After a disappointing season so far, including an embarrassing loss to an NASL team, 7th place in the MLS standings, and a lifeless loss to FC Dallas, Orlando City SC (4-4-8, 20 points) has fired Coach Adrian Heath.
Heath has lead the teams since their inception as the Austin Aztex in 2008. He was at the helm when the team moved to Orlando and coached the team to two USL championships. and helped the team maneuver into the MLS.
The teams play so far this season has been inconsistent. Five days before the Dallas loss, the Lions exited the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after losing at home for the first time in nearly a year in a match against second-tier NASL side Fort Lauderdale. Though their 7th place spot in the rankings is just below a playoff spot, the showing in the 4-0 loss to FC Dallas was too much for team leadership, though they say the break up is amicable.
“It is always a very difficult decision to part ways with a head coach and not one that the board of directors has taken lightly,” said Orlando City founder and part owner Phil Rawlins. “It is even more difficult when that coach has been instrumental in the growth of the club since its inception over eight years ago. Adrian has served this club with passion and enthusiasm. While our successes together are undoubtable, we believe the renewed energy this change will bring will be uplifting for the team. We feel that the time has come for us to move on with our future in MLS.”
Heath leaves the club with a 98-41-33 overall record, including a 16-18-16 MLS mark.
The club has not yet named a replacement. Assistant coach Bobby Murphy and Orlando City B coach Anthony Pulis will lead the Lions as interim coaches.
Assistant head coach Mark Watson also has left the club, effective immediately.