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MLS: New England Continues Underdog Success, Beats Orlando City 3-1 in Semifinal

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New England Revolution dominated Orlando City SC in the Audi MLS Cup Semifinal at Exploria Stadium Sunday, November 29, 2020. Photo: Orlando City SC.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – New England has done the unthinkable yet again after dispatching Orlando City 3-1 in normal time during the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinals at Exploria Stadium Sunday. They shocked first place Philadelphia Union last week.

 

MLS Cup Playoffs: Orlando City vs. New England Revolution

A defensive masterclass, coupled with a brace from Gustavo Bou and a penalty strike from Carles Gil put Sunday’s game beyond reach as Orlando City’s cinderella run through the playoffs came to an end.

The first half saw a few costly errors give way to Orlando City an early advantage. After a silly challenge inside the box against Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution found their first goal of the game. The converted penalty–taken by Spanish native Carles Gil–became the first highlight of the evening as he coolly put it past second-string OC goalkeeper Brian Rowe.

In the 25th minute, New England added insult to injury after a crafty counterattacking effort that saw Gustavo Bou poach his seventh goal of the MLS season across all competitions. The Argentinian international celebrated with his native flag and pointed to the sky in commemoration of the memory of Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona.

The non-calls for Orlando City turned in their favor as Adam Buksa drew the first booking of the playoff encounter. Increased chances within the box soon gave way to celebration after a dangerously lofted ball into the box. Luis Nani’s delivery almost found its target through Chris Mueller, but New England’s defensive work complicated his reception.

Instead, the crafty American winger was able to pass the ball towards the outside of the six-yard line and found an open Junior Urso who was ready to pounce on goal. With only a defender to beat, Urso converted his chance and cut the deficit to one goal with twelve minutes left to play in the first half.

The second half soon became marred with controversy after a forceful challenge from Mauricio Pereyra. The bookings kept coming for Orlando City and Pereyra’s tackle against Carles Gil soon brought another turn of the tide to this MLS Cup Semifinal. In protest of Pereyra’s ejection, Luis Nani also picked up a yellow card.

Referee Alex Chilowicz had no problem doling out cards for infractions this evening. By the end of the game, six players had been booked in spite of a few controversial missed calls, including a foul that should have been called against Adam Buksa for his challenge against Brian Rowe. The foul was eerily similar to the foul committed by Daryl Dike against Matt Turner, but Chilowicz opted for a different rationale for booking given Buksa already had a yellow to his name.

The loss of men on the field led to a loss of concentration for Orlando City. Tired legs gave way to a dismal defensive error that saw Gustavo Bou put away an easy pea roller to secure his second of the evening. Bou has now made three crucial goals in his last four games for New England Revolution in the final ten minutes of play. Clutch playmaking in the final minutes have been the Revs’ bread and butter all season long, and this game was no different for Bruce Arena’s men.

The storied MLS manager has made a living within the league by leading many a team to MLS Cup triumphs, and he is slowly building a similar framework for New England. Dispatching an attack-minded Orlando City with a precise defensive game plan proved to be the difference maker in this game as Orlando City were frustrated early on and never fully recovered.

 

Building on Greatness

Looking back, Orlando City SC has developed into a formidable threat within the Eastern Conference. Their growth as a team; developing players and cultivating a mentality within the roster that has infected the city, is nothing to dismiss as fans push forward into the 2020-21 season.

“I think the boys have done a tremendous job,” Pareja stated when asked to reflect on the season. Pareja and Orlando City fought tooth and nail to get Pedro Gallese to compete in this last game against New England, but were unsuccessful in securing those appeals.

“Today was one of those moments where the boys lost their head, and I have to be responsible for that. We will look back on this game in the next couple days to see what went wrong, but I thank the boys for putting in the effort and giving [fans] the vision. I’m very proud of this group.”

Young players like Mueller and Dike have blossomed into starters that can adequately hold their own on the pitch. The old guard of Nani, Pereyra and Gallese have shown plenty of tactical flair and if cooler heads prevail, their ability within 90 minutes is usually enough to get the job done.

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Nicolas Vera is a Florida National News contributing writer. | info@floridanationalnews.com

Orlando

State Rep. Morales Urges Gov. DeSantis to Assist Puerto Rico in the Wake of Hurricane Fiona

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State Rep. Daisy Morales. Photo: Florida House of Representatives.

ORLANDO, Fla. – State Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) has sent a letter to the Governor urging him to assist with and release much needed resources to aid Puerto Rico in the wake of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.

The letter reads:

“Dear Governor DeSantis,

“With the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria right behind us, Hurricane Fiona, which has now dealt catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico according to Governor Pedro Pierluisi, is an opportunity for us to help our loved ones on the Island.

“With expected flooding, mudslides and blackouts, conditions are extremely dangerous.

