Orlando City SC
|Full name||Orlando City Soccer Club|
|Founded||November 19, 2013|
|Owner||Flavio Augusto da Silva (majority)
Phil Rawlins (minority)
|League||Major League Soccer|
|Website||Club home page|
Orlando City Soccer Club is an upcoming American professional soccer team based in Orlando, Florida that will compete in Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC was announced as the league's twenty-first franchise on November 19, 2013. The team's expansion rights were purchased by Brazilian businessman Flavio Augusto da Silva and Phil Rawlins, owners of the USL Pro Orlando City Soccer Club. The club intends to begin playing in the 2015 MLS season alongside the twentieth franchise New York City FC. Orlando City SC will be the first MLS franchise located in the state of Florida since the Miami Fusion F.C. and Tampa Bay Mutiny were folded by the MLS following the 2001 Major League Soccer season.
On October 25, 2010, Phil Rawlins and his investor group of Orlando City Soccer Club, announced their intentions of joining Major League Soccer within the next 3 to 5 years. On February 28, 2011, Orlando City announced it met with commissioner Don Garber and league officials concerning expansion. Topics covered included the demographics of the Orlando marketplace, the local corporate and fan support for soccer, and developing a roadmap for a future MLS franchise in Orlando. Orlando City team officials met with Commissioner Don Garber again on November 10, 2011 for further discussions about joining the MLS as its 20th club - which ultimately went to New York City - in 2013.
On March 1, 2012. Garber visited Orlando to meet with city and county officials. He stated, "It's not a matter of if, but when," when addressing Orlando's chances of joining MLS. On August 31, 2012, Rawlins told the Orlando Business Journal the team could get the Major League Soccer approval as early as fall 2013, and be ready to play in the league by 2014 or 2015. Rawlins said to make that happen, the league had asked the team to explore building a 22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium. "They didn't say we had to have a stadium built before we could join, but they at least would like a plan that it's happening."
On November 19, 2013, Orlando City SC was announced as the league's twenty-first franchise. On May 13, 2014, the team unveiled its new logo. On June 9, 2014, Orlando City SC announced a partnership with Benfica. As part of that partnership, Orlando City signed two players from the S.L. Benfica Juniors U-19 developmental team - Estrela and Rafael Ramos - to MLS contracts on August 7, 2014.
In April 2013, the City of Orlando purchased downtown land for $8.2 million to be used towards the construction of a $110 million MLS soccer stadium. However, in May, the Florida House of Representatives failed to vote on a bill that had passed the Senate that would have provided up to $30 million in state funds towards the stadium project. Rawlins responded by expressing his intent to find alternative funding and keep seeking MLS expansion. The mechanism to allow for the sales tax rebate for the MLS team was ultimately passed on April 25, 2014.
The Orlando downtown soccer stadium moved closer to securing funding on August 8, 2013, when Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reached an agreement on a deal to provide financial support for a variety of Orlando projects including the new MLS soccer stadium. The last piece in stadium funding was an October 2013 vote on using an existing tourism tax to fund the final quarter of the $80 million stadium project. On October 22, 2013, the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 5-2 to approve the use of $20 million in tourist development tax funds to build an $84 million multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando.
MLS is no longer running a reserve league but supporting affiliations with USL teams. Orlando City has an affiliation agreement with Louisville City FC, the club that bought the USL license from the owners of Orlando City. The agreement provides that Orlando City will loan at least four (4) players to Louisville City during the season.
In the first year 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 two 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. Another group, The 407, was merged into the Iron Lion Firm prior to the start of the 2014 season.
On January 26, 2015, the two groups announced they would combine forces on gamedays to create "The Wall."
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of February 27, 2015.
- Adrian Heath – Head coach
- Ian Fuller - Assistant coach
- Mark Watson - Assistant coach
- Marcos Machado - Goalkeeping coach
- Paul Shaw - U18 head coach and academy director
- Anthony Pulis – Academy coach
Board of directors
- Flavio Augusto da Silva - Owner and chairman
- Phil Rawlins - Owner and president
- John Bonner - Owner
- Alex Leitão - Board member
- Brett Lashbrook - Chief operating officer
|Year||MLS Regular season||Position||MLS Cup
- Includes MLS regular Season, MLS Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- Ties count as half a win for win percentage.
- As of January 2015
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- "Orange County Approves Funding for Orlando Soccer Stadium". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
- "It's official: Next MLS expansion city is Orlando!". NBCsports.com. November 19, 2013.
- "MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS EXPANSION TEAM TO ORLANDO". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
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- "Orlando City Meets with Major League Soccer to Discuss Expansion Plans – OurSports Central – Independent and Minor League Sports News". OurSports Central. February 28, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- Wiebe, Andrew (November 10, 2011). "Garber: League still focused on expansion team in NYC". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
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- "Orlando City Lions may score MLS dream with stadium - Orlando Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- Tenorio, Paul. "Orlando City Soccer Club reveals new MLS logo". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
- "Paint it purple: Orlando City SC roll out streamlined new crest as MLS debut approaches". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
- "BENFICA AND ORLANDO CITY SC ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC COOPERATION AGREEMENT". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Orlando City SC Extends Head Coach Adrian Heath's Contract Through 2017". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "Dyer opens up about land purchase for new MLS stadium". wftv.com. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
- "Orlando City determined to join MLS despite legislation impasse in Florida House". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. May 6, 2013.
- Orlando Sentinel (April 25, 2014). "House passes stadium-subsidy bill which would aid Orlando, Miami MLS dreams". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Kennedy, Paul (August 9, 2013). "Mayors line up behind Orlando stadium deal 08/09/2013". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
- "MLS expansion team likely heading Atlanta's way". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- "'We are going MLS!' Pro soccer stadium is coming to Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- [-http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/01/23/mls-usl-pro-reach-deal-restructured-reserve-league "MLS, USL Pro reach deal on restructured Reserve League"]. MLSsoccer.com. January 23, 2013.
- "Orlando City's USL PRO franchise to move to Louisville in 2015; will become MLS team's affiliate". MLSsoccer.com. June 4, 2014.
- "Orlando City SC Official Roster". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Coaching Staff". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "News". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "A Conversation With U-18 Head Coach Paul Shaw". The Mane Land. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
- "Board of Directors". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014.