Anthony Pulis has called central Florida home for the past five years. During that time he was a player, academy coach, and OCB’s head coach, but Pulis left Orlando in November to take over at Saint Louis FC.
Prior to Pulis parting ways with Orlando City there were wholesale changes with OCB’s roster. The Englishman jumped on this opportunity to sign players that he previous worked with.
Albert Dikwa and Austin Martz both played important roles for Pulis with OCB in 2017, playing in 22 and 30 games, respectively. They combined for five goals and four assists, which is impressive in what was a slow attacking year for the young Lions.
“Austin [Martz] is someone I know very well from my time at Orlando City B,” said Pulis. “He is extremely explosive and a quick threat on offense that should trouble defenders. He is also a great guy with a working attitude that should fit in nicely with the squad we are building.”
St. Louis is also bringing Corey Hertzog in for 2018, who Pulis played with in his USL days. Hertzog played for Orlando City in the club’s final year before jumping to MLS, appearing in 22 games and scoring four goals in 2014.
Pulis is a respected coach in the USL and players that know him only have praise for him. He wants to bring in players that he knows, similar to what Jason Kreis has been doing with Orlando City, but also players that know him are thrilled to be teaming up again.
“Once I heard Coach [Anthony Pulis] was getting the job at Saint Louis FC, it was a no brainer to join the club,” said Hertzog. “I played against him and with him as a player —and played against him as a coach —so I’m more than excited to join his team and score some goals for the great fans in St. Louis.”
It isn’t just former USL teammates or players joining Pulis. The former OCB gaffer also tapped former Orlando City U-23 goalkeeper, Tomas Gomez. He played 38 matches with the Rochester Rhinos over the past two seasons and is obviously someone Pulis knows well.
It will be interesting to see what other former Lions Pulis snatches up next. It is a new chapter in his coaching career and one that he should excel in. It will be weird not seeing Ant on the Orlando sideline but a few weeks into his new gig and he already looks to be on a successful path.