It's been almost two months since our last Orlando City academy update, so we thought it was about time to let everyone know how well the young Lions are doing. Here's the latest on the development academy front:
U-13 Boys Fall in Regional Playoffs
After a stellar run in the Florida Cup, the Orlando City U-13 pro academy team qualified for the regional playoffs after winning the cup back in May. After dismantling their first opponent, Oklahoma, by a score of 4-0, and escaping with a 2-1 win over Georgia, the team was stonewalled by Texas, which barely scraped out a 1-0 victory over the young Lions. The Texas team, Solar Chelsea 02 Red, were carried by their goalkeeper, Christopher Edwards, who made two game-saving stops to preserve his team's victory.
ECNL Teams Look to Succeed in Seattle
Orlando City's U-15, U-16 and U-17 Elite Clubs National League squads are all about to start play in the ECNL Champions League. Each age group will compete for three days, June 27, 28 and 30. If they win, the will play in the ECNL Finals in Richmond, Virginia in late July .
Below are the rules for the competition the teams will be playing in, courtesy of the ECNL website.
Over the course of 3 group games, 8 teams in each age group will qualify to advance to the ECNL Champions League Finals in Richmond, VA. In the ECNL Champions League, the qualifying teams are seeded based on their results over the entire season. The top 8 teams in the ECNL Champions League will be seeded as the Top Overall Seeds. The Top Overall seeds are made up of seven (7) conference champions who are seeded 1-7 based on points (PPG) from conference games only, with the final seeded team being selected from the automatic qualifiers (conference or divisional champions) with the highest points (PPG) from conference games only. Remaining teams will be placed into different seeding pots, from which they will be drawn and placed into play-off groups in each competition. Each play-off group will include four (4) teams playing a 3-game round robin to determine the team that will advance to the ECNL Finals.
The teams will all be playing at Sixty Acres Park in Redmond, WA, on various fields around the grounds. For more info on the results of the games, check out eliteclubsnationalleague.com
New ECNL Season Set to Begin in July
New U-14 coach Sam Mitchell is excited for his season to begin at the end of next month. Preseason for the team will start around the 27th of July, but tryouts have already been held.
"I went and met my team managers the other day and watched some of the team play indoor," Mitchell said about his new team. "I've seen them play a little bit and there's some good little players there, I'm excited to get to work with them."
As we told you last month, Mitchell joins the ECNL staff after spending time in England as a Watford FC youth development coach and, more recently, an assistant coach for the Rollins women's soccer team.
U-23s Trying to Find Their Form
After only getting their first win last week, the Orlando City U-23s are back at home tonight against IMG. This will be the second time these teams have played, after IMG took the first leg, 2-1, back on June 10. The Lions currently sit in last place in the Southeast Division in the PDL and are 1-4-2 in seven games. The team has seven goals to their credit, while they have conceded 12. The game is set to start at 7:30 p.m., so head out to the Seminole Soccer Complex to support!