“I’m asking the Executive Office of the Governor and the Division of Emergency Management to closely monitor the situation and begin preparations for relief efforts. I am also asking your office to facilitate discussions with city and county governments, and transportation authorities, to prepare for a potential influx of our fellow citizens from Puerto Rico, as was the case with Hurricane Maria. I am also asking your office to assist with the potable water residents of the island needs with the contamination of its existing water supply. Florida, and in particular Central Florida, will always stand with and support Puerto Rico.

“My district, District 48, has one of the largest Puerto Rican populations in the state and I know that, like myself, many Floridians are concerned for the safety and well-being of friends and loved ones currently there.

“Puerto Rico is still rebuilding from Hurricane Maria and must now redouble its efforts in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. Florida must be committed to doing everything we can to help the families impacted by Hurricane Fiona and aid in the recovery process.

“Thank you for your consideration.”

 

 

Other governors have already stepped into action, some as early as Sunday. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced that two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) are deploying to Puerto Rico to support response operations there. They will serve with a federal Incident Support Team and are prepared to remain deployed in Puerto Rico for up to two weeks.

New York governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Sunday that “the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is monitoring the storm closely and will be able to rapidly deploy assistance if requested by the federal government and Puerto Rico.”

Thus far, it appears that Florida governor Ron DeSantis has not yet taken action.

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Orlando

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Brings the South to Your Mouth at ICON Park

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Brother Jimmy's BBQ opened its new location at ICON Park on International Drive in early August. Photo: J. Willie David III / Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – “Put some south in yo’ mouth.”– Brother Jimmy’s BBQ certainly delivers on its motto at ICON Park on International Drive.

The barbecue chain, launched in North Carolina in 1989, opened its new location at ICON Park in early August and opened its doors to the media Wednesday, providing a sample of rich ribs (both sauced and dry rub), pulled pork, mac and cheese, baked beans, cornbread, and tea (sweet and unsweetened).

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

Photo: J Willie David III / Florida National News.

 

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ cuisine is made fresh in-house, with the butcher chopping, seasoning, smoking and slicing fresh meat before your very eyes. Utensils await diners in tall receptacles on each table, next to a small container showcasing three barbecue sauces: Original, North Carolina, and Chipotle; and in true southern charm, diners can enjoy their drinks in mason jars.

 

 

The 7,200-plus square foot restaurant offers an open, inviting dining experience that lulls you to stay a while. The furniture there was taken directly from the restaurant’s New York location and shows some “personality” in the slight wear of the wood and unique giant metal pig figurines peppering several tables. The restaurant offers its own photo both (and a board close to the main entrance to post the pics for others to see), tons of TV screens to watch whichever game you wish to see, and the whole back half of the establishment is a mini-arcade with pinball, mini basketball, and yes, beer pong. Also, kids eat free at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ with the purchase of one entree.

Looking for some good barbecue in a great atmosphere? Learn more and check out the menu on the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ website.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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Orlando

Gov. DeSantis Announces Toll Relief Program

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Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Florida Turnpike Headquarters in Orlando, Florida Thursday, August 25, 2022. Photo: Hidekel Griffin/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new toll relief program at the Florida Turnpike Headquarters Thursday.

The SunPass Savings Program launches on September 1, 2022 and will run for six months and will benefit SunPass and other Florida transponder users. According to a press release from the governor’s office, the program “is estimated to provide $38 million in relief to SunPass commuters.” Eligible roadways include the Turnpike, the 528, 95 Express, I-4 Express, Palmetto Expressway, the Sawgrass Expressway, and many others. The complete map of included roadways can be found at www.sunpass.com.

With the savings program, drivers who have 40-79 transactions per month will receive a 20 percent discount, and drivers who rack up 80 or more transactions per month receive a 25 percent discount. Gov. DeSantis acknowledged other toll organizations and the fact that they’re independent of the Florida government and outside of his authority, but said that a deal can be made legislatively.

“This program will help frequent SunPass customers keep more money in their pockets during a time of growing inflation,” said Gov. DeSantis. “Florida families who depend on these FDOT facilities for a timely commute to work will benefit from these savings. We will, of course, seek to enact greater savings for commuters in the next legislative session.”

“The SunPass Savings program is a way for us to give back to our loyal customers and thank them for their continued support,” said FDOT Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “FDOT and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise are proud to offer this additional cost-saving benefit.”

The governor reiterated the upcoming gas tax holiday in October, but spent much of his commentary slamming President Joe Biden’s economic policy, including the most recent law canceling student loan debt for millions of Americans, which Biden announced Wednesday. DeSantis said President Biden making that a law was unconstitutional. When Florida National News asked Gov. DeSantis how it was unconstitutional, he pointed out that it needs to go through Congress. “Could the Congress pass a law that passes that on to the taxpayer? I believe they probably would have the Constitutional duty to do it–I’m not saying that’s a good idea,” he explained. “But for an executive action through fiat to sanction and to just say you’re dumping this debt on the taxpayers, that is not something that is consistent with the rule of law.”

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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