Orlando City has always had one of the best group of supporters in MLS. Teams fear traveling to Camping World Stadium and having to deal with the constant chanting and drum-pounding of the Orlando fans. This season, the Orlando Pride got a taste of that support-- a support that Head Coach Tom Sermanni said has made them more like a family.
“It’s about a real connection, particularly with this club, between the supporters and the team. It’s almost like a family, in a sense,” Sermanni said after training on Tuesday. “It’s really important for the players that the fans stay loyal and faithful to them, and it’s important for the fans that they know that they’ve got a group of players that are… committed to the club and committed to do what’s best for them.”
The fans aren’t just a luxury for the players-- they are a built-in support system, something that they can lean on when they’re going through rough times. In fact, Sermanni believes that loyal fans are more important when a team isn’t winning matches. “That connection is very important. And well, it’s almost more important when things aren’t going well… It’s very important that they see that we’ve got a team that goes out there and win, lose, or draw is leaving every drop of sweat on the field. And I think in fairness to our team and our players, that commitment has been first class.”
“The fans are the lifeblood of any team,” Sermanni said. “Take them away, and you might as well shut the doors.”