Homegown Halliday's big opportunity with Orlando City SC
ORLANDO, Fla. - There are still some moments where Orlando City's homegrown fullback Michael Halliday can't believe how far his career has come.
"As a kid growing up and then going to the games at the stadium and stuff, I didn't really imagine myself there because it's like such a big stage, and it seems crazy," said Halliday. "But as you get older and older you start believing in yourself."
That belief started early. The Orlando native Halliday grew up playing multiple sports but focused on Soccer. He came up through the Lions Academy program. And the sacrifices he made then are worth it now.
"You don't fit the normal schedule of kids, you don't get to do what most kids get to do," said Halliday. "But if you're determined, and you really want this then it's for you."
Halliday has played in four MLS matches for the Lions so far this season, starting three of them. He's also spent time playing for the Under 20 U.S. Men's National Team. He's playing an important role for the Lions this season.
"He's a player who came from our program, our academy, our community," said Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja. "And we are proud of that. And his evolution is constant. So Michael's energy and that willingness to get better, it just makes a good case all the time, and he's, you know, in our plans all the time and I think his growth has been very good."
And what's all this like for his family who get to watch him play for his home team?
"It's definitely crazy for them, because we all have always gone to the games, so now going to actually watch me play, it's probably surreal for them," said Halliday.
Getting to play games inside Exploria Stadium with the Lions' first team in front of friends and family, it's something that Halliday definitely always thought about. But it may not be his ultimate goal.
"Definitely further, definitely want to progress my career and go over to Europe like most kids' dreams of course," said Halliday. "But this is definitely a good first step in that."