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Orlando City wading through longest road swing since joining MLS

Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Aly Ghazal (66) defends against Orlando City FC forward Chris Mueller (17) during the second half at BC Place. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

By the time Orlando City’s current road trip is over, it will have been nearly a month since the Lions played a match in Orlando.

The club is in the middle of a five-match road trip, its longest since joining MLS in 2015. The trip consists of three MLS matches and two in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The entire team traveled for the middle section of the road trip – matches against Miami United, Vancouver and Montreal.

The Lions (6-7-1, 19 points) play the Impact at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Stade Saputo.

“I think we’re anticipating everybody getting an opportunity at some point,” said right back Will Johnson before the club left Orlando. “It’s about taking it when you get it. Being on the road will be nice. I think we’re ready for it. It’ll be good to get our group back together, get guys healthy, get back on the road, spend some time together.

“It’s similar to preseason in a way where you get to have more meals together and kind of reconnect after a long stretch here.”

For Rookie Chris Mueller, not having to sit in an airport before flying to Vancouver was a big plus. The club took a chartered flight to Canada’s west coast.

“Just doing all the little things right,” Mueller said after Saturday’s match against the Whitecaps. “Eating right. The training staff is doing really well at making sure we’re just feeling good all the time.”

The Open Cup matches are ones Orlando City officials elected not to host, citing the schedules of both Orlando City and the Orlando Pride.

Pitch recovery could also play a factor. Orlando City groundkeeper Matt Bruderek on June 9 posted a picture of the grass at Orlando City Stadium with the caption, “What a difference a week makes.”  In one picture, there are obvious patches of brown. The playing surface looks pristine in the other.

If the Lions hosted their fourth-round Open Cup match against Miami United, a match would have been played at Orlando City Stadium on June 6.

Orlando City plays its next Open Cup match on June 20 against D.C. United to close out the road trip.

Ruckus holding second ‘Secret Show’

Orlando City supporter group The Ruckus will host its second annual Ruckus Secret Show on Friday, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Zebra Coalition of Orlando. Last year, the event raised $6,000.

The Zebra Coalition is “a network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13-24″ in Central Florida. 

This year’s event is a masquerade ball called “The Other Face of City,” which echoes Orlando City SC’s “Face of City” 2018 marketing campaign.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

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