This off-season already seems interminably long, but there are still news tidbits flying around, just waiting to be gathered up, notebook-style. That’s what this is. Originally, I was going to call our notes column “Purple Potpourri,” but I was never crazy about the name and so here we go with something a little more basic, but infinitely more recognizable.
Herein, we’ll look at some Orlando City-related current events. We start with our very own staff, where we’ve added a pair of new senior columnists to our burgeoning team. John Rey from boxtoboxsoccer.com and UCF grad student Kevin Mercer are the latest additions to the Mane Land crew. Look for introductory columns from both of these fine gentlemen soon. We envision John as our “analyst guy,” providing the Xs and Os to better help our readers understand the game. And we think Kevin will bring a historical perspective to the site, as he is well versed in Orlando soccer lore and beyond.
Now for some Orlando City team news…
Kaka Extension Rumors Grow, Are Dispelled
Internet rumors can range from the tedious to the ridiculous, but we’ve noticed the growth of one about Kaka wanting to extend his loan spell in Sao Paulo. No one so far has quoted the Brazilian superstar and Orlando City’s first designated player directly saying he wants to keep playing in Brazil after January. However, this story by Daniel Price of caughtoffside.com claims he has confirmed such a desire with the Brazilian press.
We think it’s irresponsible to report a rumor as being “confirmed” without a quote or at least citing sources, but whatevs. Our own Andrew Marcinko contacted the club and confirmed that Orlando City is still very much expecting its star man in January.
Spoke with the folks at Orlando City SC HQ today. They’re still fully expecting Kaka back in January.
— Marcinko (@FootyAmerica) October 21, 2014
The Lions’ marketing and branding strategy centers around a connection to Brazil and there is no more visible and famous Brazilian ambassador for the game than Kaka, so we doubt there is anything to the rumor.
New Home Nearby for Gallardo
Former City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, a key component of the Lions’ success in the USL Pro since 2011, has a new home, and it’s just up I-95. Gallardo was the first player ever signed by the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada FC. I was hoping Miguel might be added later to City’s MLS roster as a backup keeper, but this is a great landing spot for him. Gallardo took to Twitter last night to talk about it and invite his OCSC fans up to Jacksonville to see him play.
— Miguel Gallardo (@migallardo01) October 21, 2014
Lions Preseason Games in Orlando Unlikely
From Paul Tenorio at the Orlando Sentinel comes the debunking of a statement on a German team’s website that City will play in a four-team preseason tournament in Orlando in January. The Bayer Leverkusen website asserts that the German club will face Orlando City and unnamed teams from Brazil and Canada between Jan. 9-18 in The City Beautiful.
Orlando City spokesman Lenny Santiago emailed Tenorio to let him know that’s not the case.
“Orlando City will not play a preseason tournament in Orlando,” Orlando City spokesman Lenny Santiago said, in an email. “The team is scheduled to start training camp in late January, and additional details regarding pre-season matches will be released at later date.”
Tenorio notes in his column that Orlando’s preseason will likely begin in Brazil, putting an end to the club’s run in the annual MLS tournament at Disney.
Former OCSC player Long Tan (remember him?) has re-signed with Arizona United. Tan scored five goals with Arizona last season…Orlando City’s USL Pro affiliate, Louisville City FC, announced its season ticket prices this week…The Lions launched their new MLS website today…City’s Play BINGO Ladies’ Luncheon fundraiser is coming up on Nov. 8.