Friday, June 22, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City Soccer Club secured their 10th victory of the season by defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders 3-0 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in a rematch of the 2011 USL PRO Championship Game. With the win, Orlando is the first team in the USL PRO to win 10 matches in the 2012 regular season.
Despite the victory, though, Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath was disappointed with his club and expressed it after the match.
“I thought our first half performance was borderline pathetic,” said Heath. “That’s probably as angry as I’ve been since I’ve been here, or even been in America. Too many people think they’re good players. Too many people think that the game will come to them and they don’t have to run around. Too many people think they can run around however they feel. The first half was awful.”
Right before the end of the first half, Orlando (10-1-2) notched the first goal of the match. Countering after a Harrisburg (4-3-4) attack, City defender Jerome Mechack streaked up the right side of the pitch, crossing into a scrum around the Harrisburg goal from 30 yards out. The cross found Matt Luzunaris, who headed the ball in to give Orlando a 1-0 lead. It was Luzunaris’ second goal in as many matches since returning from a flu-like illness.
“[They] don’t need me to come in and scream at them for 15 minutes to get a good second half performance,” said Heath. “Some of these guys are living on borrowed time as of now. I’m not going to put up with what I watched tonight, certainly the first 45 minutes.”
Orlando kept the goals going after the second half began, with Dennis Chin getting in on the scoring action. In the 47th minute, Chin, sprung by a great feed from Kyle Davies, coolly chipped the ball up and over Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble to put Orlando up 2-0.
Chin scored again in the 70th minute with the help of fellow forward Max Griffin. Similar to the one scored earlier in the second half, Chin was found running down the right side of the pitch with open space in front of him. The Oviedo-native slotted home the third goal past Noble in the upper right hand corner of the net, sealing the win for the Lions. The brace marks the first time in Chin’s career with Orlando he’s scored more than one goal in a match.
“I was disgusted with the effort all the players put in tonight,” said Heath. “Every single one of them, expect maybe Kieron Bernard. He’s had more stick off me in the last couple years than anybody. He epitomized what we think we’re about, not what the others showed. “
Heath continued, making it clear that he will attempt to make changes to the squad.
“We’ll see what changes I can do,” said Heath. “I’m not watching that. I’m not watching that first 45 minutes again. I’m not putting up with it. If [the players] think that’s good enough, then they can go play for somebody else. It ain’t going to be good enough for me.”
Heath did have positives after the match, praising the 3,506 fans that braved the pouring rain to support their club.
“When I look at our crowd, they were magnificent,” said Heath. “It’s a pity I couldn’t say that about our players.”
The Lions travel to Dayton, Ohio, to face the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday, June 29, at Bellbrook High School. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. The Dutch Lions, despite being in last place in current USL PRO standings with a record of 0-7-5, have made a run in the U.S. Open Cup -- winning their opening three matches to advance to the tournament’s quarterfinals. Dayton is set to play Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. CT at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
Immediately following the Dayton match, the Lions will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Riverhounds for the second time this season. City won the first encounter, a thrilling 3-2 victory in the closing moments, on an Ian Fuller strike. Both matches will be broadcast on USLNation.com.
For more information on next week’s matches in Dayton and Pittsburgh, visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.