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Former Orlando City coach James O’Connor thanks fans in farewell letter

The former coach wrote a letter to Orlando fans thanking them for supporting him as a player and a coach.

Aug 17, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Former Orlando City SC head coach James O'Connor prior to a game against Minnesota United at Allianz Field. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Orlando City coach James O’Connor wrote a farewell letter thanking fans for their support during his tenure.

The coach was fired Monday after the Lions closed the 2019 season with a 9-15-10 record. O’Connor spent almost five years with Orlando City SC over the course of career, playing three seasons as a midfielder with the team at the USL level and serving as head coach since July 2018. 

The letter sent to Pro Soccer USA read:

Orlando,

I have and will always bleed purple – first as a player, then as a coach. I’d like to thank Orlando City for the opportunity to come back to lead the Lions on the pitch. While the results weren’t what we had hoped – yet, I know we were progressing toward the success we all – coaching staff, medical and performance staff, and supporters – wanted for the club. The foundation is set and, along with the vast amount of cap space now available, my hope is the club can go on to fulfill its ambitions.

I owe a special thank you to the players, and to the diehard supporters that have stood by us through thick and thin. Your commitment to this club is unwavering, and our squad knows every time they put on the jersey – they’ve got you right behind them as the 12th man.

Thank you always,

James O’Connor

A search is under way for O’Connor’s replacement, with executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi citing missing the playoffs and a differing opinions on tactics as the reason for the coaching change.

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