After a spell of frustrating results at home in the Lions’ opening games at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando City showcased an entertaining performance for over 40,000 fans on Sunday night, thrashing five-time MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy 4-0.
What a lot of people don’t know is that there was a reason behind it. Or several reasons to be exact.
No, it didn’t have anything to do with formations, new tactics or additional time in the film room. In fact, it had absolutely nothing to do with the 22 people on the field.
Instead, everyone in the front office had a different opinion on why the team won in such convincing fashion.
Well… That’s what we like to think anyways.
Leading up to kick-off, I approached several staff members and asked them all the same question, “Is today the finally the day?”
The answers I received in return were nothing but pure entertainment. From waving rosemary in both goals to abandoning so-called “lucky clothes,” everyone had a newfound superstition that they firmly believed would become their ritual for the remainder of the season.
Secretly, I too had a superstition of my own – abandoning my previous lucky Orlando City socks, opting for the pair that I wore during the Ponte Preta and New England match.
As a result, in the days following City’s big win over the reigning MLS Cup Champions, we polled the front office staff, asking them to share their superstitious habits that OBVIOUSLY were the reason why the Lions finally opened the goal-scoring floodgates.
Let’s start with the coaching staff – who all drove different routes to the stadium.
Speaking of driving, our all-purpose CEO Alex Leitao drove Kaká to the Citrus Bowl for the first time all season, leading to the midfielder’s most complete performance with the Lions.
Since then, the quorum has decided that Alex should add being Ricky’s personal gameday chauffeur as part of his duties.
And then there was the President and First Lady of Orlando City – Phil and Kay Rawlins.
Just like the coaching staff, the Pres. continued his habit of taking a different route to the stadium and was also forced by Kay to sit in between Jim Phillips and his wife, after doing so for the second half of the New England Game.
Also amongst the responses were Jenn O’Connor and Tom and Dan, who were bold enough to admit that they weren’t at the game on Sunday, due to traveling. Rumor has it, since then, Tom and Dan’s season tickets are currently up for auction by the rest of the regulars in Section 129.
Alex Wolf, the long-standing veteran of the Club, took things a step further, returning to his gameday dress shoes before venturing to the top of the stadium to have a chat with the hawks residing there. In their brief conversation, Wolfie summoned the hawks to circle the stadium and scare off the evil spirits. Apparently the bats nearby were not of much use.
Mr. Orlando City, Kirk Chin, ditched his infamous lucky jeans for a new pair. After spilling bleach on it, while testing it around the house, Big Kirk took the spillage as a sign and wore it to the game, stains and all.
And last but not least, the infamous Rosemary tactic.
On the day of the New England Revolution game, James Pellington was handed a wad of Rosemary by long-time supporter Jeff Thompson, who advised James that early Florida settlers used Rosemary to get rid of the bad “juju.”
Taking Jeff’s advice to heart, James waved the Rosemary in both goals prior to City scoring its first goal at the Citrus Bowl since the opener on March 8.
With word of the Rosemary quickly spreading around the office, James purchased a larger quantity of Rosemary for the Galaxy game, sharing it with each staff member who wanted a bit to hold in their pockets.
Director of Digital Media Ed Cahill decided it was his turn to do the goal-mouth rain dance with the Rosemary, waving the plant around while the LA goalkeepers were warming up (a true team player).
Rumor has it, packs of Rosemary will be included in the team’s travel bags headed to California this weekend.