[Editor’s Note: The Mane Land recognizes the importance of a successful youth academy system in developing Homegrown Players for the parent MLS club. As such, this is the first post in a regular series spotlighting Orlando City’s youth teams, players and coaches. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about potential future Lions, as well as the young men and women who represent Orlando City.]
Several of Orlando City’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy squads were in action on the weekend of the Nov. 15. It was a big weekend for each team and some rose to the occasion, while others fell just short.
The U-18s saw action against the Carolina Rapids and Charlotte Soccer Academy. Orlando City found themselves on the losing end against Carolina Rapids, 3-1. The Rapids scored back-to-back goals in the 12th and 13th minutes to take an early lead. Logan Laskey, a ’98-born playing up a level, pulled one back for the Lions in the 77th minute, giving City a chance. Carolina then finished off the game by getting a third score off of an own goal by Orlando City.
Next up was the Charlotte Soccer Academy at CPI Securities Fields. This was a low scoring affair, ending with a 1-0 defeat for Orlando City. The game’s lone goal came off of the foot of Matheau Denner in the 33rd minute. City pressured the Charlotte defense all game long, but could not find a breakthrough.
It was a tough weekend for the U-18s, but losses can teach valuable lessons. This squad will next be in action Nov. 29 against a very solid Colorado Rapids U-18 side. It will be very interesting to see how the Lions bounce back and respond.
Currently, the U-17/18 squad sits 10th out of 12 teams in the Southeast Division of the East Conference, but holds multiple games in hand on several teams ahead in the standings, so the Lions could make up some ground.
The U-16s also saw action in two matches. First up were the Carolina Rapids, who fell 1-5 to City. Nathaniel Adamolekun had a nice game, scoring a brace for City. Asyed Sanchez (a ’00-born, playing up) also had a solid outing, scoring two goals as well. Landen Haig had the final goal for Orlando City. Next up was the Charlotte Soccer Academy on Sunday. Orlando City once again found a way to win, taking the three points with a 2-1 victory. Juan Esteban Carmona tallied City’s two goals in the 32nd and 41st minutes.
The U-16s are currently on a three-game winning streak, which started at the beginning of November. Orlando City is sitting in the top spot in the Southeast Division at 8-1-1 and is solidly positioned for a playoff spot. The winning streak will be put to the test on Sunday, Nov. 30, against the Chicago Fire.
City played one game against Jacksonville FC’s U-14s at Patton Park. Orlando City saw major success on the offensive end, defeating Jacksonville FC, 6-0. Austin Amer started the game right for Orlando City, with a seventh-minute goal. Amer added a second goal in the 65th minute. Mario Licor found himself with a brace as well, with goals in the 20th and 57th minutes. Jordan Bender and Andrew Lizyness each scored one goal as well.
This is the second match in a row where the Lions have scored at least five goals. Orlando City’s U-14s played five games in the month of November, taking 10 of 15 possible points. The next scheduled match will take place in February of 2015.
We’ll have more from Orlando City academy’s players, coaches and teams in the coming weeks.