As we count down to the new year of 2015, Orlando City SC's first in MLS, and say goodbye to 2014, it's time to look back at the club's 10 best moments of the year.
The Mane Land's No. 5 Orlando City SC moment of 2014 came just a few days ago, on Friday, Dec. 19. The club named it "Fantastic Friday," and it was, as the club and MLS both announced the home opener would be on March 8 against fellow expansion team New York City SC. But the best part came later, as the Lions officially announced the previously rumored acquisition of midfielder Brek Shea.
The addition of Shea gives Orlando City the possibility of fielding an attacking midfield of Shea, Kaka, and Kevin Molino in Adrian Heath's 4-2-3-1 formation. If that midfield doesn't get you excited, you might want to have your pulse checked...you know, just to make sure you have one.
The College Station, TX, native was selected by FC Dallas in the first round (second overall) of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. He played 98 games with Dallas over five seasons, scoring 19 goals with 14 assists. His best season came in 2011 when he scored 11 goals and added four assists and was an MLS All-Star. Five of his 11 goals that season were game winners. He was named to the MLS Best XI that year and was a finalist for the Volkswagen MLS MVP award.
Although form, fitness and lack of games were issues for Shea overseas, Heath and the Lions are well acquainted with the player and know exactly what he can do, thanks to his training stint in Orlando prior to last season.
"I really enjoyed my training stint here in the summer and I wanted to make that permanent," said the U.S. International. "I'm excited. I wish the season started next week. I think we'll surprise people."
Acquiring the big Texan to patrol the left side of the pitch for the Lions was a big moment for the club and well worth inclusion in our list of the year's best.
Check out the rest of our top 10 Orlando City moments of 2014:
10. Kevin Molino breaks the USL Pro goal-scoring record
9. Postseason USL Pro honors for Molino and Luke Boden
8. Winning top pick in Draft Lottery
7. Molino becomes the club's first ever MLS player signing.
6. Lions acquire Hall, Collin and Okugo on "Major Monday."