[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY] Orlando City, the 2012 USL PRO regular-season champion, became the first U.S. team to kick off play in the new year, falling to Italian
club Roma, 5-0. Michael Bradley played the first half for Roma, which was training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as part of its Disney sponsorship.
The friendly at Rollins College drew a standing-room only crowd of 700 fans.
“It’s been a really good experience for everyone,” said Orlando City coach Adrian Heath. “It’s a huge eye-opener to what the next level of soccer is for everyone on the team.”
Roma took the lead in the 2nd minute on a goal by Argentine forward Erik Manuel Lamela after a well-directed pass by Miralem Pjanic and never looked back.
Lamela gave Roma a two-goal advantage in the 13th minute. Pjanic scored the third goal in the 31st minute, while Mattia Destro added a fourth in the 45th.
Brian Fekete from the University of Tampa and Jonathan Mendoza from Stetson University came on as substitutes for Orlando.
“The match was great for our younger players to see what top level competition is,” Heath said.
Orlando City takes a break from friendlies until early February when the club participates in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.