Orlando City takes title in shoutout

Orlando City takes title in shoutout

By Rofkens Petit-Homme

The City of Orlando has its first title from a professional team since the Predators 2000 championship.

With a season record of 13-3-6, the Orlando City Lions needed one more victory to gain three more points to their impressive 45 to be league champs of the regular season.

The Charleston Battery came into the Citrus Bowl and got shut out 1-0 on Wednesday. The Battery seemed to be recharged during their return on Saturday, beginning the game with quick offensive schemes and defensive plots.

Lions’ midfielder Kevin Molino was taken down near the goal, which enveloped into a penalty kick shot by forward Jamie Watson.

“Lewis (Neal) took me to the side and gave me the inspiration not to be nervous,” Watson said. After the shot went in, he ran up into the stands and celebrate with the fans. Watson did make clear the refs may have thought it a bit much to celebrate with the fans which resulted in the one of ten yellow cards distributed that night.

The physicality that was present throughout the game became all the more agitated. One confrontation even had goalie and ‘el capitan’ Miguel Gallardo running 75 yards to shove a Charleston player.

“They were trying to protect team mates and to be honest most of these guys never fought anyone in their lives,” head coach Adrian Heath said. “I’ve been doing this 33 years and I have only won three times. To reach this level of play is hard work no matter what level you play.”

When Heath was asked on his state of mind before the PK and Jamie’s shot he said, “I never expected him to miss.”

The Orlando City Lions were presented with the regular season trophy at the end of the game. The celebration ensued and the party rocked the citrus bowl.

“We always knew we had the best team in the league,” beamed team president Phil Rawlins. “This definitely puts Orlando on the map for quality football and I hope this helps to fill the stadium with more fans.”

Rawlins truly believed it is what the boys deserve after a long,hard-fought season. The key words that were uttered that night were not shouts of victory or cries of joy, but simply the chants declared by the fans, “The season is not over.”

Orlando will host all playoff games, including the championship game. The first playoff game will be on Aug. 20.