Adrian Heath on Orlando City’s Off-Season Turmoil: “Common Sense Prevailed”



The past few months have been a whirlwind for Orlando City and its fans.

After an off-season that saw the club hire a new chief soccer officer, lose a general manager and a long-time assistant coach to a pair of incoming expansion rivals, lose its newly hired chief soccer officer after less than two months, and add an assistant GM, it's safe to say things are far different than they were at this same time last season.

It’s also safe to say that even in Orlando City’s short history, the club has never experienced an off-season this eventful.

Tuesday, in a radio interview with Mike Bianchi on 96.9 The Game, Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath spoke for the first time publicly about the club's off-season drama, and gave some insight into the internal struggles between the coaching staff and new front office.

"There was a lot of stuff that went on, it'd be naive of me to skirt around the issue." Heath said on the show, Open Mike. "A lot of stuff went on that I believe would have been detrimental to us in the long run. I think the most important thing is that common sense prevailed and we got back to what we've always tried to be.

"I don't profess that I want to run the football club, but I wanted to have more of a say in the running of the team which is ultimately something I've been doing for 38 years. I think I'm better qualified to do it than most people. We have a chance now to bring the type of player that will help us in the long run.

"For a few weeks there it was a little bit hairy which way it was going to go and I think there was a lot of uncertainty, but the most important thing I believe is that the owner, Flávio [Augusto da Silva], made an incredibly brave decision to do what he did in such a short period of time and I believe that he made the right decision."

We don't know much about what happened when Armando Carneiro joined the club. He never spoke the media during his brief time here, and neither did anyone else from the club. So it's hard to speculate on what was happening behind closed doors when those doors were sealed air-tight.

What Heath's comments do suggest, however, is that there was a big change in power within the club, led entirely by the arrival of Carneiro. Prior to his hiring, most, if not all, player signings were made mostly through Heath and departed GM Paul McDonough.

Heath was also sure to make the point that if he was going to take responsibility for the team on the field, he wanted to be the reason that team was on the field.

"If I'm cooking the meal, I want to shop for the groceries," he said.

As of this moment, all player transactions once again run through Heath, and acting GM Phil Rawlins, a combination that led the Lions through their days in USL.


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