Since his appointment a few days ago, we here at Epluribusloonum have had much to say about Adrian Heath. Our words, however, have mostly been speculation, so we reached out to our friends at the Mane Land for some first-hand perspective on what it’s like to have Heath as a manager.
What was the general attitude towards Heath during his time with the club?
Mane Land: When the team wins, Adrian Heath will say he’s “delighted” for the players. When it loses, he’ll say he’s “obviously disappointed with the result.” These are almost like clockwork. However, one-on-one he can be brutally honest and very forthcoming with his answers, which is refreshing from a professional sports team’s coach. I think the vast majority of our fans enjoyed having Heath as coach. The saying “In Inchy we trust” was a popular one, as the man delivered five trophies in four years of USL play. There are still some who felt he shouldn’t have been fired when he was, having lost just one of his last MLS matches and a heartbreaking U.S. Open Cup match (which his team completely dominated but couldn’t score) in extra time. Newer fans of the club felt he never truly adapted to MLS, but I don’t personally feel that was his issue.
What is the weirdest thing Heath ever did/said? Do we have to worry about it?
Mane Land: Probably the weirdest thing he said was that Orlando was Dom Dwyer’s spiritual home. He let drop publicly that the club was interested in the Sporting Kansas City striker, and would continue pursuing him, and was on the receiving end of a fine for that. He almost made it sound like SKC was holding Dom hostage or something. I don’t think you have to worry too much. He has earned the occasional fine from MLS but he seems to have gotten better at holding his tongue to avoid those over the last year.
What three items would be essential in a “Heath is Your Manager” Survival Kit?
Mane Land: Not sure you need three items, but Orlando City fans’ three biggest concerns with Heath were that: 1) He leaves substitutions too late, 2) He plays his favorite players while perhaps leaving better options on the bench, and 3) He’s had two one-game suspensions in two MLS seasons (although one was a dumb one for simply stepping onto the pitch to retrieve a wayward second ball). The first two of those are obviously subjective. So if I were to put items to each of those, maybe herbal tea to soothe your throat after yelling about subs, ibuprofen for those headaches you’ll get when you think someone should obviously be playing ahead of someone else, and booze for those games when the assistant coach is in charge.
For an even more in-depth look at Heath’s time in Orlando, check out this post by Orlando fan Zontar.
Special thanks to Tyler Birsch for drafting the questions for this article and to Mane Land editor Michael Citro (@ManeLandMichael) for answering them.