Historic Night in Store for Orlando City?

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

Saturday night is a potentially a historic night for Orlando City. A win over Charleston Battery will see the Lions clinch the 2011 USL PRO regular season championship with one game left to play. The win would also give Orlando home field advantage throughout the playoffs and USL PRO Championship Game.

“We set out to win the championship from day one,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I have been saying that all year and nothing has changed that expectation. Winning the regular season crown is big to me, and right now we are only a win away. We just have to take care of business on Saturday.”

Orlando City comes in to the match confident of their ability to defeat Charleston. The Lions and Battery have clashed three times this season, with City coming away the victors twice. The most recent of those wins was on Wednesday night when Jamie Watson scored in the 16th minute to give City a 1-0 victory. With the league title within their grasp, the Lions will surely be focused and ready to win the regular season title for the fans.

“It would be great and be a big thanks to the fans,” said Lions defender Rob Valentino. “They’ve given us so much and it would just be a way that we could give back to them.” Valentino is one of three Lions returning to the City line-up on Saturday. He has missed the last three games due to a suspension stemming from the July 8th match against Dayton. Also returning for Orlando are defender Erik Ustruck and midfielder Lawrence Olum. Both players have been injured, but are now cleared to play.

The night is also going to be a special one for young Austin Richards. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Orlando City will be “signing” the 15-year old Osceola High School sophomore Austin Richards to a special one-day contract today. Austin is a survivor of Ewing sarcoma whose wish was to experience a day in the life of a pro soccer player.

Austin’s day as an Orlando City Lion will begin with the pre-game warm-up session.  He will participate in warm-ups with the rest of the City squad as they prepare for the match against Charleston Battery.  Austin will then join in the pre-match ceremonial ball presentation for La Familia Pawn and Jewelry, Saturday’s game sponsor.  He will finish out the night by enjoying the match, sitting on the bench next to Head Coach Adrian Heath.  Austin’s family will enjoy the match in seats directly behind the Orlando City bench.

And on another note, I managed to secure an interview with Orlando City Soccer Club President Phil Rawlins yesterday. We talked about the season so far and the hopes for the future …take a look:

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Tickets for Saturday’s potentially historic match are available by calling 855-ORL-CITY (855-675-2489). Tickets start as low as $12.

Proposed Line-up (unofficial): GK: Miguel Gallardo DF: Erik Ustruck, Rob Valentino, Kieron Bernard, Jack Traynor MF: Kevin Molino, Yordany Alvarez, Lawrence Olum, Lewis Neal FW: Jamie Watson, Max Griffin Subs: Sean Kelley, Luke Boden, Ian Fuller, Wes Allen, Charlie Campbell, Dennis Chin, Devorn Jorsling

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