Dear Players of Orlando City,
It has been a tumultuous season. The Orlando City faithful have been with you through it all. There was the outpouring of support in the first game on March 8, and that support has carried through this season. Through the exciting wins and heartbreaking losses, the fans have been through it all step by step with you. Now, with the past month, these same fans have suffered through the drought of goals and loss after loss that have come with August.
Crunch time is upon you. Only seven games remain of your season. After that, you could be in one of two places. Either in the playoffs, or relaxing on the beach. I would think most fans would prefer the former of you. However, with your recent performances, the hope that was once there about making the playoffs is dwindling.
The onus now rests squarely on your shoulders; to prove to this city that their soccer team can still make one last push to the promise land. The 11 players who take the field over the next two months have a responsibility to their club, their coach and their city, to put their maximum effort onto the field and advance into the postseason. The only question now is, do you have it in you?
We have all seen glimpses of greatness from you, but recently those glimpses have been very few and far between. You, as players on the pitch, now must dig deep and find that will to persevere through adversity and hardship and make the City of Orlando proud that you represent them. The fans are behind you. They'll be cheering for you every step of the way. But give them something to cheer for other than a loss or a draw. Give them a win. Give them goals. Give them a playoff berth. Do this, and your names will be forever remembered through the history of this club.
Due to my background as an English Lit major, I'll leave you with some excerpts from a poem that I feel resonates perfectly.
The Mane Land Senior Columnist
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!'
- Excerpts from "If" by Rudyard Kipling