Welcome to the first edition of Around the City presented by the Orlando Soccer Journal.
With the American soccer offseason already in full swing, the purpose of this series is to bring Central Florida soccer fans briefings on Orlando City Soccer Club, Orlando Pride and Orlando City B.
We hope you’re liking our new website.
So without any further interruptions, here is what’s going on in the Orlando soccer world for Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Orlando City SC sacks Ian Fuller
Longtime Orlando City assistant coach Ian Fuller will not help lead the Lions in 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the former Orlando City player was relieved of his duties after five years with the organization, going back to the Austin Aztex days.
Fuller served as a player-coach during the Lions’ United Soccer League era (2011-2013) and became the assistant coach during Orlando’s final season in the lower division, which also saw him coach during the 2015 inaugural Major League Soccer season.
Now, Orlando City SC’s coaching staff is as follows:
- Head coach: Adrian Heath
- Assistant coach: Mark Watson
- Goalkeeper coach: Marcos Mechado
Orlando Pride names assistant coach
In other coaching changes, the Orlando Pride named Khano Smith as its first-ever assistant coach heading into the 2016 inaugural season in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Smith, who is a six-year MLS veteran, will assist Pride head coach Tom Sermanni in assembling the team’s final pieces heading into preseason camp.
“His experiences on and off the field are an important piece of the puzzle to help prepare the team for a positive 2016 season,” Sermanni said in a statement. “Khano comes to us with tremendous experience across many levels, including professional play, youth development and broadcasting.”
Smith helped record a 19-1-1 record during his time with the Southern New Hampshire University men’s soccer team as an assistant coach.
Lions take over Google
Orlando City didn’t make the MLS Cup playoffs in 2015, but it struck a global chord according to Google.
The Lions announced Wednesday that it ranked No. 2 in Google’s Year in Search of top 10 trending soccer teams of 2015 in the United States, with Spanish giant FC Barcelona claiming the top spot.
“This is one of the proudest moments for our front office staff, technical team, players and fans,” Orlando City founder and president Phil Rawlins said in a statement. “It’s a testament to the hard work we’ve all done to elevate this team and capture the hearts of a growing global fan base, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of our soccer community.”
The #FillTheBowl campaign prior to Orlando’s inaugural MLS game against New York City FC on March 8, 2015 played a big part in the club’s popularity.
But other headlines dominated the social airwaves for Orlando City: Ricardo Kaká’s late-game equalizer during its first-ever MLS game was a moment to remember. The club’s announcement of privately funding its downtown soccer stadium boosted searches as well.
What were your favorite moments? Leave your favorite memories in the comments section below.
Follow Mike Gramajo on Twitter (@byMikeGramajo). For more, follow the OSJ on Twitter (@OSJSoccer).