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In the build-up to Opening Day 2017 on March 5, Orlando City SC faced 100 kids from the local community on Thursday, March 2 at Orlando City Stadium. The evening was a huge success as the kids routed the pros 7-3 in an evening of fun and laughter.
Children aged between the age of 8 and 10 had the opportunity to play two 20-minute halves on the same pitch as the the biggest stars from Orlando City, Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B including Brazilian superstar Kaká.
From the opening whistle the kids took charge. 50 kids featured per half and they charged around the field in joyous abandon to close the ball down and score the opening goal of the night in the 6th minute. Watching the ball fly into the net past Joe Bendik and then 50 players all celebrating as they ran back to the half way line was quite the sight.
Carlos Rivas then netted an equalizer from a pass from Kaká a few minutes later but the kids quickly recovered to grab a 2-1 lead. It got even better as Referee Tim Allen then gave the kids a penalty that was promptly dispatched by Kaká’s son for a 3-1 lead. Both father and son have now scored in the new stadium in the opening week.
As if that wasn’t enough fun, Carlos Rivas then got a red card shortly after grabbing his second goal of the evening.
Half time came around and the 50 delighted kids exchanged places with 50 new kids keen to do some damage of their own. Soon they added a fourth and a fifth, from another penalty. The pros then got another goal back before the kids ran out 7-3 winners as Earl Edward’s turned goal provider and Servando Carrasco finished the game between the sticks. Rounding the night off was Antonio Nocerino showing a red card to the referee much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
All in all, it was a fabulous evening with the Orlando City Foundation benefiting from proceeds of the evening. We look forward to the next one…
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com