Boden talks 2014, MLS and more in an exclusive feature

Photo: Allison Petro

Orlando City Defender Luke Boden, who was recently re-signed to the 2014 Orlando City squad, could not be more excited to be back with the Lions for the upcoming USL PRO season.

“I’m so happy to be back with Orlando,” Boden said. “I want to stay here for as long as I can. Obviously I’m delighted to be here.”

Boden, who has been with the club since the organization began play in 2011, is well aware of Head Coach Adrian Heath’s plans to use 2014 as a tryout for what will most likely be the final season before the club enters into Major League Soccer (MLS).

“We know what we’re getting into,” Boden added. “You have to work hard and earn your place on the (MLS) team. That’s what I have to do this year.”

When the defender was asked if there was going to be any additional pressure heading into 2014, he said there’s constantly going to be pressure but you can’t worry about it too much.

“There’s a lot of pressure in the game, no matter where you play. There’s only 11 spots to start. With MLS coming along to Orlando there’s a little more pressure, but you can’t think of it like that. You just have to concentrate on each training session.”

Boden, who started every game he appeared in (22) last season, has been keeping busy this offseason- coaching Winter Park High School’s varsity team as an assistant while staying in shape through various conditioning programs.

“Keeping fit and getting as many touches on the ball you can is what I’ve been doing. Coming back fit is half the battle. It is so important in the offseason to stay in shape and come back prepared for our first training sessions with the whole team.”

The Sheffield, England, native has talked to other players signed on to the 2014 squad, with the consensus among the team not to worry about the MLS spot but focus on improving your game each and every day.

“We’ve spoken about added pressures of the year before MLS. But we all know what we have to do. Hopefully if we do well, we’ll get into MLS with Orlando.

All you can do is give 100 percent, and whatever the outcome- is the outcome.”

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Teams GP Pts
Orlando City SC 28 62
Sacramento Republic FC 28 55
LA Galaxy II 28 51
Richmond Kickers 28 51
Charleston Battery 28 41