One of the nicknames for Orlando is O-town.
Toronto FC defender Omar Gonzalez hinted that ‘Crazy Town’ might be also be a suitable name — at least in terms of the Major League Soccer tournament being held there.
One feature at the MLS is Back tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando has been 9 a.m. matches, which have been a major point of contention for teams. TFC had to play two of them in the group stage. Gonzalez, a native of southern California who for years played in Mexico, had to leave the first match on July 13 in the second half because of cramping brought on by the heat and humidity. The veteran centre back is relieved that there are no more 9 a.m. starts as the Reds prepare to face Eastern Conference rivals New York City FC on Sunday night in the first round of the knockout stage.
“I don’t think you can ever get used to this heat no matter the experience you have with it (or) where you grew up (or) the places you’ve played around the world,” said Gonzalez. “There’s nothing that can really prepare you (for it). The fact that we’re coming from Toronto — winter lasts until May there — and so for us it’s been pretty difficult. But we are a very resilient team, we’re a strong team, we know how to suffer, and suffer we did.”