by: Orlando City Soccer Club Updated:
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City Soccer Club announced today the loan of Midfielder Jamie Watson to North American Soccer League side Minnesota Stars FC and sending of Forward Dennis Chin to Major League Soccer squad Chicago Fire for a one-week trial.
“With our season over, I’m not against any of our players going out an playing more football,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Obviously we don’t start until February, so it keeps the season alive for them, keeps them playing, keeps them active, which is good. It’ll definitely do Jamie good. He’s had a stop-start year with injuries, and has just got himself fit.”
Watson’s loan will last through the remainder of the NASL season. The Dallas, Tex., native netted five goals for City in 23 appearances (18 starts), and also added four assists in 2012. He joins a Minnesota squad that sits in sixth place in the NASL with four games to go. The top six teams make the NASL playoffs.
“I want to thank Adrian, Ian, and the owners for allowing me to join Minnesota on a short-term loan deal to continue playing after the unfortunate end to our remarkable season,” said Watson. “I am excited at this new challenge of winning an NASL Championship, but appreciate the blessing of my coaches, teammates, and fans of Orlando City on joining Minnesota for the remainder of the 2012 NASL campaign.”
Dennis Chin joins the Chicago Fire on a one-week trial, with hopes that he will earn a longer loan deal. The speedy Jamaican-American provides the Fire with an opportunity to spell Dominic Oduro, the Fire’s leading goal-scorer last season. Both Chin and Oduro are known for the their blazing speed, so Chin could provide the Fire with an additional offensive threat if he earns a longer stay with the Eastern Conference contenders.
“With our season finished, it was a good opportunity for Chinny to go up and work with an MLS club,” said Heath. “They’ll have a look at him for a week and if they think he’s what he can be and help them out for the remainder of the season.”
The moves of Watson and Chin continue what has become a club tradition of Orlando City players continuing their seasons in other leagues. Other players are garnering interest from both NASL and MLS clubs, but those transactions will not be announced until they are finalized. Last season, Max Griffin and Yordany Alvarez went on loan to MLS sides San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake. Lewis Neal and Kevin Molino also went on trial with RSL. Watson also went on trial with the MLS expansion side Montreal Impact.
In the end both Alvarez and Neal earned MLS contracts the following season, with Neal catching on with DC United after being released by Salt Lake. Lawrence Olum also signed with MLS side Sporting Kansas City immediately after the season ended. All the moves show that in a very short time, Orlando City has a solid reputation for developing players capable of playing at the highest levels of American soccer.
About Orlando City Soccer Club:
Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is one of Orlando’s premier professional sports franchises. Orlando City plays in the USL PRO league, part of the United Soccer Leagues. During the inaugural 2011 season, the Orlando City Lions captured the USL PRO American Division, Regular Season, and Playoff championships, and was named the 2011 USL PRO Organization of the Year. In 2012, the Lions repeated as Regular Season champions. For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.