Orlando City fires longtime coach Adrian Heath

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RYAN BRISTER

Orlando City SC has fired Adrian Heath, the only head coach the club has ever had.

Heath had been with the club since it was founded as the Austin Aztex in 2008. Since moving to Orlando, Heath won two USL titles and oversaw their transition into Major League Soccer.

He had only middling success in a year and a half in the top-flight, failing to make the playoffs in their inaugural season. The apparent straw that broke the camel’s back was a 4-0 defeat on Monday night against FC Dallas. It was by far the worst performance of their season so far; Orlando is 4-4-8, seventh in the Eastern Conference.

“It is always a very difficult decision to part ways with a head coach and not one that the Board of Directors has taken lightly,” said Phil Rawlins, the club’s founder and president.

Rawlins has overseen a complete overhaul of the team’s front office since just last season; the offseason was particularly tumultuous and one of Heath’s assistants was fired. Assistant coach Mark Watson has also left the team with the firing of Heath.

In the interim, Orlando will be led by assistant coach Bobby Murphy and Orlando City B assistant Anthony Pulis. That second name might sound familiar; his father Tony Pulis is currently the manager of West Bromwich, and crossed paths with Rawlins when they were both at Stoke City.