Sweat was flying. Grey training tops glided across the pitch. Shouts of instruction from Head Coach Adrian Heath echoed in the morning air. This was the scene early Tuesday at Sylvan Lake Park as Orlando City prepared for their weekend bout in New England.
While teammates Kaká, Cyle Larin, and Darwin Cerén will be looking to make their countries proud this weekend in international duty, the boys in purple look forward to taking one more step toward the playoff. There was a palpable, burning desire around the training ground that will aid Heath and his squad against the New England Revolution.
When asked about the international absences, MLS veteran Lewis Neal feels confident that the depth in the team will bring the Lions three points. Neal stated that “a disciplined shape and sensible football will be the key to victory in New England.”
This week’s training proved to be extremely competitive as players battled for a chance to propel themselves into the starting XI. One player that Heath will be keeping in mind during selection will be Bryan Róchez. The young Honduran striker impressed during his last start with a smooth finish against EPL side West Bromwich Albion.
Orlando City isn’t the only team in MLS affected by international call-ups this weekend. New England Revolution’s Designated Player Jermaine Jones was called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s camp for the United States’ friendlies against Brazil and Peru, and will miss the match against Orlando City. Around the rest of the league, Columbus Crew SC led MLS with nine call-ups (Francis, Mabwati, Afful, Meram, Campbell, Kamara, George, Trapp, and Swanson) and the Montreal Impact will miss six (Ciman, Oyongo, Bekker, Crépeau, Venegas, and Miller).