ORLANDO, Fla. – Adrian Heath has apologized to Sporting Kansas City for his comments earlier this week that striker Dom Dwyer “wants to be in Orlando.”
The Orlando City SC head coach had angered his Sporting counterpart Peter Vermes over the off-the-cuff remarks on his weekly radio show, in which he said: “There’s no secret that Dom wants to be here. We’ve tried to get him here. We’ve done everything we can.
“Unfortunately, we can’t do it yet, but we will keep trying. I think this is his spiritual home. He wants to come back, we’d love to have him, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Vermes had responded, insisting Heath’s remarks were “uncalled for,” adding, “I think it’s unfortunate that it comes out publicly like that, because what it could do – and it hasn’t, which is great – but what it could do within a team is disrupt it. And I think that’s the unprofessional aspect of it that I don’t appreciate.”
Dwyer played part of 2013 on loan to Orlando – then playing in the USL – and helped the Lions to their second title in the championship game that year. But the Sporting hit man also fired home a team-record 22 goals for Kansas City last term and signed a contract extension in the offseason.
Heath addressed the issue head on after training on Friday, and made it clear he misspoke in his radio comments.
“I will be reaching out to Peter today,” he insisted. “There was no disrespect intended but, looking back, I can see how the comments could be misconstrued. I am certainly not trying to antagonize him.
“If I have offended anybody, I will apologize. I was just trying to answer a question as honestly as possible and I’m sorry if the comments came out badly. It is certainly not what we are about here at Orlando.”
Ironically, the two clubs have had a close relationship in the past, with Orlando becoming the official USL affiliate of Sporting for two years in 2013 and 2014.
Dwyer was one of the first players to benefit. He was unable to break into Vermes’ starting lineup in 2013, but quickly caught the eye with his goal-scoring exploits for the Lions, bagging 15 goals in just 13 games.
Kansas City also sent a trio of other youngsters for playing time in Orlando in 2013: goalkeeper Jon Kempin, defender Yann Songo’o and midfielder Christian Duke. Vermes granted special permission for Dwyer to return to Orlando for the USL championship game, in which the livewire striker scored a record four times.