Orlando City Lions Press Release
Lions Face the Rowdies on March 30 at 7:30PM
** Photo Credit: Mike Gramajo**
Orlando, Fla.―Orlando City squares off against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the second leg of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer on Saturday, March 30, at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Lions won the first match in the derby series between the two on March 9 at the Florida Citrus Bowl, rallying to down the visiting Rowdies 3-2. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m.
“We know we missed a good amount of chances in the first game against Tampa,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It’s going to be a competitive game down at a tight field down there (in St. Petersburg). I expect a great game.“
Orlando has met Tampa Bay twice in franchise history, with both meetings coming within the last month. The Lions first met the Rowdies in the conclusion of the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic, beating the 2012 NASL champions 2-0 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The two then clashed in the first leg of the I-4 Derby just two weeks later, with Orlando rallying to clinch the victory 3-2 over the visiting squad. If Orlando wins or draws in St. Petersburg on Saturday, the Lions will take home the title of champions in the first of what both sides hope to be an annual series.
The 2013 Orlando City roster has seen change since the last time they squared off against the Rowdies. As per the agreement between Orlando and their Major League Soccer affiliate Sporting Kansas City, four players have arrived on loan and are now competing for starting spots. Those players include Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin, Christian Duke and Yann Songo’o. All four have seen playing time in two collegiate friendlies since their arrival, making Saturday’s match even more crucial for each player as the 2013 USL PRO season starts at the beginning of April.
“Basically everybody is trying to get themselves into pole position before the start of the season,” Heath added.
The Lions play their last collegiate friendly of the 2013 preseason Monday, March 25, against the University of Tampa at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. Orlando has remained undefeated in the collegiate series in 2013, topping college teams from Stetson, Rollins, FIU and FGCU. Admission is free and kickoff is set for 7 p.m. For more information about the collegiate friendly against Tampa and Saturday’s game at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.