ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando City SC (7-2-4, 25 points) battled to a 2-1 victory over Western Conference side Sporting Kansas City (6-5-2, 20 points) on Wednesday night at Children’s Mercy Park. With the win, the Lions extended their unbeaten run to seven-consecutive matches, passing the previous Club-record of six set in 2018.
Tesho Akindele and Benji Michel found the back of the net for the Lions in the match, just two minutes apart from one another in the 36th and 38th minutes, respectively. Akindele’s finish served as his second of the MLS regular season, while Benji Michel netted his fourth goal in the Lions’ last five matches in the contest.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“We’re very proud of the three points. The reason for the happiness that we have is that I think tonight we beat one of the best teams in the West. We know how hard it is to come here and beat Kansas [City] and get points. The first half just gave us a lot of optimism about winning the points and the game. Second half, Kansas City came out strong and I think it’s one of the things that we like the most. The effort that we had in order to have that presence in these last games…[the players] deserve it and I’m very happy for them.”
36’ Tesho Akindele (Ruan) – ORL 1, KC 0
The Lions took the lead with Ruan slotting a through ball in behind the Kansas City defense to the feet of a running Tesho Akindele, who took the angle and hit it first time into the near post for the finish.
38’ Benji Michel (Nani) – ORL 2, KC 0
City doubled its advantage just two minutes later, this time with Nani lofting a ball in behind for Benji Michel, who beat the offside trap and took a pair of touches before poking it into the back of the net.
53’ Johnny Russell (Gerso) – ORL 2, KC 1
Kansas City halved the deficit shortly after the halftime break, with Gerso whipping in a cross to the far post that found the head of Johnny Russell for the finish.
- With the win, the Lions set a Club record at seven-consecutive matches unbeaten, surpassing the previous mark of six set from March 31 to May 6 of the 2018 season.
- Tesho Akindele scored his second goal of the regular season and his third across all competitions in the match.
- Benji Michel net his fourth finish for the Lions in the 38th minute, all of which have come in City’s last five games.
- Nani recorded his fourth assist of the year in the match and his 14th since joining the Club prior to the 2019 season, tying former Lion Yoshi Yotún for third in Club history.
- Ruan recorded his second assist of the season.
- Robin Jansson registered his 40th appearance for City, while Benji Michel tallied his 30th for the Club.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made five changes to his starting lineup from the Lions’ last match with Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Benji Michel, Andrés Perea and Tesho Akindele appearing in his XI on Wednesday.
|Sporting Kansas City||0||1||1|
|Orlando City SC||2||0||2|
ORL – Tesho Akindele (Ruan) 36’
ORL – Benji Michel (Nani) 38’
KC – Johnny Russell (Gerso) 53’Misconduct Summary:
ORL – Rodrigo Schlegel (Yellow Card) 9’
KC – Matt Besler (Yellow Card) 24’
KC – Khiry Shelton (Yellow Card) 51’
ORL – Mauricio Pereyra (Yellow Card) 77’
ORL – Andrés Perea (Yellow Card) 78’
KC – Gadi Kinda (Yellow Card) 85’Lineups/Substitutions:Orlando City SC – GK Pedro Gallese; D Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Ruan; M Benji Michel (Chris Mueller 71’), Sebastián Méndez (Mauricio Pereyra 63’), Júnior Urso, Andrés Perea; F Tesho Akindele (Daryl Dike 71’), Nani © (Alex De John 79’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Brian Rowe; D Kamal Miller; M Jordan Bender, Joey DeZart, Robinho
Sporting Kansas City – GK Tim Melia; D Amadou Dia, Matt Besler © (Winston Reid 46’), Roberto Puncec, Graham Zusi; M Felipe Hernandez (Alan Pulido 65’), Ilie Sánchez, Gadi Kinda; F Gerso (Erik Hurtado 88’), Khiry Shelton, Johnny Russell
Substitutes Not Used: GK John Pulskamp; D Andreu Fontàs, Graham Smith, Jaylin Lindsey; M Cameron Duke, Wan Kuzian
Brooks Koepka wins LIV Golf 2023 Orlando Tournament
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN Sports) – Brooks Koepka (-15) holds off Sebastian Muñoz (-14) to win the LIV Golf Tournament at Orange County National, the first time the new league came to Florida. This was the third event of the 2023 season. There will be ten more individual matches around the world before the 14th of the season, which will be a team competition.
LIV Golf, which bills itself as “Golf, but louder,” features several differences when compared to the traditions of the PGA. Golfers compete not only individually, but also as members of twelve teams of four. Teams are ranked after each event based on their top three scores. Those rankings will come into play for week fourteen of the season to determine seedings. In addition, if a golfer isn’t pulling his weight, he may be replaced as the season goes on. There could also be other roster changes, just like in other team sports.
