[DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT] Orlando City, which joined the Academy league this season, started with four straight wins before a 1-1 tie with also-undefeated Georgia United last Sunday. Orlando City, the 2011 USL PRO champion that has been working on bringing an MLS club to Central Florida, partnered with top clubs in Central Florida to form its Academy teams.
“We weren’t totally aware of the talent pool in our area,” Orlando City U-15/16 head coach Sean Murphy said. “Our tryouts, we had over 130 players for each age group. The U-15/16s have done really well. …
“We train four nights a week and they’re intense. When you have the best players training under one team, they are pushed pretty hard to play to their potential. The challenges are higher. Before the Academy, the lads were used to being the best players on their club teams with one high-level game every few months. In the Academy, all four of our games have been a really high level of play. They’ve made adjustments, both psychologically and physically, and we work every day to push them harder and demand more in training. It’s been excellent.”
Murphy and U-17/18 head coach Nate Omodt came from the Florida Rush, which partnered with Orlando City to field the Development Academy teams.
Ricky Prestridge and Dennis Zapata lead Murphy’s team in scoring with five goals each. ... Orlando City’s U-17/18s are finding the going tougher with four losses and a tie in their first five games.
ACADEMY NEWS. U-15/16 Solar Chelsea SC midfielder Brock Dudley took Week 8 Player of the Week honors after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Real Colorado and helping his team down the Colorado Rush, 3-0. …
... Ohio’s Eric Tattersall was named Referee of the Week for his performance in a U-17/18 match between Crew Soccer Academy and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro.