Orlando City media day was this past Friday, and the Orlando Soccer Journal was able to speak to some players who will be donning the purple kit this season.
The Lions kickoff their season on March 6 against Real Salt Lake at the Orlando Citrus Bowl at 2 p.m.
Here’s what some of the players had to say ahead of the home-opener:
Brek Shea on Orlando City’s playoff hopes
“I think it’s a huge disappointment if we don’t make the playoffs. You think about it, we missed it by a couple points last year, and games that we lost in the last 30 seconds. As long as the team does well, and I just stay healthy, it’s all that really matters.”
Get the season started already says Aurélien Collin
“I’m getting a bit impatient. I can’t wait for March 6. Training is part of the job, but I don’t like training, I like games, I want to play… So I can’t wait. Friendlies are good, and a game is a game, but a league game is much better.”
Hadji Barry confident on seeing some playing time with first team
“That’s the goal. As a player you want to get that opportunity of playing, and that’s what I’m looking forward to. The only thing I can do now is keep working hard, and hopefully I just get my opportunity, because when I do, I just have to make the best of it.
“[MLS] is physical, and the speed of play is really fast, and that’s just something I got to adjust to. I’m working on that every day. So, hopefully I get better once the season is on.”
Conor Donovan on the comeback trail
“I’m in the progress, so hopefully in four to five weeks, I start full training, and seven to eight weeks before I can start playing games. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough, especially at the beginning. In the beginning it sucks because you’re just doing simple things. But then you start getting into this stuff of running, and you feel good again.
“It is scary though, but my main motivation was to look at people who tore their ACLs before like Von Miller, Conor McGregor, Omar Gonzalez — guys like that who are excelling.”
Playing time is expected for Earl Edwards Jr.
“I do think at some point this year that I’ll get the opportunity to prove what I can do in MLS games, and I plan on taking full advantage of that. I’ve proven what I can do in the limited amount of games I’ve played.
“I’m looking forward to maximizing my potential to prove to fans I am capable of what they think I’m capable of, and continue to do what I’ve been doing, and hopefully become [Orlando’s] No. 1. It’s an expectation of myself [to start] and to play games this year.”
Follow Mike Gramajo on Twitter (@byMikeGramajo). For more, also follow the OSJ on Twitter (@OSJSoccer).