Story of a... Professional ‘Footballer’

For Englishman Anthony Pulis, 27, Orlando is a land of opportunity and cheerful people.



Norma Lopez Molina

“The crowds in England are very passionate, because in England their favorite sport is football, though here you call it soccer. But here you’ve got your NFL and your basketball, your baseball, your ice hockey, and then probably soccer.… So it’s a bit different here.”

The son of a soccer club manager, Pulis grew up in England and began playing professionally at age 19. He played midfielder for 11 British teams, including some coached by his father. Pulis signed with the nascent Orlando City Soccer Club this year with hopes that the team, which plays in a developmental league, will join Major League Soccer as an expansion franchise.  

“It’s a big wide world, isn’t it? I’ve never lived in a different country, and I fancied a challenge and the experience of living in Orlando. I just thought, ‘Well, I may never get this chance again abroad.’ So here I am.”

“What I’ve noticed since I’ve been here is that soccer is getting bigger. We’ve been training a couple of times late in the evening and when we’ve been leaving [the field] the amount of kids that have been there has been ridiculous. And there were girls as well. I didn’t realize how big girls soccer is over here. So there’s a market for soccer and hopefully, fingers crossed, we can get to the MLS.”

Naturally, he doesn’t share a common American view that soccer is boring. “Soccer is a really quick game with a lot of action and a lot of goal-scoring opportunities. It’s really fast, intense.… A really great game.”

Orlando City plays home games at the Citrus Bowl, with its regular season running from April through August. Pulis isn’t accustomed to playing in front of sparse crowds and in intense heat, as he did during preseason matches in February.

“Because of the heat, after 30 minutes of our first match I was tired. Everyone’s saying wait until we get to the summer with the humidity. It’s going be tough.”  

During the season, Pulis lives and eats on the club’s dime. However, when the season ends, he’ll have to fend for himself. He expects to find a job as a coach with Orlando City’s youth soccer program.

Pulis can’t get over the difference between the locals and folks back home: “Everyone seems to be so happy. I just went into a Publix last night to get some food and the woman at the checkout and the lady with the bags, everyone was just so happy. Back home, you go into a supermarket and there’s just frowns on all of the faces. It must have to do with the sun.”

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Vacation Planner

Your next getaway is only a click away. Search our database for a great vacation experience.

2016 Premier Veterinarians

2016 Pet Resource Guide

Check out our searchable 2016 list of some of the best pet resources in the Orlando area.

Premier Realtors

Check out our 2016 searchable database of Orlando's premier realtors.

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2016

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2016

Our annual list featuring 224 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2016

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

'Orlando' Magazine Wins 8 Awards for Excellence

Recognition from Florida Magazine Association includes honors for design, writing, photography.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando Sep 23 to 25

Find the best events in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Messages of Peace

Offerings at the Global Peace Film Festival include a documentary about the Pulse nightclub tragedy.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando Sep 16 to 18

Find the best events in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Q&A: Zanna Roberts Rassi

“Marie Claire’s’’ senior fashion editor will host this weekend’s benefit during The Mall at Millenia's Fashion Week.
Edit Module