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Watson, Chin and Gallardo, among others, returning for 2013
Much of 2012 Championship squad coming back for 2013
Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath and Assistant Head Coach Ian Fuller are two guys that are especially happy with how their squad looks.
And why shouldn’t they be? A solid core of the 2012 team that set franchise records in wins and goals scored is coming back for 2013 to go on another run for the USL PRO regular and postseason championships.
The full list of players that have had their options taken/re-signed includes: Jamie Watson, Rob Valentino, Dennis Chin, Miguel Gallardo, Luke Boden, Justin Clark, Anthony Pulis, Mechack Jerome, James O’Connor and Adama Mbengue.
“Most of our guys have been here a few years,” said Heath. “We think of them as the center of our team. We’re confident our guys will be bigger, better and stronger. It’ll be a big year for us (in 2013).”
All of the players, except for Rob Valentino, have had their options taken up for 2013. Valentino, the 2011 USL PRO Defender of the Year, recently signed a multi-year deal with the Lions – firming up City’s backline for years to come.
“We’re delighted Rob is staying,” Heath continued. “He is one of the building blocks of our team. It shows his commitment to Orlando. He’s a great professional and a great person, and more times than not you don’t see that. We’re happy to have him here.”
Looking toward the beginning of 2013, Heath said the spots that are available on the team will be filled with heavy competition from free agency and open tryouts- along with players targeted from their recent trips to Senegal and Ghana.
“We have room on the roster to bring in a couple of people,” Heath said. “We’re hopeful it’ll be within the next couple of months.”