Dwyer Return

Dom Dwyer Returns To New Look Orlando

Sunday’s primetime fixture against Sporting Kansas City will be a bittersweet moment for the City faithful.

Why?

Once a hero for the Lions, Dom Dwyer will make his first return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl since 2013 – but with a much different mission this time around.

As most supporters can recall, the last time Dwyer played in a game at the Citrus Bowl, he scored not once, not twice, but four times in the Lions’ thrilling 7-4 win over the Charlotte Eagles in the 2013 USL Championship match before 20,886 fans – the largest crowd for any minor league sports team.

The four-goal performance catapulted Dwyer to 19 on the year, after scoring an astonishing 15 goals in 13 regular season games, back-flipping his way into the City supporters’ hearts, before being re-called to Sporting Kansas City midway through the season.

At a time when the “Orlando to MLS” push was ramping up, it was the culmination of a remarkable season for both Orlando City and Dwyer – who was struggling to break through in the professional ranks – until his resurgence with the Lions.
However, since then, things have changed quite a bit.

Following his breakout campaign with City, Dwyer has become a household name in MLS as Kansas City’s primary striker.

After finishing second to Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 2014 MLS Golden Boot race with 22 goals in 33 games, he has undoubtedly made a strong claim as one of the best finishers in the league.
But, that same poaching ability that once that propelled Orlando to championship glory will be on the other end of the ball when both teams go to battle on Sunday night.

In the years following Dwyer’s departure, Orlando City has also become an established name within the league. After opening the season with a head-turning sellout of over 62,000 fans at the Citrus Bowl, the Lions’ incredible support has continued throughout the team’s first season in MLS, showcasing the second highest average attendance behind the Seattle Sounders.

It also seems that a new goal-scoring sensation has emerged for City in the number nine position with young striker Cyle Larin notching 11 goals (two more than Dwyer) while featuring up top alongside playmaker Kaká, tying the single-season scoring record for a rookie.

For me, that’s why Sunday’s game is one of the matches you circled way back when the schedule was first released.

Storylines for days…

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September 11, 2020: Major League Soccer has announced the 2020 regular season schedule through the end of September. From September 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols. Attendance at matches will be determined in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines.