As the Lions continue their preparation for the 2023 regular season, OrlandoCitySC.com is sitting down with members of the team for a few random, off-the-cuff questions to get to know them on and off the pitch in a new series, Stoppage Time.
Next up: veteran midfielder Felipe Martins, who signed with the club in the offseason after spending 2022 with Austin FC.
How are you settling in with your new teammates after signing with Orlando City in the offseason?
I love it. I think it’s a healthy group with a lot of quality and diversity. I’ve adjusted really well, and the guys have welcomed me really well, so I’m super happy to finally be here.
Are you enjoying the city so far?
I love it, it’s a great city. I’ve been here many times, and I have a lot of friends here, so it’s helped to adapt really quickly.
What is life like for you away from the field? Any big hobbies that you’re into?
I love to spend time with my family and the kids, and just rest and enjoy life that way.
I know you’re big on social media. Do you have a favorite platform?
I prefer Twitter. I think it's a lot more healthier, if you want to compare, where people can express themselves, but also you've got a lot of (sports) news and a lot of information that helps during the season.
How has it been interacting with the new fans on your channels? They've really embraced you coming here and joining the club.
Throughout my career, my teams that I’ve played at, I’ve always had a great relationship with the fans. I appreciate them, and I know that they’re a big part of the culture of the club and the culture of the city. You need to embrace and be a part of them because I was a fan and I know what it means for the fans to feel really close to the team.
I think that’s the key for us – to always be close to them, and hopefully, we can fill out the stadium to have their energy. I’ve been here before and played here before, and the atmosphere is unbelievable. We’re going to need that every game.
Was that one of the big reasons you signed with Orlando City – how passionate the supporters are?
Since Kaká played here, I always said I wanted to play here because I know this team is a special team with special fans. But more than anything, I’m here to win and bring trophies to the club, and continue to build the brand of this club – to continue to develop the history of this club.
That’s why I’m here because it’s a complete package.
When you have a team that wants to win with a great fan base, I think that’s the key and extra motivation when you have a team like here. We have that completed package. We just need to go on the field and deliver and play in a way that we embrace the way Oscar (Pareja) and his staff wants to play, but also we embrace who this city and who this club is.
Every time we step on the field, we are representing them, and we need to do that at the highest level.
Some questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.