Orlando City v. Philadelphia Union Match Preview

Your boy is back and I'm here with a match day preview for you ladies and gents! It's been awhile I'll admit, I spent the majority of the off season catching up on sleep, eating an unhealthy amount of mozzarella sticks and looking at old pictures of Lewis Neal. Anyways, the season on paper has gotten off to a perfect start. 3 points against NYCFC, a letter from Third Rail asking for an apology, smoke in the stadium, what else could you ask for? Last weekends postponement of the match against New England was a huge let down especially for those that traveled but nevertheless we'll start the 2017 season off with two home matches in a row. With that all said, I bring you my match preview for this upcoming Saturday's match between Orlando City and the Philadelphia "We really play in Chester" Union.


Remember when I said the season started perfect on paper? Well that's cause we're now without Kaka for 6 weeks, Carlos Rivas for an undetermined amount of time and Seb Hines for 6 weeks. Yes, Kaka will be 35 in April and his legs are basically shot at this point but the threat of Kaka on the pitch is better than not having him at all. We're probably looking at the end of April before we see our captain playing again. The Rivas injury news is a bummer because word has been going around that this could be his breakout season where he puts it all together. I never wish injury on any player or opponent so I'll simply wish Hines a speedy recovery and hope he can at least be a reliable rotational player when he returns.


I hate to say it but Orlando City has had it's struggles against the Union in the past. In their last 5 meetings, Orlando has compiled a 1-2-2 record including a loss late in the 2015 season ending OCSC's playoff chances and a late free kick by Philly last May to rob OCSC of all 3 points.

Bendik/Blake Faceoff:

It's a match up between the best goalkeeper in MLS and some guy named Andre Blake. Now that it looks like Joe might have a solid line in front of him, his numbers will show how much of a class MLS goalkeeper he really is. This time last year I gave Bendik a lot crap for silly mistakes but as the season progressed he not only owned up to his mistakes but corrected them and now will be a Lion for the foreseeable future with his new three year contract. Saturday could be a low scoring affair with two of the best goalkeepers in MLS.


A Saturday evening match in Orlando City's new stadium? That place is going to be next level LIT. I'm excited to see if the likes of Spector, Toia and Will Johnson can put in brilliant shifts like they did against NYCFC and if Barnes can take on the roll of filling Kaka's boots while he's out. I fully expect a close match but with Orlando City being well rested after last weekends postponement, I can see the Lions taking this one 2-1.

Vamos Orlando! 



Local News: Unemployed local man now makes memes for a living

It was an ordinary Tuesday morning, I spilled coffee on myself and I missed my train to work nothing new there. It was at 9:12am when the lives of many ILF members would be changed forever. Joe Schmo, a long time ILF member and a resident of the Mills District recently began his summer vacation away from being a teacher. Joe Schmo didn't waste a minute in starting his summer vacation and was seen posting on Facebook at 7am on Monday that he was having his first beer of the day. Teachers go about their summers in different ways some sleep all day, some get part time jobs and in the case of Joe Schmo you binge drink at 7am and make memes. The memes have affected us all and some fellow ILF members have sought out counseling to deal with the havoc this menace has inflicted on us all. We have compiled a list of job opportunities for Joe Schmo to preoccupy himself with and allow these ILF meme victims to go about their daily lives.


Albertsons Bagger: 

It was the summer of 1967 when I got my first summer job as a Albertsons bagger, I made 20 cents an hour and I loved every minute of it. I can't honestly say where the closest Albertsons is but Joe Schmo is notoriously known for riding his bike all across the state of Florida so I'm sure he can work it out.  

Brazilian Equipment Manager: 

The Brazilian national soccer team will need an experienced equipment manager as they  prepare to make their run towards the Copa America trophy.....oh wait.....awkward

Wawa Hoagie Maker: 

It's everyone's favorite time of year, HoagieFest! As I and many ILF members will be enjoying several Wawa hoagies a day, the convenience store/gas station will need to be fully staffed to make tens of thousands of delicious hoagies a day. (Wawa, I'll be waiting for my advertising check) 

Open A Hot Chocolate Stand :

Nothing says summer in Florida like a boiling cup of hot chocolate while you're at the beach or just sitting by the pool. Remember Joe, supply and demand.  

