Friday, May 11, 2012

Island Fever

Sunset on Antigua (Taken by Practice Cone)
Orlando City are in the beautiful island nation of Antigua (and Barbuda) right now to take on the Barracudas in a USL PRO two match away-away series this weekend. You could consider this a rivalry game for the teams as the Lions are Antigua's closest competitor at just under 1500 miles away. At least the USL PRO is smart making the teams play both their matches for the season in the same weekend in one location, alternating the host each year.

I have had the chance to visit Antigua in the past so I figured I would put together some fun facts and some of my pictures from the island for you to digest before the match.

With a population of just over 80,000, for the entire island nation, Antigua has roughly the same number of people as Deltona (Florida) and is about twice the size of Lake Apopka, just to put things in perspective.

St. John's, Antigua (Taken by Practice Cone)
St John's is the capital and largest town playing host to the bulk of the tourism industry activity including cruise ships. I can tell you from experience that the friendly Antiguan people know how to roll out the red carpet for the tourists who are the life blood of their economy.

Although both matches this weekend are on Antigua they will be contested in two different stadiums. Friday night's match will take place at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, a 10,000 seat facility built in 2006 to host the Cricket World cup in 2007. The idea of a 110 x 75 yard soccer field in the middle of a 160 yard diameter cricket field is kind of funny, but I guess it works. The second match will be played closer to town at the smaller Stanford Cricket Ground that is also known as "Sticky Wicket Stadium" and sits adjacent to the international airport. You probably didn't know this, but behind the World Cup for Soccer, the World Cup for Cricket is the most watched sporting event in the world.

So there are a couple of quick facts on Antigua and what Orlando City is looking at this weekend. Make sure to check out for the match cast Friday Night and Sunday. Go City!


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