Former Knight Luzunaris gives Orlando City a boost
Published: Sunday, July 17, 2011
Updated: Monday, July 18, 2011 15:07
Orlando City Soccer Club has turned to a former local star to give the Lions a boost for the remainder of the season.
Just days after former Knights soccer standout Matt Luzunaris was loaned from the MLS' San Jose Earthquakes, Luzunaris scored a goal in his Orlando City debut against the Rochester Rhinos, giving the Lions a 2-1 win.
Now, Luzunaris will look to lead the Lions in an English Premier League exhibition match against Newcastle United.
On Sunday, Orlando City faced off against the Bolton Wanderers of the EPL, dropping the contest 3-1.
"I hope that my abilities will help the team in the upcoming English Premier League games and the four regular season games left," said Luzunaris in a release after he signed with the Lions. "I have played against teams from the EPL, so I also bring in some experience as well."
The experience has paid off.
Although the Lions dropped the contest against Bolton, Orlando City faired well against the EPL team. Luzunaris scored the team's lone goal.
"It's great; it boosts my confidence to open up with two goals in as many games," Luzunaris said.
After spending the 2007-08 season with the Knights, Luzunaris signed a professional contract to play soccer in Austria for SC Schwanenstadt. Luzunaris played for Magna Wiener Neustadt and SV Wienerberg before signing with the San Jose Earthquakes this season.
Although he grew up in South Florida, playing for Orlando City has been a homecoming of some sorts for Luzunaris.
"It's awesome to have my really close friends and family to be able to watch me either on TV or in person," Luzunaris said. "Yesterday a bunch of my good friends that I grew up with came to the game. To score a goal and be able to celebrate with them was awesome."
The Orlando City Lions take on Newcastle United Saturday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 407-536-5368.