One major player missing from Orlando City’s roster on Sunday night was defender Tommy Redding. Redding, who appeared in eighteen games with sixteen starts last season for Orlando City, missed most of the preseason due to his U-20 U.S Men’s National Team call-up. The U-20 team recently returned from the CONCACAF tournament in Costa Rica, where they qualified for the U-20 World Cup and took home their first U-20 CONCACAF title.
“I think it was an amazing experience,” Redding said, having returned to camp this week. “Always, getting to play with the national team is a great opportunity. Going out there and achieving the goal we set was great, so it was a great time.”
Redding steps up as a leader on the U-20 team, and while he is definitely looking forward to learning from the men on Orlando City’s backline, Redding said he also feels a lot more confident coming back from this tournament.
“I think the big thing for me is that I’m bringing back a lot confidence,” Redding said. “After a great tournament with the team, I think all of us are confident.”
Redding is looking forward to taking what he learned from the national team and bringing it back to Orlando. While Redding wasn’t able to catch the match, he watched highlights and he liked what he saw.
“I think the biggest thing is that all eleven guys on the field were hungry to get the ball and play defense really well, and I think that’s a really big thing in this league and in soccer in general,” Redding said. “So that was a great thing to see.”
In the end, Redding said, he’s just happy to be home.
“It’s great to be home. Finally back home after being away for a few weeks. Being around the guys again is gonna be great,” Redding said. “Looking forward to just being back and getting back into the team.”