Orlando City SC and head coach Adrian Heath agree to part ways

The Adrian Heath era has come to an end for Orlando City, the club announced via press release on Wednesday night.

OCSC and the manager, who'd guided the team from USL into MLS, "amicably" parted ways according to the announcement. Assistant Mark Watson also left the club by mutual agreement, with current assistant Bobby Murphy and Orlando City B head coach Anthony Pulis given the reins while the search for a permanent replacement begins.

“It is always a very difficult decision to part ways with a head coach and not one that the board of directors has taken lightly. It is even more difficult when that coach has been instrumental in the growth of the club since its inception over eight years ago," said Orlando City founder & president Phil Rawlins in the release. "Adrian has served this club with passion and enthusiasm. While our successes together are undoubtable, we believe the renewed energy this change will bring will be uplifting for the team. We feel that the time has come for us to move on with our future in MLS. We continue to remain very excited about the growth of our club.”

“This is a very difficult moment, but I fully support the decision made by the Board," club majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva added. "I want to thank Adrian for the commitment and hard work he has given our team over the years and wish him success in his career."

Orlando City currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference on 20 points, just out of the playoff race on a tiebreaker. That's where they finished last season as well, missing out on the postseason by five points despite making a late run.

Heath is the only manager in club history, having helped guide the team from Austin to Orlando back in 2011, and then from USL up to MLS ahead of the 2015 MLS expansion season. Under his stewardship OCSC won two USL championships and three USL regular season crowns.

The Lions host the Houston Dynamo on national TV Friday night (8 pm ET; UniMás in USA; MLS LIVE in Canada).