Dom Dwyer finds spiritual home in Orlando

Dom Dwyer, Orlando, 26th July 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Dom Dwyer arrived at Orlando International Airport at around 9pm last night amid chaotic scenes as fans welcomed their favorite son back to Central Florida. Dwyer was introduced to media at a press conference this morning.

“Growing up in England, this is the club that is closest to what the European market is — big crowds and filling the stadium every week” said Dwyer. “I’ve dreamed of coming here and now that I’m here, the feeling is amazing. The moment I left Orlando, I felt like I left something here. I felt like I had unfinished business. … It’s time to bring a championship to Orlando.”

Dwyer, 26, has spent his entire MLS career with Kansas City since being selected in the 2012 SuperDraft and has scored five goals in 15 league games this season. The largest deal in MLS history saw Sporting KC receive $900,000 in a mixture of targeted and general allocation money, but that figure could raise to as much as $1.6 million with performance bonuses.

Dom Dwyer, Orlando, 26th July 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“I did not expect that,” he said of the greeting. “I heard there was going to be fans there, but something like that, I’ve never experienced something like that in my life before. It was a very cool experience, very humbling, and my heart was very warm afterwards. It was quite amazing.”

At the press conference Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão who grew up in Brazil and has been a soccer fan his entire life, said that he was emotionally moved with the turn out from fans at the airport.

“Not even when my country [Brazil] won the World Cup did I feel as much pride,” Leitão said. “I’ve been in this game for a long, long time. I’ve been passionate not only for soccer but for soccer in the U.S. I’ve always believed that one day this game would be massive in the biggest markets in the world, and yesterday I realized I was right. We have soccer in America. What happened in that airport gave me the assurance that everything that we’ve been doing so far … we’re on the right path.”


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