Yesterday marked the end of the 2016 season for the Orlando City Soccer Club.
It was a bittersweet day for me because our boys came out strong and got the win, but it means that I’ll be without soccer until March.
Orlando City was my first true job working in the sports industry. It was my first experience working for a professional organization. It was the beginning of the rest of my life.
These past 8 months have taught me so much about my life and the industry. I’ve been able to meet and get to know some of the most passionate fans in the MLS and some of the hardest workers in the industry. I have made friends with my co-workers that I can’t imagine not knowing and I have made some great memories on and off the pitch.
While the season may not have ended the way we wanted, for a young program, Orlando City has a bright future ahead of them as a team. As we move into our new soccer specific stadium next spring, we will be able to solidify our place as the Soccer Capital of the South and help the sport grow in popularity across the nation.
A few months back, when it seemed as if the season was never ending, I never thought I would miss it this much.
I will miss seeing the Iron Lion Firm and the Ruckus cheer for 90+ minutes with more enthusiasm than I have ever seen, win or lose. I will miss the pressure of coordinating pre-game ceremonies and the rush of being down on the pitch and feeling the energy of 30,000 fans, ready for kickoff.
This season was just the beginning of my career and I am so excited to see what the future holds.
Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now. – Mattie Stephanek