U23s: Notes and Quotes
A breakdown of the upcoming U23 match this Friday at the Seminole Soccer Complex.The Orlando City U23s season opener is this Friday, May 4, at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. To catch you up on everything U23s, the” Notes and Quotes” piece was created to give you all the info you need to know in preparation for every Orlando City U23s home match.
As a refresher, the Orlando City U23s are the PDL (Premier Development League) team in the Orlando City Soccer Club pyramid. A level below the USL PRO, the PDL is geared toward developing young soccer players – many of whom are stars at their perspective NCAA college soccer teams – to hopefully join the professional soccer ranks of America and beyond.
A good amount of players on the Orlando City squad, including 2011 Goalkeeper of the Year Miguel Gallardo and fan-favorite Dennis Chin started out playing at the PDL level.
The team is under the direction of Head Coach Joe Avallone, who played professionally with the Orlando Lions of the USISL in the late ‘80s. As head coach of the Central Florida Kraze (now Orlando City U23s), Avallone led his club to six US Open Cup appearances along with the 2004 PDL National Championship. In his 13 seasons as a head coach, Avallone has never had a losing season.
The U23s play in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference of the PDL. Other teams in the division include the Mississippi Brilla, VSI Tampa Flames, Ocala Stampede and the FC Jax Destroyers.
The season opener on Friday will be played against Ft. Lauderdale Schulz Academy based out of Fort Luuderdale, Fla. The club was founded in 2009 and has fostered such players as Orlando City Forward Matt Luzunaris.
“We have enough quality to go out and compete on Friday. “- Avallone referencing the squad he’ll have on Friday. Much of the team is still unavailable due to semester-ending finals.
“We’ll have a total of three training sessions with most of the boys before the match on Friday. We don’t have the luxury of a 90 day preseason.” –Avallone on the amount of time he’ll have with the players available for the U23 opener against Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy.
“We’re all excited here. Like most PDL teams were waiting for the entire squad to arrive due to college,” - Orlando City Soccer Head Coach Adrian Heath on home opener on Friday.
“The U23s is a way to show what each player is all about. We’ll constantly be looking at everyone one of them to see if they have pro talent.” – Heath on looking at the U23 team as a feeder to the USL PRO club.
-The match will be held at Seminole Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 4. Admission is $5 for kids 16 and $10 for ages 17 and up. Tickets are available at the entrance of SSC and can be bought an hour before the match begins at 6 p.m.
-To catch more behind the scenes news on the U23s, follow the Twitter feed @OrlandoCityU23s.