Over the past few years, Orlando has seen the popularity of its soccer club skyrocket like no other sports franchise in this city before. Hop on I-4 for a few miles and you're bound to see a few Lions car magnets, a billboard or two, and a radio ad if you're dialed into the right station.
With the fan base growing so rapidly, you needn't look far to find a fellow fan. This week we caught up with some at Twin Peaks on International Drive and Hagan O'Reilly's in Winter Garden to see what some of the fans are thinking of training so far, the off-season acquisitions, and optimism for the season ahead. Here is a brief interlude with Roddy and Geoff, a pair of Lions supporters:
Chatting with Roddy
As the only guy with a purple hat at the lumberjack-themed Twin Peaks, it was rather easy to spot Roddy. Admittedly more of a casual fan, he was excited about the upcoming season and the additional exposure Orlando City SC is poised to receive this upcoming season.
There's been some debate about who starts up top for City this season. Who's your pick?
Roddy: I keep hearing about Bryan Rochez. I saw we brought in Martin Paterson the other day. If he's healthy I'd think it's him. He's a seasoned pro, has experience in England, calm and collected in the offensive third.
If there was one position you'd want upgraded heading into the March 8 opener, what position would you pick?
R: It has to be center back, right? I can name guys at the other positions. Center back is a complete mystery to me, I'd say that's got to be the weakest position we have.
Do you think Amobi Okugo can help mask any shortcomings on the back line?
R: Maybe early on, maybe he can help shoulder some of that load. That's not a long term plan for success, though. That's something we should be looking to address.
Geoff was an interesting cat to run into at Hagan O'Reilly's. The most inconspicuous Lion we've featured yet, Geoff may not have had the gear to back up his fanhood, but when he heard an OCSC conversation in his vicinity, he wasted no time sharing his opinions.
Word around the club is that Luke Boden has been very impressive in training. How comfortable are you with him at left back?
Geoff: I feel great about Boden -- high energy guy, developed in house. I'm interested to see the dynamic between him and Brek on that side. Theoretically, we should build some strong play up that side. It's a matter of them developing chemistry on the left, and how long it takes them to develop it.
G: I think the easy part is over. That initial rush was great, but now it's about rounding up the stragglers and getting them in the building. It should be an incredible atmosphere.
Who is the striker on March 8?
G: I want to see this Rochez kid, if I'm being honest. He looks like a monster. Young, athletic, he's fluid out there. I know he needs time to grow and develop, but I say we get him out there and let him work. Get thrown in the deep end, and the only option you have is to start swimming.
What do you think about the answers given? How would you answer? Always be ready when rocking your OCSC gear, I just may be asking you the questions next!