Orlando City Soccer Club (2015)

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This article is about the Orlando City Soccer Club team from Major League Soccer. For the USL Pro team, see Orlando City Soccer Club (2010–14).
Orlando City SC
Orlando City 2014.svg
Full name Orlando City Soccer Club
Nickname(s) The Lions
Founded 2013
Stadium Citrus Bowl
Orlando, Florida
Ground Capacity 61,348
Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva (majority)
Phil Rawlins (minority)
Manager Adrian Heath
League Major League Soccer
Website Club home page

Orlando City SC 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.[1][2] 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.[3] 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 folded following the 2001 Major League Soccer season.[4]


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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.”[9]

On November 19, 2013, Orlando City SC was announced as the league's twenty-first franchise.[1] On May 13, 2014, the team unveiled its new logo.[10][11]

On June 9, 2014, Orlando City SC announced a partnership with Sport Lisboa e Benfica.[12] As part of that partnership, Orlando City signed two players from the S.L. Benfica Juniors U-19 developmental team to MLS contracts on August 7, 2014.[13]


Main article: Orlando City Stadium
Orlando City will play at the Citrus Bowl (pictured) in their first season, before moving to the Orlando City Stadium in 2016

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.[14] 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.[15] The mechanism to allow for the sales tax rebate for the MLS team was ultimately passed on April 25, 2014.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

Orlando City Stadium is scheduled to be completed for the 2016 season. The club will play their home matches at the Florida Citrus Bowl in 2015.


Current squad[edit]

The following players have been signed to a Major League Soccer contract to play in the 2015 season.[20][21][22]

No. Position Player Nation
2 Defender Turner, TylerTyler Turner (HGP)     United States
4 Defender Redding, TommyTommy Redding (HGP)     United States
5 Defender Ramos, RafaelRafael Ramos      Portugal
8 Midfielder Mbengue, AdamaAdama Mbengue      Senegal
12 Midfielder Heath, HarrisonHarrison Heath      England
14 Defender Boden, LukeLuke Boden      England
17 Midfielder Cerén, DarwinDarwin Cerén      El Salvador
18 Midfielder Molino, KevinKevin Molino      Trinidad and Tobago
24 Midfielder Estrela, Estrela      Angola

Out on Loan[edit]

No. Position Player Nation
10 Midfielder Kaká, Kaká (DP; on loan to São Paulo)     Brazil

Coaching staff[edit]


Board of Directors[edit]

  • Brazil Flavio Augusto da Silva - Chairman
  • England Phil Rawlins - President
  • Brazil Alex Leitão
  • England John Bonner
  • United States Brett Lashbrook - Chief Operating Officer


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Major League Soccer names Orlando City SC as 21st franchise, set for 2015 debut". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Orange County Approves Funding for Orlando Soccer Stadium". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "It’s official: Next MLS expansion city is Orlando!". NBCsports.com. November 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS EXPANSION TEAM TO ORLANDO". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Borg, Simon (October 25, 2010). "Investors targeting MLS club for Orlando". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ Wiebe, Andrew (November 10, 2011). "Garber: League still focused on expansion team in NYC". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Orlando City put MLS ambitions on show for Commissioner". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. March 1, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Orlando City Lions may score MLS dream with stadium - Orlando Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ Tenorio, Paul. "Orlando City Soccer Club reveals new MLS logo". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Paint it purple: Orlando City SC roll out streamlined new crest as MLS debut approaches". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "BENFICA AND ORLANDO CITY SC ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC COOPERATION AGREEMENT". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.orlandocitysc.com/news/pronews/?article_id=1989
  14. ^ "Dyer opens up about land purchase for new MLS stadium". wftv.com. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Orlando City determined to join MLS despite legislation impasse in Florida House". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. May 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/blogs/political-pulse/os-house-passes-stadiumsubsidy-bill-which-would-aid-orlando-miami-mls-dreams-20140425,0,4613904.post
  17. ^ Kennedy, Paul (August 9, 2013). "Mayors line up behind Orlando stadium deal 08/09/2013". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  18. ^ "MLS expansion team likely heading Atlanta's way". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 Sep 2013. 
  19. ^ "'We are going MLS!' Pro soccer stadium is coming to Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "MLS Roster". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Club FAQ". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Orlando Sentinel". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  23. ^ http://orlandocitysc.com/club/coaching/
  24. ^ http://www.orlandocitysc.com/news/?article_id=2040
  25. ^ http://orlandocitysc.com/club/board_of_directors/

External links[edit]