Uber Driver: 

Uber is a great way to make an extra couple bucks during the summer, let's just hope the Uber riders don't mind riding on the handlebars of Joe Schmo's bicycle. 

Ramos/Kaka Personal Photographer: 

Known for posting dozens of selfies a day, Rafael Ramos and Kaka's lives can be made much easier with the assistance of a personal selfie taker. As we all know how fragile Kaka is these days, we don't want him spraining his wrist while taking that selfie at the beach.  

 Pick Cherrys in Davenport: 

They say some of the World's best cherrys come from Davenport, FL. Nothing better to get your mind off of making memes than picking a few cherrys in 100 degree weather. 

Blockbuster Manager: 

10 years ago when I was looking for my first part-time job, a Google search led me to a list of great companies to work for and Blockbuster was on there. Surely ten years later that's still the case.  

Join A Ponzi Scheme: 

Known for being a great and safe way to make extra money, Ponzi schemes are all the rave these days and would allow Joe Schmo to fund his next summer job...

Full Time Alcoholic: 

If all of those jobs don't suit Joe Schmo, there's always drinking from sunrise to sunset and we here at the ILF blog fully condone that. Cheers Joe!   


Johnny Manziel takes time off in Orlando bars.

Anyone who follows the NFL, even in a casual manner, knows that Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Johnny Manziel has gone through rehab treatment for his drinking problem earlier this year. ILF does not think that’s a problem, but apparently the Browns do. After being released from rehab a few hours outside of The Forest City, he felt a “changed man”

Apparently the 2-9 NFL season has just been too much for the former Texas A&M man, as it has come to our knowledge that several ILF members have spotted Manziel in downtown Orlando at common watering holes in recent weeks. 

One member even bumped into Johnny Football at Latitudes on Church Street. He immediately recognized the purple attire and commented on our support. “I’ve caught a few Orlando games on TV. Wish the Browns could bring the noise like you guys in the Iron Lion Firm do.” Out of gratitude, our member bought Manziel a shot of whiskey and they went their separate ways.  Later that night another unnamed member saw Johnny Football coming out of the bathroom at Tier Nightclub putting a rolled up hundred dollar bill in his front pocket and seemingly very hyper.  True ultras know whats up.  Respect.    

We would like to thank Johnny Manziel for the support of our club and welcome him back to downtown Orlando anytime to have some cold one's with the firm.  

Neymar Deal Falls Through

Bad news for Orlando City fans throughout the planet.  The previously reported Neymar deal has fallen through.  The press conference scheduled for this Saturday at the Lake Eola Bowl to announce the transfer of Neymar to Orlando from Barcelona has been cancelled.  Neymar secretly flew into OIA on Monday, November 30th where he was picked up by team administrator and former OCSC stud Erik Ustruck to meet the front office, tour our facilities and make a quick publicity stop at Walt Disney World.

During the tour, Inchy and Neymar formally met for the first time.  It was reported to us by friend of the ILF and assistant coach for Orlando City Ian Fuller, that Adrian Heath hinted to Neymar he might have to play behind Cyle Larin at the start of the season.  Heath is high on Larin after his rookie of the year campaign and not willing to bench Cyle even for a world class footballer like Neymar.

The Brazilian international did not take well to this news as this compounded to his doubts of coming to America as he learned that the American tax code is more difficult to get around than he initially thought.  Neymar is not keen on paying the tax man just like his idol Willie Nelson.  

We have heard from anonymous sources within our front office that while disappointed, Phil Rawlins, Flavio Da Silva, Paul McDonough and Alex Wolf are happy with the prospects of Cyle Larin being our unquestioned number one striker going into 2016.  

Happy trails Neymar.  Best of luck with the Catalans in La Liga and the Champions League.  Should you ever choose to change your mind and earn your playing time behind Cyle Larin, you will have a home here in Orlando anytime.