Beginning this season Major League Soccer teams were given the option of not playing during periods of international duty. This greatly benefits Orlando City Soccer Club as many of our beloved Lions were called up to play for their country, thus leaving us shorthanded for many games in 2015.
The international break is observed by leagues around the world and is seen as an opportunity to rest ailing players that aren't selected and it is generally perceived as a method of ensuring that club teams are able to compete at their strongest throughout the season. Amongst the benefits there are casualties, and none more glaring than the soccer fan.
One fan in particular, a central Florida area resident of Honduran ancestry that I conversed with at the OCSC-NYCFC watch party at Lizzy McCormack's, was recently discussing with me the two week period as it is devoid of the beautiful game he loves. When I made mention that he would be able to occupy himself with friends playing the newest iteration of FIFA, he called me a "nerd" and proceeded to order himself two shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey, ignoring me for the remainder of the evening.
My only other interaction of the night was with a gentleman en route to the restroom that I inadvertently bumped into. Prior to me asking his thoughts regarding the upcoming break in play, the young man peculiarly asked, "Are you a cop?" to which I responded, "No sir. I'm a journalist. "
The man, a bit inebriated at this point, described the love and devotion he shares for Orlando City however became increasingly emotional when faced with the realization that there would be a two week layoff leading up to Orlando City's next match against the Portland Timbers. After briefly referring to himself in the third person and describing his lack of patience with PRO referees, the individual chugged the remainder of his vodka soda then exited the establishment. It is said that he's now traveling with Disney on Ice.
This is a cautionary tale for those of us also suffering through the grueling international break with little action aside from spring training baseball and moderately related satirical articles. You are not alone. Be there for one another, the time will pass.