We’ll see if Tyler Tuner gets some action tonight–and if so, what number he ends up getting.
Following the match, we’ll see Sporting Kansas City v. Columbus Crew for the title match.
Orlando City announced the signing of defender Tyler Turner yesterday.
Turner, who is still 17 and was a senior at IMG Academy, is rated as the #2 defender in the entire class of 2014 by Top Drawer Soccer.
He is a veteran of the U.S. youth national teams. As part of the U-17 development team in 2011, he scored goals against Turkey and Brazil in the Nike Friendlies. He joined the U-18 team for the Copa del Atlantico at the Canary Islands this past month.
The multi-year contract makes him the youngest member of our MLS team thus far. We’ll probably find out his number tomorrow.
Mbengue was initially not re-signed following the 2013 season. However, with the departure of Jamie Watson, the team re-signed the Senegalese 20-year-old. He has one goal over 24 pro appearances.
The 27-year-old Rusin is a product of the IMG Academy, and originally from Indiana. He made 19 appearances with Vancouver Whitecaps last season.
Both players were signed to one-year deals for 2014. Rusin is wearing #3, while Mbengue will change to #8.
That can be guaranteed from a group standpoint if either Philly or Toronto win their match this afternoon.
The question is how long Miguel Gallardo and Carl Woszczynski can hold off the Columbus offense. The goal Matt Lampson has allowed was an own goal from teammate Tyson Wahl.
We still have a match on Saturday night, then we press on to the college friendlies.
The Reds are looking to make a splash in 2014, having convinced Daddy MLS to max out the credit cards on defensive midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Jermain Defoe.
But Defoe isn’t in America yet; right now, he’s riding the pine at Tottenham Hotspur before his contract with them expires.
Bradley is here, and is familiar with the surroundings, having trained at Disney with AS Roma in the past.
The Reds are hoping that’s enough to lift the stale club, which finished next-to-last in the East last year.
And if Red Bull New York has taught us anything, it’s that adding a couple of elite players to your roster does not mean you’re going to win it all.
Not even David Beckham and Landon Donovan were enough for LA Galaxy; they also needed Robbie Keane and Juninho.
Getting back hometown hero Dwayne De Rosario will not be much of a help. He was already burning out when he won his last title with Houston in 2007. He had only three goals last year, his least-productive full season.
In a shock move, Orlando City midfielder Jamie Watson has been transferred to Minnesota United in the NASL, where he sill sign a multiyear deal.
One of the most popular and well-loved players in Orlando City’s history, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise since he didn’t appear last night at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
He leaves the team with 23 goals over three seasons, plus 10 with the Austin Aztex.
It was three years ago today that Orlando City played their first match at the Florida Citrus Bowl against Philadelphia Union.
We beat them, 1-0.
Now here’s a fun fact: Philadelphia Union has never beaten Orlando City. Our record is 1-2-0 (W-D-L).
This is the last match in a four-year series of preseason friendlies as part of the Union’s agreement to preseason down here. Will the Union push harder to try to get some pride back? Or do they not really care about all that?
Surely, the Lions will like the idea of possibly entering MLS already undefeated against one of its teams.
Now that would make a good derby. We can call it the Sean Waltman Cup.
If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, you might want to call the ESPN Wide World of Sports box office at 407-939-4263 (407-WDW-GAME) and hit option 4. Give them the passcode “STRIKER”, and you can get single session (2 matches each, 1pm and 6pm) tickets for $10 each, or the full tournament package for $49. Both are 50% discounts over normal pricing.
The supporters are going to break in their new tailgating area in the open field just beyond VIP parking, across the grand walkway and front globe from the bus loop. No actual tailgating will be permitted for this tournament, however. They will allow us to bring food, but not grills or other cooking implements, during the regular season.
Streamers are allowed. Pyro is not. This applies to the regular season as well. If it’s like last year’s tourney, there ought to be some food trucks in addition to the Disney stands (which actually aren’t quite as pricey as the Citrus Bowl was, anyway).
There are currently nine trialists training with Orlando City. Three of them already have professional experience, and I am happy to share some information on the trialists with you.
Midfielder Miguel Ibarra (11) was drafted by Portland in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, but went unsigned. He was then picked up by Minnesota United in the NASL. He’s scored 5 goals over 2 years with them. He split college ball between Taft and UC Irvine, and scored 12 goals with the PDL Lancaster Rattlers in that time.
Forward Adrián Ruelas (9) is a Mexican-American from LA, and has played on the youth national teams for both Mexico and the U.S. He had three goals over 7 caps with the U.S. U-20 team. While he was brought up in the Santos Laguna youth system in Mexico, he has seen very little senior team time, with only three appearances over the past four seasons. He was shipped to Glasgow Celtic on loan in 2010, but saw no time with the senior team.
Defender Mason Trafford (3) was born in Boynton Beach, but grew up in Vancouver. After college ball at UNLV, he played around in the minors before going abroad. He spent three years playing in Finland for Mariehamn (that’s on Åland), and played last year in China for Guizhou Zhicheng.
Defender Ashani Fairclough (2) was signed undrafted by Seattle out of USF last year, then waived mid-season. He trialed late last season with New York Cosmos, but that didn’t pan out. He was noted as having been instrumental in the Sounders defense in a Desert Diamond Cup match against Real Salt Lake last preseason season, but nothing came of it. He is originally from Jamaica.
Defensive midfielder R.J. Allen (16) played in Denmark last year for lower-level club Skive IK. He has trialed in the past for Chivas USA and Philadelphia. He played his college ball at Monmouth.
Midfielder Romena Bowie (20) went undrafted out of the 2014 SuperDraft out of Virginia Commonwealth. He played PDL ball with Mississippi Brilla in 2012, which means anyone who’s watched Orlando City U-23 might’ve seen him before. Like Fairclough and current player Dennis Chin, he is also from Jamaica.
We also have three youth trialists.
Trafford and Ibarra started last night against Chicago, with Trafford playing the whole match. Fairclough, Allen and Bowie all subbed in.
In addition, I have the numbers for the new signees. Corey Hertzog is wearing #12, while Darwin Ceren is wearing #17. James O’Connor has changed from #17 to #24.
Prior to last night’s warmup match, Orlando City announced that they had inked forward Corey Hertzog to a contract.
The 23-year-old striker has already had experience in MLS, being drafted by Red Bull New York in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. He was transferred to Vancouver Whitecaps for 2013. He has 12 MLS appearances with one goal.
He is more well-known for his loans to lower-division clubs. In 2012, he was loaned to Wilmington Hammerheads, where he led the team with 11 goals in 20 appearances, including two braces against Orlando City, one of them in the playoffs. Last season, he was loaned to FC Edmonton, where he scored 2 goals in 12 appearances.
Hertzog played his college ball at Penn State, where he led the NCAA in 2010 with 20 goals. He decided to forego his senior year to enter tne MLS SuperDraft. The Philadelphia Union failed to lock him in as a homegrown player.
It’s time to wake up for 2014.
Orlando City is joining with their future brethren for an opening friendly in Bradenton tonight at 7pm. It will be at the IMG Academy facility, 5500 34th St. W (about 20 minutes down SR 70 west of I-75 exit 217), at their new track stadium. GA seats are $13.
The supporters will be rolling out of the BP at ChampionsGate (I-4 exit 58) approximately 3:30pm.
It will be interesting to see the roster we’ve built for tryout, and who gets the chances.