Orlando City Soccer Club
|Full name||Orlando City Soccer Club|
|Stadium||ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Flavio Augusto da Silva
|Head Coach||Adrian Heath|
|League||USL Pro (2011-2014)|
|2013||Regular Season: 2nd
|Website||Club home page|
Orlando City Soccer Club are an American professional soccer team based in Orlando, Florida, United States. They currently play in USL Pro, the third tier of the American soccer pyramid, and have been announced as a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise for 2015.
The team was founded in 2010, and has consistently been one of the most successful lower-division teams in the United States. They will play their home games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the 2014 season, after playing at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium for three years. The team's colors are red, purple, gold and white. Their current head coach is Adrian Heath.
- 1 Ownership
- 2 History
- 3 Colors and badge
- 4 Stadium and attendance
- 5 Record
- 6 Developmental system
- 7 Club culture
- 8 Broadcasting
- 9 Players and staff
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
On February 17, 2013, it was announced that Brazilian businessman Flavio Augusto da Silva, founder of the Wise Up ESL program, had joined the ownership group of the club. Da Silva would eventually become the club's primary owner, if and when Orlando's expansion bid to Major League Soccer is successful, and Phil Rawlins would remain the club's president.
The ownership group, originally identified as Orlando Pro Soccer, was announced on March 4, 2010, and was initially affiliated with the Orlando Titans National Lacrosse League team. However, the Titans ran into financial difficulties. Steve Donner left the Titans club after the 2010 NLL season to focus on the soccer effort. In October 2010, the Orlando Pro Soccer USL rights were purchased by Phil Rawlins, a board member of English Premier League club Stoke City, who moved the Austin Aztex organization to Orlando. The team was announced on October 25, 2010. Rawlins stated at the press conference that he intends to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Orlando "within 3–5 years", and intends to bring international matches to the city as well. Rawlins announced that the Aztex organization would remain intact in Orlando, with Adrian Heath being retained as manager and most of the team's players returning as well. On January 23, 2013, Orlando City signed a two year deal to be the official USL Pro affiliate of Sporting Kansas City.
Orlando City's first preseason began with three matches against Major League Soccer teams. They also faced BK Häcken of the Swedish Allsvenskan before a series of matches against local colleges Rollins, UCF, Stetson and USF. They opened their first season on April 2, 2011, at Richmond, and played their first home game on April 9 against F.C. New York. They finished the regular season top of the American Division on 51 points, which resulted in the USL Pro Regular Season title. On September 3, they played the Harrisburg City Islanders in the 2011 USL Pro Championship. This match ended in a 1–1 draw, and after extra time the score was still tied at 2–2. Orlando went on to win 3–2 in penalty kicks making them the 2011 USL Pro champions.
In 2012, Orlando City repeated as Regular Season champions, but exited the playoffs in the semifinals with a 4–3 loss to Wilmington Hammerheads.
In their third year in USL Pro, the Lions took second place in the regular season. Their first game in the playoffs was a 5–0 win against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The semi-finals were a 3–2 win over the defending champions, the Charleston Battery. The finals was a 7–4 win over the Charlotte Eagles. This marks Orlando City's second championship in 3 years.
Major League Soccer
The team's ownership continued to work on a Major League Soccer expansion bid for several years. On November 19, 2013, they announced their bid had been accepted by MLS and were awarded an expansion franchise to begin play in the 2015 MLS season.
Colors and badge
The logo was unveiled during local morning news on Orlando TV station WOFL at 7:00am EST on December 16, 2010, and was officially launched at 10:00am with the team's website.
The club adopted the nickname "Lions" from previous uses of the nickname in Orlando, particularly the Orlando Lions. The colors are shades of red, purple and gold, and are the same colors used by Serie A club ACF Fiorentina (which is not involved with Orlando City). The colors used represent pride in city and team.
Their home kit, white shirt with red shoulders and solid white shorts, was unveiled at their inaugural home friendly, and used without a kit sponsor through the 2011 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. Their away kit consists of a red shirt with white armpits and solid red shorts. At the home kit unveiling, they also announced Orlando Health as their kit sponsor. Their kit brand is Lotto.
Stadium and attendance
- Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl; Orlando, Florida (2011–2013)
- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; Lake Buena Vista, Florida (2014)
Orlando City played their games at the 70,000 seat Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, located in Orlando, Florida. The club's 2012 season drew an average of over 6,900 fans per match, the highest average in the league. On February 15, 2013, the team announced that Fifth Third Bank had purchased naming rights for the stadium for Orlando City matches.
Highest Orlando City S.C. Attendance
- 20,886 – September 2013, USL PRO Championship match v. Charlotte Eagles
- 11,220 – 2011, USL PRO Championship match
- 11,127 – June 23, 2013, friendly against Fluminense (Brazil)
- 10,889 – July 2011, friendly against Newcastle (England)
|Season||Division||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||U.S. Open Cup||Attendance
|2011||3||USL PRO||1st Place||Champions||3rd Round||5,265||9,043|
|2012||3||USL PRO||1st Place||Semi-Finals||3rd Round||6,606||7,887|
|2013||3||USL PRO||2nd Place||Champions||Quarter-Finals||8,197||12,761|
From the advent of Orlando Pro Soccer, the team allied with the Central Florida Kraze of the USL Premier Development League to assist player development. Following their successful first season, Orlando City acquired controlling interest in the Kraze, and renamed them Orlando City U-23. The team has a legacy that includes several current and past MLS players, and won the PDL Championship in 2004.
Also after their 2011 season, Orlando City acquired controlling interest in the Florida Soccer Alliance youth soccer club, renaming them Orlando City Youth Soccer Club. That club has several teams competing in the USL Super Y-League.
