looking at the bigger picture and preparing for the USL PRO regular season, beginning in April.
“Even though it's preseason, we want to play well and win for the home crowd,” said Heath. "Still, we've got to get the new four or five new players integrated into the system. It's all about getting our players fit and ready for the regular season start in April.”
One of the players already on form this preseason is Forward and local product Dennis Chin. It was Chin’s superb goal against Seattle that gave the Lions the lead after the first of three 30 minute periods. Chin has continued that form in training, and looks to have earned the start.
Orlando City will be without two players on Saturday night. Matt Luzunaris has a leg injury and will miss the next couple of weeks of training camp. More details will be available next week. Jamie Watson is day-to-day with a knee injury, and is expected to be held out for precautionary reasons.
The Lions will also be without midfield tandem Yordany Alvarez and Lawrence Olum. Both players moved on to MLS clubs in the offseason, joining Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City respectively. They are replaced by a trio of new signings from England: James O’Connor, Anthony Pulis, and John Rooney.
City’s opponent, the Philadelphia Union, is also dealing with roster turnover. Star players Sebastien Le Toux and Faryd Mondragón are no longer with the club, as the Union and Head Coach Piotr Nowak are focusing on building the club through youth. Leading the charge for the Union is St. Petersburg, FL, native Zac MacMath. The 20-year old steps into the starting goalkeeper spot for Philadelphia. Though MacMath saw a few starts in his rookie year, he was filling in for Mondragón. Orlando City will be the first pro test for MacMath since taking on the mantle of starting keeper.
Tickets are still available for the match and start at just $15. Call 855-ORL-CITY by 2 P.M, or visit the Citrus Bowl Box Office, opening at 4:30 P.M. on Saturday. Gates open at 6:30 P.M. For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.
Date: Feb. 18, 2012
Time: 7:30 P.M.
Location: Florida Citrus Bowl
Expected Orlando City Line-Up (unofficial):
GK: Miguel Gallardo
DEF: Jerome Mechack, Rob Valentino, Logan Emory (trialist), Luke Boden
MID: Kevin Molino, James O’Connor, Anthony Pulis, John Rooney, Charlie Campbell
FWD: Dennis Chin
Subs will not be listed as the entire roster is available under friendly match rules.