With Orlando City off for the worldwide break, I assumed I ought to take a second to look again on my journey all the way down to Orlando for Orlando Metropolis’s U.S. Open Cup victory over Sacramento Republic FC. For our readers who additionally take heed to The Mane Land PawedCast, a few of this isn’t new, however it’s extra absolutely fleshed out.
Following Orlando Metropolis’s 5-1 drubbing of the New York Red Bulls to earn a spot in the final, I knew that my spouse and I had been going to make the journey. Because it turned out, the match was on a Wednesday night time. That may appear to be lower than supreme for the typical traveler, however it completely aligned with my regular work schedule, permitting for me to not even need to take a trip day to make it occur.
Buddy of the Pod (a daily listener of the PawedCast) Lee Gavlick generously reached out to me and assisted with getting the 2 tickets I wanted. As a bonus, we had the pleasure of sitting with Lee and one other Buddy of the Pod, David Victor, and their family and friends. It was an absolute pleasure assembly all of them and having fun with all the night collectively. I’ve come to matches earlier than, however this time was completely different due to the hospitality of Lee and David.
Our seats had been on the south facet of the stadium in Part 5, Row B — simply to the left of the purpose when dealing with the pitch. We had no concept how fortunate this might be because the match began. Like everybody else, we had been pissed off that Orlando Metropolis wasn’t capable of get a purpose within the first half. I used to be doubly pissed off since considered one of my keys to victory on the PawedCast was that Orlando Metropolis scored early, and scored usually. Permitting Sacramento to remain shut would give the Republic confidence because it did within the different matches Sacramento performed to get to the ultimate.
As everyone knows now, my worries had been for nothing, with the Lions scoring three second-half objectives to safe their first trophy of the MLS period. I’m a person of science and purpose, however as Michael Scott stated in The Workplace, “I’m not superstitious, however I’m a little bit stitious.” I’m selecting to imagine that Orlando Metropolis waited for the second half to attain in order that we had the proper seats to see all three objectives and the accompanying celebrations. I’m additionally selecting to imagine that Benji Michel had the night time he did as a result of he acquired The Mane Land PawedCast “bump” since we interviewed him within the days earlier than the match.
Like many, we lingered and watched the workforce increase the trophy, although our view wasn’t pretty much as good because it was for the objectives. Finally, we made our manner out, went to get some meals — I used to be ravenous — and to benefit from the heat glow of victory. We had been even joined by my podcast associate and managing editor of The Mane Land, Michael Citro, and former Mane Land contributor Austin David. It was an evening that none of us shall ever overlook.
After all, it didn’t finish that night time — or very early morning — for my spouse and I. Our checkout time on the resort was 11 a.m., and that gave us simply sufficient time to have a pleasant brunch earlier than making our strategy to Orlando Metropolis Corridor for the official celebration at midday. It was sizzling, and the music was very loud, however I’m so glad we delayed our departure to absorb that final little bit of celebration.
Seeing those that I’ve had the pleasure of talking with or assembly receiving the popularity for a job effectively performed jogged my memory that there are lots of people working to make the membership one thing worthy of the supporters. My conversation with Jarrod Dillon early in the season offered perception into the course that the membership goes. Interviews with gamers, coaches, and employees on the PawedCast present the membership’s willingness to have interaction with our neighborhood.
Certainly, my true function in penning this piece is to spotlight the sense of neighborhood I’ve skilled surrounding this membership. I really feel part of the membership in a manner I believe most supporters really feel. I even have a way of neighborhood with the opposite supporters, whether or not that’s dancing and singing within the stands throughout a match, or participating in on-line conversations. Then there may be the camaraderie and friendship I really feel with my fellow staffers right here at The Mane Land. I’ve been part of this group for over seven years at this level, and I’m grateful to be so fortunate as to work with such excellent folks. Lastly, I’m completely satisfied that my spouse has embraced my love of this membership and made it her personal. It’s the private connections we make in life that make all of it worthwhile. After all, trophies don’t damage both.