Even though the mighty Bolton Wanderers lost 1-0 to FC Tampa Bay thanks to a couple of hits off the post and some frankly phenomenal goalkeeping from the Tampa youngsters in net, Trotters fans have little to worry about. The men in white will attempt to prove this on Sunday when they head back to Orlando to face Orlando City Soccer Club. Bolton started their trip training in Orlando before heading to Tampa Bay where we can only assume their base camp was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. We assume that admission was free for them on account of Adam Bogdan being a dead ringer for any of the Weasley children.
In the amazingly confusing American soccer (football) pyramid, Orlando City play in the third division also known as the USL Pro league. OCSC sit at the top of the admittedly poor quality (outside of the top two teams) league by a healthy margin. Their style of play is dynamic and are always looking to put the ball into the back of the net. Orlando are a big, strong, and physical team that are tall at the back with central defender Rob Valentino measuring in at a meaty 6'3". Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo is a wall between the posts and is capable of some brilliant reaction stops. Pacey midfielder / forward Jamie Watson is a dangerous force up top not only in his ability to put the ball past the keeper but in the way he distributes the ball. The Lions are managed by Everton legend Adrian "Inchy" Heath.
Where the Wanderers are at the start of their preseason and have only played one match, Orlando are well into theirs and seemingly have the first place locked up. Expect them to be tired for the Bolton match however as they are playing second place Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night, just one night before thanks to congestion in the USL schedule. Orlando have elected to play many of their normal starting XI prior to the friendly meaning that they will very likely stray from their normal first choice team.
Orlando City call the Citrus Bowl, a 70,000 seat American football stadium, home. Don't expect attendance to be anywhere near that number. Removing a zero from the figure would get you closer. Word from the club is that the match will not be broadcast anywhere thanks to some issues with staff hired by the team but Bolton Offside will still provide a match report tomorrow with some input from both the Orlando City and Bolton side of things.