Heath returns with re-energized mindset after trip to Central America

Just a few weeks after Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath returned from a scouting trip around Europe, including such places as Madrid (Spain) and Everton (England), he kept his bags packed for a trip to El Salvador- watching the National League Semifinal match between Fas and Juventud Independiente.

“The atmosphere was incredible,“ Heath said in his interview with OrlandoCitySC.com. “Just a great environment. I'd like to thank the directors of Juventud Independiente for their incredible hospitality in El Salvador."

Heath has been busy since the MLS announcement, looking around the world for players on his 2014 USL PRO squad and potentials for the club’s 2015 inaugural Major League Soccer season. Heath’s interest in the trip sprung after watching the El Salvador National Team play- becoming intrigued in the players coming from the area.

“The trip was another step in the process to building a MLS club,” he said. “One of the players I like isn’t available until next year, but I had an opportunity to go visit and see him first-hand. It was a great opportunity to go to Central America and I would like to thanks Gonzalo Clavijo, who was incredibly helpful on the trip. I’ve never been there before. There were international players on the field that deserved a look over. It was a thoroughly worthwhile trip.”

Heath will continue to earn frequent flyer miles throughout the offseason as more trips are planned before the 2014 preseason begins, including possible destinations in Africa such as Senegal and Ghana.

But the most important takeaway from the trip was not the scouting aspect, but as Heath says, the passion and enthusiasm of those who surrounded the club and its effect on him coming back to the U.S.

“The enthusiasm of the people working for the clubs down there re-affirms your love for the game. These people don’t have a lot of financial backing, sub-par facilities, etc., but they prepare on a professional level every single day.

One of the great parts about these trips is seeing what the game means to people around the planet, especially heading into the World Cup. It’s quite humbling. “

The former Everton striker also commented on the World Cup draw, saying it won’t be an easy road for the U.S.

“People talk about the group of death (for the U.S.). I think it’s a difficult group but it’s a great incentive for the U.S. If they were to come out of their first game with three points (vs. Ghana), they’ll be positioned really well. But just like everyone else I’m excited that the draw is out and we’re coming closer to it all.”
 



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Teams GP Pts
Orlando City SC 18 46
Richmond Kickers 19 38
LA Galaxy II 19 34
Sacramento Republic FC 19 33
Rochester Rhinos 20 27