USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Orlando City SC Homegrown Players Tyler Turner, Tommy Redding and Harrison Heath all saw action in the USL in 2014 ahead of their club’s move to Major League Soccer this past year.
This upcoming year, the trio of 19-year-olds appears likely to feature prominently in the league as key figures for Orlando City B. The new USL club held its first official training session on Tuesday at Eastern Florida State College, as all three players got to know the new surroundings OCB will call home this season.
For Heath, who made 11 appearances in the USL two years ago, the opportunity to cut his teeth in the league he made his professional debut in is a big one.
“I think it's a massive opportunity for all of us young guys,” Heath told the Orlando Sentinel’s Paul Tenorio. “I think that [games in USL] can only improve myself and speaking for the other guys, too, game time is the most important thing for us, especially at this stage of our career. Training takes you so far, but that next step is getting game experience.”
Turner had a standout season in 2014, being named a finalist for the USL Rookie of the Year award as he shone while recording more than 1,800 minutes of action in 24 appearances. Turner made seven appearances for the Lions in their inaugural MLS season, as the move to the top flight proved bumpy at times. But with an offseason to reflect, Turner looks set to emerge stronger as he enters his third professional season.
“Looking back in the offseason, I think it was a positive time for me ’cause I could step back and look at the whole year and find myself and get back to my roots,” Turner told Tenorio. “I think the first week and a half of preseason, people have seen that I've changed a little bit and matured in my game.”
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All three players got to play alongside their new head coach Anthony Pulis and assistant Rob Valentino two years ago, with both former players set to help shape not only them but also the signings OCB has made in the buildup to the new season.
With the club looking to maintain the strong history of on-field success in the USL that it achieved in the past, Redding said the tone for the approach OCB would take to the USL was firmly established in its first session.“I think the big takeaway for all three of us is we need to train and play the same way with the MLS team as with the B team,” Redding told Tenorio. “I don't think we should change our mindset whatsoever. We need to have confidence in our play, confidence in ourselves and confidence in the people around us. If we keep a positive mindset on whatever team we're on, all three of us will progress.”