Striker to play in two weekend matches with Lions before returning to Kansas City

Photo: Alex Schierholtz

ORLANDO, Fla.— Orlando City SC, in coordination with Major League Soccer (MLS) affiliate Sporting Kansas City, announced Friday that Forward C.J. Sapong will return to the Lions for this weekend’s matches against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and VSI Tampa Bay FC. After the weekend, Sapong will return to Sporting.

“It’s a delight to have him back,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “He knows how we play after his first stint. This time around he’ll be more familiar with the team, and we’ll be far more comfortable with him.”

Sapong was first loaned to the Lions in early July, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in three straight matches. The 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year tallied one goal and one assist while on loan.

Counting this weekend’s matches, Sapong will be eligible for the USL PRO playoffs, which begin the weekend of August 23-25. The semi-finals, featuring the four remaining teams, will be played the following weekend- with the 2013 USL PRO Championship set for the weekend of September 6-8. With a win Saturday night, the Lions will be guaranteed a spot in the 2013 postseason.

Defender Kevin Ellis sustained a minor injury in training with Sporting, and will not be traveling to play for Orlando alongside Sapong. Ellis has played in three matches for the Lions, two short of eligibility for the 2013 USL PRO playoffs.

Next Games

Jul 27
@ Rochester
4:05 PM
Aug 02
7:30 PM
Aug 09
@ Harrisburg
6:00 PM

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