The club has four major active supporters groups:
- The Ruckus is the oldest of these groups, whose basis was formed in 2009 as the "Orlando Soccer Supporters Club" without an affiliation to any particular soccer team. They occupy section 120.
- The Iron Lion Firm, which separated from The Ruckus prior to the start of City's first season. They run section 121.
- The Orlando Natural Riddim Section is a Trinidadian drum band that occupies section 109 and plays drums and other percussion instruments throughout home matches.
The team also has several smaller groups that represent themselves at home games. These include the Space Coast Alliance (which involves the father of player Dennis Chin), and The 407.
The two largest supporters groups—The Ruckus, and the Iron Lion Firm—announced on November 18, 2012, that they were beginning discussions regarding the unification of the team's supporters groups.
Orlando City aired several games locally on Bright House Sports Network with Jeff Radcliffe handling the play-by-play and Edmundo Rodriguez providing color commentary. Two regular season home games also appeared nationally on FOX Soccer Channel as part of USL Pro's broadcasting contract. All home games and many away games are broadcast online via USL Live. When BHSN also airs the match, their feed is used for the USL Live feed.
The team's weekly radio program, "OCS Live", airs on WYGM "740 the Game" every Tuesday night during the season, and is hosted by team communications director Adam Soucie.
During 2012, several matches were aired on radio on WYGM, as well as on WWFL 1340 "Onda Mexicana Radio" in Spanish.
Players and staff
As of September 15, 2013.
|1||Goalkeeper||Gallardo, MiguelMiguel Gallardo (captain)||Mexico|
|6||Midfielder||Pulis, AnthonyAnthony Pulis||Wales|
|7||Defender||Burke, BryanBryan Burke||United States|
|10||Midfielder||Mbengue, AdamaAdama Mbengue||Senegal|
|14||Defender||Boden, LukeLuke Boden||England|
|15||Forward||Chin, DennisDennis Chin||United States|
|17||Midfielder||O'Connor, JamesJames O'Connor||Ireland|
|18||Midfielder||Molino, KevinKevin Molino||Trinidad and Tobago|
|22||Defender||Valentino, RobRob Valentino||United States|
|77||Forward||Watson, JamieJamie Watson||United States|
|—||Goalkeeper||Woszczynski, CarlCarl Woszczynski||United States|
- Adrian Heath – Head Coach
- Ian Fuller – Assistant Coach
- James O'Connor – Assistant Coach (Player-Coach)
- Marcos Machado – Goalkeeper Coach
Notable former players
- See also: All-time Orlando City S.C. roster
- Jean Alexandre
- Yordany Álvarez
- Devorn Jorsling
- Dom Dwyer
- Lewis Neal
- John Rooney
- Lawrence Olum
- Matt Luzunaris
- Mechack Jérôme
- C. J. Sapong
- Yann Songo'o
- Adrian Heath (2011–present)
Other teams have played in the Orlando area in the past:
- Orlando Falcons – 2006–2007 played in Women's Premier Soccer League
- Orlando Lions – 1985–1996 played in American Soccer League and American Professional Soccer League
- Orlando Nighthawks – 1997–1999 played in USL Premier Development League (amateur)
- Orlando Prospects – 2004–2006 played in USL Premier Development League (amateur)
- Orlando Sharks – 2006–2007 played in Major Indoor Soccer League (2001–2008)
- Orlando Sundogs – 1997 played in USL First Division aka A-League
- "ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex capacity"."...the newly upgraded venue holding 5,300 fans."
- "Orlando Titans bring USL to Orlando". Usl1.uslsoccer.com. March 4, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- "MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS EXPANSION TEAM TO ORLANDO". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "GET 2014 SEASON TICKETS TODAY TO GUARANTEE SEAT IN 2015!". Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Schmitz, Brian (November 19, 2013). "MLS officially awards Orlando soccer franchise". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- "MLS awards Orlando new franchise". msn.foxsports.com. Associated Press. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Wiebe, Andrew (November 19, 2013). "Orlando City SC fans, owners see years of hard work bear fruit, but promise there's plenty more to come". mlssoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Simmons, Roger (November 19, 2013). "It's official: Orlando City Lions are joining Major League Soccer". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- "Brazilian investor to provide $80M to build MLS stadium in...". www.wftv.com. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- Schlueb, Mark and Damron, David. (February 17, 2013). New investor could bring soccer franchise, stadium. Orlando Sentinel: retrieved February 17, 2013.
- December 16, 2010 7:08 AM By: Orlando City Public Relations (December 16, 2010). "Orlando City Soccer Club: News". Orlandocitysoccer.com. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- "Lions To Play Home Games At Disney". United Soccer Leagues (USL). November 5, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- World Soccer Talk, Orlando City Breaks Record Attendance With 20,000+ Fans at USL Pro Final, 8 September 2013, http://worldsoccertalk.com/2013/09/08/orlando-city-breaks-record-attendance-with-20000-fans-at-usl-pro-final-daily-soccer-report/
- Orlando City Soccer Club, ORLANDO CITY SURPASSES 8,000 PER-GAME AVERAGE IN 2013, 20 August 2013, http://orlandocitysoccer.com/news/?article_id=1557
- "Timeline Photos". Facebook. November 19, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- "Orlando City Soccer Club: Pro News". Orlandocitysoccer.com. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- "Orlando City Soccer Club: Pro Roster". Orlandocitysoccer.com. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- Orlando City S.C. Official Website
- USL News Release from Orlando Pro Soccer announcement
- USL News Release on Orlando City S.C.