After win in D.C., Irma forces Orlando City to fly straight to Atlanta

Giles Barnes -- Hugging -- At RFK

WASHINGTON -- It's unclear exactly when Orlando City SC can return home following a 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday night.

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida and causing the closure of Orlando International Airport, the Lions had called a travel audible and were scheduled to fly to Atlanta on Sunday morning.

Jason Kreis’ group is scheduled to face Atlanta United next Saturday after beating D.C. for their first win since June. The hope is they will be able to return to Orlando sometime during the week after riding out Irma in Georgia and training at the Five Stripes’ facility to start the week.

“Atlanta’s been terrific, terrifically welcoming,” Kreis said. “They’ve already told us that we can train at their facility on Tuesday. The hope and the plan is that we’ll get out of there on Tuesday. But I think all of it depends on the severity of the storm, how it hits Orlando and also how it hits Atlanta.”

Kreis said those players who were left behind for the D.C. trip will join the team in Atlanta, with many having already made the drive on Saturday.

Should the storm force Orlando to stay in Atlanta the whole week, at least three more players would be needed to fill the 18-man roster; Seb Hines (red card), Servando Carrasco (red card) and Kaká (yellow card accumulation) will all picked up suspensions during the D.C. match that will be served during the third and final regular season tilt between the burgeoning Southeast rivals.

The Lions plans had evolved so rapidly that at least some players didn’t know about them postgame.

“It’s a crazy situation,” forward Dom Dwyer said. “We’re just hoping the best for everyone. You hope everyone is safe. And everyone’s family is safe.”

Kreis’ group already showed the ability to bounce back from adversity in their win at D.C., a result that followed a 4-0 loss at New England the week endbefore.

In between, Orlando absorbed the news of the arrest and subsequent suspension of Will Johnson on a domestic battery charge, and an interruption in training to allow players to make storm preparations.

“The challenges continue to pile up against this group,” Kreis said. “Judging by how we handled this one, I think we’ll [attack the next one] the same way.”

Kreis also insisted, despite the ability to take shelter away from the worst of Irma, that the team is heavily invested in the storm's impact.

“Obviously our hearts and minds are with all of the people in Orlando,” he said. “A lot of us still have family that are staying there to ride it out. We’ll be watching it very closely.”