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 bumper stickers, 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 Friendly Confines at Waterford Lakes and Buffalo Wild Wings in Clermont 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 Travis and Jorge, a pair of Lions supporters:
Chatting with Travis
It didn't take me long to find Travis at Friendly Confines Wednesday night. Purple Pride was in full force, from the official Adidas hat to the purple and yellow bracelets. A lifelong fan of the sport and a self described "die hard fan," Travis had some interesting opinions leading into the season.
Which new Lion has you the most excited?
Travis: It has to be Brek Shea. I know Kaka is the 10, but I think we get more out of Shea on the pitch. Ownership gets more out of Kaka.
If you were Adrian Heath, where do you play Brek?
T: Wide. He's not fast enough on the ball to be in the midfield. Maybe up front, but I think wide is the best use of him.
Orlando City SC is over 11,000 season tickets sold so far. Are you one of them?
T: No, I'm not. I want to be, though.
But you will be there on March 8 to help #FillTheBowl, right?
T: No doubt about it!
Hanging with Jorge
Clermont is a bustling Orlando suburb, situated about 40 minutes west of Orlando on the turnpike. Once a quiet Orange grove town, the city has seen it's population and infrastructure boom almost as quickly as OCSC. Purple Pride has no limits, however, made clear by Jorge in his USL Pro era kit.
Which new Lion has you most excited?
Jorge: Kaka, but Amobi Okugo is good too.
Are you surprised about some of the players (Okugo, Kaka, Shea, Hall) we've been able to get?
J: Yeah, very surprised. I think we got a lot of talent and can really compete in the MLS.
Orlando City has over 11,000 season tickets already. Are you one of them?
J: My dad and I share season tickets. March 8 can't come soon enough!
What do you think about the answers given? How would you answer? Always be ready, I just may be asking you the questions next!