It’s all in the distant future, but Deltona mayor John Masiarcyzk has grand plans for rolling out the red carpet for Union preseason training.
Since the decision by the Union to bring its preseason caravan to the tiny Florida town just north of Orlando, Masiarcyz hinted at some of the grand designs to philadelphiaunion.com.
“We really appreciate the recognition that the Union have brought to this area,” Masiarcyzk said. “There has been a buzz in this town about the team and we are honored to have this be the preseason home of a great professional franchise. We have plans in place to provide a permanent preseason home for the club for many years. These aren’t plans that are set in stone as of now, but they are being discussed.”
The biggest was perhaps Masiarcyzk’s desire to bring a multi-purpose stadium in close proximity to the I-4, the main interstate that cuts through Deltona. It would be a venue that would house various events throughout the year, but would also become the home of Union preseason matches during the Florida phase of training.
“We have a great relationship with the Union and they have been more than accommodating and helpful during their stay. It’s become something I believe our residents can rally around and look forward to.”
It’s not that Masiarcyzk and Co. have to do much. There are multiple manicured fields at Dewey O. Boster all of which are professional grade and need little introduction. A few fields along the 40-acre sprawl also have lights, giving the technical staff a chance to train the players twice a day.
And now play night matches, too. On Wednesday, the Union will host D.C. United in a scrimmage at Dewey (6 p.m.).
But what really made Deltona shine was the hospitality showed to the over 100 supporters that ventured to Orlando-Deltona and Jacksonville for our preseason fan weekend. On Sunday, the team held a coaches’ chalk talk, a chance to watch a training session all that followed a meet and greet BBQ with the entire team.
“This has been a fantastic weekend,” said Blair Thomson, a Sellersville, Pa. resident who was among the lot that took part in the festivities. “Everything has been great, the one thing I think people don’t realize his how accommodating the players and coaches are. I felt like the players and coaches were a real good bunch and I am excited to see what they bring this season. I would definitely do this trip again next year."
The BBQ meet and greet was just one aspect of a trip in which the experience for fans was uniquely Union. The club hosted multiple kids’ clinics, the last one this past Monday for the local kids in the Orlando-Deltona area. There was also one on the day of the Union’s inaugural preseason match at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
All of these events bring a smile to the face of Masiarcyzk, who hopes that with each passing season, bringing the Union to Deltona is an experience that only gets bigger, better and with ideas of putting a stadium in the town – miles bolder.
“It’s about giving the best experience to the fans and to our residents,” said Masiarcyzk. “I think the staff here at Dewey takes a lot of pride in what they do and it shows. This is a fantastic facility and I am glad the Union recognized that."
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org