Club legend, fan favorite, local boy. Those are some of the titles that can be given to former Orlando City forward Dennis Chin.
And that’s what made Tuesday a tough day for him, the club, and every Orlando City fan.
Chin was officially released by Orlando on Tuesday after a four year stint with the club that started after a simple open tryout in 2011. A product of Rollings College, which is based just outside of downtown Orlando, Chin made 84 appearances with the Lions of four season, scoring a total of 29 goals — he’ll leave as the club’s all-time leading goal scorer.
A member of five title-winning teams while in Orlando — 2011 regular season and postseason champions, 2012 regular season championship, 2013 postseason championship, and 2014 regular season championship — Chin was also the top scorer in USL PRO in 2012.
“It seems like a long time ago that I was watching Chinny in a practice game out in Oviedo,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “There was a guy who had put some players together for me to observe, and he wasn’t one of the ones that I was supposed to be looking at. But what caught me was his athleticism and the fact that he kept scoring and smiling. His enthusiasm was infectious, and I thought that he certainly deserved an opportunity.”
Chin made an appearance on the Carnahan Chronicles, with CJ Carnahan, on Saturday morning to talk about a variety of different things, including the end of his Orlando City career.
“This is the nature of the game.” Chin said. “Before Orlando City was going to MLS, and there were going to be some changes both in the front office and with the team, we knew that they were going to put themselves in a position where if they were going to MLS they’re going to make it so that they pick the players that they want to move forward.
“Obviously as a player that has been here four seasons it’s something you wanted to be a part of, but it’s now how we did it. It’s a different aspect of our life now moving forward; we’re going to be a part of Orlando City anymore, and some took it harder than others.”
Chin was also asked about the feelings in the locker room throughout the season with many players still fighting for MLS roster spots in 2015. He said that many players were focused on it early in the season, but most of those thoughts subsided once the year drew close to the end for Orlando City trying to clinch the league championship.
He was also asked whether or not the pressuring of making the 2015 roster became a distraction down the final stretch of the season. His response: “I’m pretty sure it was for some.”
It’s tough to say where the next chapter of Chin’s playing career will begin, but he says that his goal is to play at the highest level possible, whether it be here in American of somewhere overseas.
Talking about his ability, Chin admitted that he may not have put in as much on the field as should, or could have, and that led to Heath telling him from time to time to he could be a much better player.
“I don’t think people got a true glimpse of what I’m capable of.” said Chin.