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Meet the New Guy: David Gray

Say hello to the newest writer on The Mane Land staff.

Hello, Mane Land readers! My name is David and I’m the newest member of this glorious Mane Land staff; I hope to contribute in a major way. My favorite quote from one of my favorite authors describes my style quite well:

”Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.”

– Ray Bradbury

Soccer has been the cornerstone of my life ever since I was a little kid. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a competitive soccer match — it was the 1998 World Cup and I watched the United States lose every single group match. However, I was uplifted by the World Cup final that year when Zidane put two in the back of the net and brought the cup home to France. Ever since that moment I was hooked.

I’m a Florida boy, born and raised. I hail from Clearwater, so I love the beach and the sun. I started playing youth soccer at the age of four and played all the way through high school. I was a fairly decent player but knew I had other talents worth exploring.

The one thing I was always keen on was how the game was played. I used to study tactics like crazy which then led me to be an assistant coach for younger kids as well as a referee in my older years. Believe it or not, I was also a fan of the Tampa Bay Mutiny in the six years they were in MLS. Carlos Valderrama was my favorite player because how could you not love his hair?

Now that those days are behind me, I share that same passion with Orlando City as well as the Orlando Pride. I’ve been following the team from its last season in the USL all the way up until now. As soon as I moved to Orlando I was looking for a sports fix and Orlando City quenched my thirst immediately. Every Orlando City game I’ve watched at least twice (thank you MLS Live) and I even have a notebook of tactics I’ve picked up from various games. You could say I may have a bit of a soccer problem but we’re all friends here who can share in my addiction.

Writing for The Mane Land is going to be a wonderful opportunity because I will have a platform to share my thoughts as well as the knowledge I have of the game. I look forward to the vast number of discussions that will unfold and the great seasons Orlando’s teams are bound to have. Oh, and of course, go City!