According to Orlando Sentinel reporter Paul Tenorio, Orlando City has dismissed Assistant Coach Ian Fuller from the club, and he will not return to Adrian Heath's coaching staff in 2016.
This very surprising news has not been met well by fans of the club, and according to Tenorio, some of Orlando City's players were surprised by the decision.
Fuller, who had been with Orlando City as far back as 2010, when the club was still an upstart in Austin, TX, before moving to Orlando in 2011. He is well liked by both fans and players on the club, and also had a very close connection with Heath, who he played played for for three seasons with the Lions in USL from 2011-2013 as a player-coach before retiring as a player and transitioning to full-time assistant in 2014.
"I'm absolutely devastated to be leaving the club," Fuller told the Orlando Sentinel. "I think from what Adrian and I have built with the team from day one, five years ago, and to compete very well as an expansion team, I was very pleased with it and I will take nothing but pride out of what we accomplished here."
"This has never been just a job for me," Fuller said. "I've treated it as so much more. Being able to play for the club and then coach for the club, I had so many great, fond memories and I'll continue to carry those the rest of my life. I'm very disappointed and extremely gutted to be leaving this way. I was really looking forward to seeing how far we could take this group of players."...
There's no saying, at least at this time, where the decision to let go of Fuller came from, and the timing of the decision is also something that raises some eyebrows -- just five days after the club parted ways with GM Paul McDonough (more on that below) -- but at the same time, it fits right into the pattern of change that has swept right over Orlando City this off-season.
The club began by cutting loose nine players, including fan favorite Tally Hall, and just last week announced it was parting ways with McDonough, who was announced as director of soccer operations for Atlanta United FC earlier today.
Whether or not this is the end of change at the club for this winter is yet to be seen, though obviously there will be new players coming into the team under new Chief Soccer Officer Armando Carneiro.