In addition, LIV Golf events feature all sorts of interactive experiences at their Fan Village, where fans can compete in putting, chipping, and driving. Younger fans can watch shows at the kids zone, or can get temporary tattoos or face painting. Loud music blares before and after the tournament play, and there are plenty of food and beverage options for all. The tournament begins with a shotgun start around 1:00 p.m., and the action ends just over four hours later, unlike the PGA, where staggered tee times and more players means a longer day of golf. Also, LIV Golf events feature only three days and 54 holes (Roman numeral “LIV”) of action, compared to the PGA’s four days and 72 holes.
The PGA has already responded to LIV Golf, announcing that next year, there will be fewer golfers allowed to compete in designated events (about 70 players compared to the current 120), but that will mean higher payouts to the PGA golfers. LIV Golf has attracted many high profile golfers by guaranteeing minimum payouts to join the upstart league.
The next LIV Golf event will take place April 21-23 in Adelaide, Australia. Meanwhile, The PGA’s Masters Tournament tees off April 6-9 in Augusta, Georgia. Stay tuned to Florida National News for more.
Magic Beat Raptors for Second Win in a Row
ORLANDO, Fla. (Florida National News) – The Orlando Magic (7-20) continued their winning ways against the Toronto Raptors (13-13), defeating them 113-109 , just two days after a come-from-behind overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. This two game winning streak puts an end to the Magic’s previous nine game losing streak.
The Magic started strong, taking a 37-25 lead into the second quarter, led by 10 first quarter points from Franz Wagner. But the Raptors caught up to the Magic midway through the second quarter led by Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. But at halftime, the Magic held a slight lead, 67-63.
The Magic extended their lead to 94-87 with remarkably impressive scoring from Franz Wagner who added 14 points in the third quarter alone. In the fourth quarter, the Raptors tied it up 108-108 with about two minutes remaining after two free throws by OG Anunoby. Paolo Banchero made one of two subsequent free throws, and Moe Wagner drew the charge from Gary Trent Jr. to negate his two point basket. Fred Van Vleet later added a free throw to tie the game at 109-109. A Franz Wagner tip layup put the Magic up 111-109. A missed shot by Fred Van Vleet sealed the Raptors loss. Banchero’s two free throws put the Magic ahead 113-109 at the end of the game.
Franz Wagner led the scoring for the Magic with 34 points, while Paolo Banchero scored 23. Mo Bamba finished with 13 rebounds. Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz ended with 5 assists.
Several Magic players remain injured and were unable to play, including Wendell Carter Jr. (plantar fascia strain), Gary Harris (strained right hamstring), Chuma Okeke (left knee soreness), Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness) and Jonathan Isaac (left knee recovery). Isaac has started his rehab program, playing in full contact 5 on 5 practice games with the Lakeland G League affiliate, and hopes to return to the court soon for Orlando.
The Magic face the Raptors at Amway once again on Sunday, 12/11 at 6:00 p.m. Be sure to follow www.FloridaSportsChannel.com and www.FloridaNationalNews.com for more.
Gaetz friend gets 11 years for sex crime, other counts
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a federal probe into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor and other crimes.
Joel Greenberg, former tax collector for Seminole County, had pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, also including identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official. Prosecutors said he paid at least one girl to have sex with him and other men.
“Nothing justifies my actions. My conduct is so shameful. I feel remorse for what I’ve done,” Greenberg said in court Thursday.
Greenberg’s attorney had asked U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell for leniency, saying that his client had assisted in investigations of 24 people, including eight for sex crimes. Defense attorney Fritz Scheller said that Greenberg’s cooperation has led to four federal indictments, and that he believed additional ones were expected in the coming month.
Greenberg’s cooperation could play a role in an investigation into his friend Gaetz over whether he paid a 17-year-old girl for sex. Gaetz has denied the allegations and previously said they were part of an extortion plot. No charges have been brought against the Republican congressman, who represents a large part of the Florida Panhandle.
Federal prosecutors had asked for a significant reduction in Greenberg’s prison sentence, agreeing during a court hearing on Wednesday to a reduced range of nine years and three months to 11 years. Presnell ended up imposing the upper limit of that range.
The minor in the sex crimes case was almost an adult and had advertised as being over age 18 in her escort profile on the website “Seeking Arrangements,” which facilitates “sugar daddy” relationships, Scheller wrote in court papers.
The defense attorney also said that Greenberg “has provided significant substantial assistance to the government in the areas of public corruption, election fraud, wire fraud, and sex trafficking.”
Scheller also had asked the judge to take into consideration Greenberg’s struggles with mental illness, starting with an attention deficit disorder diagnosis at age 7 and panic attacks, depressive and anxiety disorders as an adult. At the time he committed the crimes, he had bipolar disorder with symptoms of mania, which affected his judgment and impulse control, Scheller said.
Greenberg has been linked to other Florida politicians and their associates. So far, none has been implicated in the sex trafficking investigation.
Some documents related to Greenberg’s cooperation were filed under seal and out of the public eye, with prosecutors and the defense attorney saying they were part of ongoing investigations being conducted by federal authorities in Florida and Washington, as well as state investigators.