It’s almost time for Major League Soccer in Orlando.
This Sunday, March 8, the Orlando City Lions will open their 2015 seasons against the New York City Football Club at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in downtown Orlando at 5 p.m.
This will not only be the first time the team will step on the field at a pro-level status, but also the first time many of the teammates have played together outside of practice.
“We are not the same as everybody else in the league who changed maybe two or three players,” said Adrian Heath, head coach of the Lions. “We added about 23 or 24 players.”
Heath, although tackling the task of coaching a new group of men isn’t easy, is confident in his team’s success.
So far, success has been in the playing cards for the Lions, as they were able to “fill the bowl,” selling out the stadium of 60,000; about the size of UCF’s entire student population.
Another win for Orlando City came in the form of a partnership.
Maribeth Bisienere, Senior Vice President of Downtown Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, announced the partnership of Disney and Orlando City Soccer as of this season.
“We at Disney are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this crazy soccer fever that has taken a hold of Central Florida,” Bisienere said.
Kaka, the 2007 FIFA world player of the year, as well as team captain for the Lions also responded to the opening of a new season for Orlando city.
“I am very excited,” said Kaka. “I am looking forward to playing Sunday because I have very special moments in my career and I think Sunday will be one of these.”
Orlando City, according to Heath, has come a long way, and hopes to give back to Orlando for their growing support which has brought the team, as well as soccer in Central Florida to where it is today.
“Going back to a couple years ago with the old Citrus Bowl and seeing where we are today with the facility with 60,000 people coming to watch football, it’s been an incredible couple of years,” said Heath. “I’ve said it before and it and I’ll say it again, the support the people of Central Florida have given us has never ceased to amaze me.”