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Our City: Dear EPL, We Need To Talk

Yesterday's Valentine's Day holiday has me thinking it's time to come clean about the object of my soccer affections.

Our City is a weekly column focused on my perspective of Orlando City as a supporter. I would love to incorporate your ideas and stories, if you have something to add or a story idea please connect by commenting here or on Twitter: @kevinmercer225

Dear English Premier League,

We need to talk. I think its time we broke up.

The truth is my affections have shifted and my heart just isn't in it like it used to be. At a time when more and more Americans are turning up to watch teams from London and Liverpool, to wear replica jerseys, and embrace the English pub breakfast, I just can't be bothered anymore.

My EPL fantasy team is mired in the doldrums of our league, or at least I assume they are. I haven't made a lineup change since before December. The last time I listened to the Guardian's "Football Weekly" podcast was during the World Cup. I'm not even sure who's starting regularly for my favorite team.

Its been a really good run, but it seems I've just lost interest.

We've had so many good memories over the years, so many good times. Don't think I didn't enjoy them. The championships, the great players, the classic games. All of those goals. I will always remember them fondly.

Its not you, its me. See, when we met, a long distance relationship made a lot of sense for me. There weren't options for my affections stateside. Major League Soccer was having its growing pains and, living in Florida, it was difficult to connect with a club. Now, with a club like Orlando City SC here, I've found my allegiances shifting over the past four years.

EPL, are you a sexier brand of football? Well, yes of course you are. Your game is faster, your players are better, and everything about you is more dramatic. Every romance needs a little roller coaster of drama right? Yet, no matter how devoted I felt to you, I never felt like you were mine. You always seemed interested in me, but you seemed interested in half of Asia too.

When you put your heart into something, you want to feel like you are one in a million. If my favorite club's  Twitter account is to be believed, I'm actually only one of 4,424,635. Talk about not feeling special anymore.

I realize MLS and Orlando City might lack your level of attractiveness and tradition. They might not have half the world cheering for the red side of Manchester, while the other half is supporting the blue. You are right on every account; the new object of my affection has quite a collection of shortcomings. Still, the relationship I am building with this new local club feels more intimate that anything we ever had.

Driving to the stadium, wearing purple, seeing my friends, and supporting a team with my hometown's name on its badge beats waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning every time. We have a deeper connection, one that you and I could never cultivate after all these years.

I'd like to stay friends, to stop by and see a game when it's convenient. I'll probably still check in from time to time to see how things are going. I just didn't think it was fair to keep pretending I was still in love with you, when quite obviously my affections had shifted. Go City!


Kevin Mercer

Orlando City Supporter