Heath visits La Ligas Espanyol, Everton during overseas trip
OCSC manager: “We’re coming up on an important part of our club’s move to MLS”
Head Coach Adrian Heath has been busy this offseason.
The Orlando City manager returned from a half vacation, half scouting trip just days before the Lions became the newest Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion club on November 18. The vacation portion of his outing consisted of watching his son, Harrison, practice with his club Norwich City FC.
The other side consisted of relationship building with figureheads of the beautiful game around the world.
Heath met with Espanyol Manager and former Mexican National Team Head Coach Javier Aguirre and Thomas “Tommy” N’Kono, former standout goalkeeper with Espanyol and Cameroon. Heath played part of his career at the La Liga side, making 24 appearances between 1988-89.
“I spent four days at Espanyol’s training ground watching them practice, reminiscing with Tommy while talking with Javier (Aguirre) about multiple aspects of their organization,” said Heath. “Everyone knows how good Spain has been over the last few years. It was good to talk with Aguirre about the growth of the game and take a look at their youth as well.”
Heath visited such places as Madrid (Spain) and Everton (England), putting ‘feelers’ out about the club’s entry into MLS and possible players that could join the Lions in the inaugural 2015 MLS season.
“We’re going to be looking,” Heath said.
When asked about how the relationships come about, Heath told OrlandoCitySC.com that the connections have been formed over years of friendship that will pay off in the long run.
“I stay in touch with contacts around the globe, as I’m sure they do with myself. We’re coming up on an important part of our club’s move to MLS. We have to build our team carefully, putting the right pieces in place.”
With the 2014 USL PRO season approaching, the former Everton striker will continue to build his squad while keeping the 2015 MLS season in mind. Despite the dual responsibilities of scouting/managing next year, Heath remains confident about the process he and Assistant Coach Ian Fuller are going through to build the Lions into a successful club upon entry into the major leagues in 2015.
“We’ll be looking for those kinds of players who can succeed in our system. These trips I’ve been on only help that process.”
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