Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bring on the Playoffs

Courtesy of Orlando City Soccer Club
The opponent has been determined, the supporters are dawning their gear, the USLPRO playoffs are ready to make their return to Orlando this Friday Night. While the game is the focus of the all the team's efforts and preparation throughout the season, it isn't the only event going on this week.

Wednesday at Noon time on City Hall Plaza in downtown Orlando, Mayor Buddy Dyer will join Orlando City players, staff, and of course the lovely City Girls in a pep rally to send the team into the playoffs in style. While this may seem like just a PR move for the team to sell tickets and get on the news, it does take on a little more meaning considering the close relationship between the Mayor and Team in the new stadium effort. Even though the timing isn't the greatest, the same loyal supporters who showed up by the hundreds for Don Garber's mid-afternoon visit back in March will surely make a showing downtown on Wednesday.

As for the opponent for Friday, it's a team the Lions know all too well, perhaps their closest rival, the Wilmington Hammerheads. Orlando's only loss of the season came back on June 2nd at Wilmington, the three points from that victory were the difference between the Hammerheads making the playoffs or not. Orlando coach Adrian Heath, likely made the trip back to Orlando very uncomfortable for the players with his rants and tirades, as he should have done. Needless to say, the Lions want to correct this blemish on their record and they will get to do it in front of what is expected to be a record crowd at the Citrus Bowl. However, the Hammerheads went on the road to Richmond and won 2-3 last weekend, so they know how to play when it counts.

Additionally, Mayor Dyer has asked, "in support of Orlando City Soccer Club, I ask all Orlando Citizens to wear purple on Friday." While I wouldn't recommend going up to some random purple-wearing old lady in Winter Park on Friday and ask her which Dennis Chin goal this season was her favorite, it is a nice show of solidarity. 

So remember. Wednesday - City Hall Plaza at Noon for the Pep Rally. Friday - Wear purple all day to support the team. Friday Night - 7:30pm kick-off at the Citrus Bowl. Tickets are still available starting at $15 dollars so take the family and cheer on your team.

Blood. Sweat. City.

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