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Orlando City SC

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Orlando City
Orlando City 2014.svg
Full name Orlando City Soccer Club
Nickname(s) The Lions[1]
Founded November 19, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-11-19)
Stadium Orlando City Stadium
Orlando, Florida
Ground Capacity 25,500
Owner Flávio Augusto da Silva (majority)
Phil Rawlins (minority)
Head coach Jason Kreis
League Major League Soccer
2016 Eastern Conference: 8th
Overall: 15th
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Website Club home page
Current season
Active teams of Orlando City SC
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg

Orlando City SC is an American professional soccer club based in Orlando, Florida that competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC began play in 2015 as an expansion team of the league.[2][3][4] The team is the first MLS franchise located in the state of Florida since the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were folded by the league following the 2001 season.[5]


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 three to five years.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Brazilian World Cup-winner Kaká was the team's first Designated Player.

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.[9] On August 31, 2012, Rawlins told the Orlando Business Journal the team could get the Major League Soccer approval as early as late 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."[10]

On November 19, 2013, Orlando City SC was announced as the league's twenty-first franchise.[2] On May 13, 2014, the team unveiled its new logo.[11][12] On June 9, 2014, Orlando City SC announced a partnership with Benfica.[13] 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.[14] On June 30, 2014 the team signed former Brazil international Kaká as their first Designated Player after his release from AC Milan, loaning him out to São Paulo FC until the start of the season.[15][16]

On November 21, 2014, Adrian Heath signed a contract extension committing him to the club through to the end of the 2017 MLS season.[17] As an expansion team, Orlando had first pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, choosing Canadian forward Cyle Larin, formerly of the Connecticut Huskies.[18]

Inaugural season[edit]

Brek Shea playing against the Houston Dynamo in a game during the 2015 season

The team hosted their first MLS game at the Citrus Bowl on March 8, 2015, against fellow expansion team New York City FC, in front of a crowd of 62,510. Kaká scored the club's first goal in extra time to earn a 1–1 draw.[19] In the following game, they defeated Houston Dynamo 1–0, on the road, marking their first victory.[20] On March 21, Orlando conceded a goal late in second half stoppage time by Octavio Rivero of Vancouver Whitecaps FC for their first defeat.[21]

Orlando City finished 7th in the Eastern Conference, 14th overall falling short from clinching a birth into the MLS Cup Playoffs. Larin scored 17 goals across the season, breaking Damani Ralph's record of 13 for an MLS rookie and earning the MLS Rookie of the Year Award.[22]


Camping World Stadium (pictured), Orlando City's home venue for their first two seasons, before moving to the Orlando City Stadium in 2017.

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.[23] 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.[24] The mechanism to allow for the sales tax rebate for the MLS team was ultimately passed on April 25, 2014.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

On May 29, 2015, after two years trying to get funding from the state of Florida, Augusto da Silva announced that the stadium would be built with 100% private funds and would be owned and operated by the club. He also announced the capacity would be increased to between 25,000 and 28,000 and that the club would buy the initial location from the city of Orlando.[29]

Camping World Stadium[edit]

Orlando City Soccer Stadium
The new Orlando City Soccer Stadium

Prior to the completion of Orlando City's soccer specific stadium, the Lions had occupied the then named Citrus Bowl for their first two seasons in Major League soccer, which the team had also invested in for renovations. In their first home match in their inaugural season, Orlando filled the stadium to its seating capacity in their "fill the bowl" campaign. Orlando City had averaged over 30,000 in attendance in their home matches while using the stadium.[30]

Developmental system[edit]

MLS is no longer running a reserve league but supporting affiliations with USL teams.[31] Orlando City had an affiliation agreement with Louisville City FC, the club that bought the USL license from the owners of Orlando City. The agreement provided that Orlando City will loan at least four players to Louisville City during the season.[32] Starting in 2016, Orlando City will no longer affiliate with Louisville City FC and will instead affiliate with USL expansion franchise Orlando City B in Melbourne, Florida.[33]

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. The U23 team was folded after the 2015 season. 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.

Orlando City B (OCB) is the farm club of Orlando City SC. The creation of OCB was announced on October 15, 2015,[34] and it began competing in the USL in 2016.[35] On June 30, Orlando City SC had ended its affiliation with Louisville City FC and sought ownership of an Orlando-based USL affiliate, culminating in the creation of Orlando City B.[36][37] [38]

After playing the 2016 season at Titan Soccer Complex on the campus of Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Orlando City B head coach Anthony Pulis announced on November 29, 2016 that the team would play at Orlando City Stadium starting in 2017. Orlando City Stadium is the first venue to host an MLS, NWSL, and USL team in the same location.[39] The team plays in USL Pro division, which was granted provisional Division 2 status by the USSF on January 6, making it officially the 2nd-highest league in the United States, behind MLS and now ahead of the NASL. Orlando City B now plays in the same league the Lions started at when beginning play in Orlando.[40]With the Tampa Bay Rowdies also making the move from NASL to USL Pro, the squads now have the first intrastate rivalry established, nicknamed "The War on I-4."[41]

Colors and badge[edit]

Orlando City SC's official colors are purple, gold, and white.

Uniform evolution[edit]

Home, away, and third uniforms.

  • Home

  • Away


Season Manufacturer Sponsor Ref.
2015– Adidas Orlando Health [42]

Orlando Health has been the official uniform sponsor for Orlando City SC since the team's inception. In 2013, Orlando Health extended its partnership with the club, becoming the first jersey partner in MLS history to commit to an expansion club prior to its admittance to the league. Adidas also signed on as the club's uniform provider for the 2015 season.[42]


The club had sold over 13,000 season tickets before playing its first match in March 2015,[43] and during March 2015 reached its cap by selling out all 14,000 available season tickets.[44]

The club has two major active supporters groups, which will combine forces on game days to create "The Wall": The Ruckus and The Iron Lion Firm.[citation needed] The Ruckus is the oldest of these groups founded in 2010, whose basis was formed in 2009 as the "Orlando Soccer Supporters Club" without an affiliation to any particular soccer team.[citation needed] The Iron Lion Firm separated from The Ruckus prior to the start of City's first season.[citation needed] There are also officially recognized international fan clubs in Brazil and United Kingdom.[45]

On March 3, 2015, the team announced all 60,000 available seats in the Citrus Bowl were sold out for the team's home opener versus New York City FC,[46] and also announced they were close to selling out the second home game versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.[47] On April 21, 2015 the club announced it had reached its goal of 14,000 Season Ticket Members and was starting a waiting list moving forward.[citation needed] Orlando City averaged 32,847 fans in its first season,[citation needed] ranking second in MLS behind Seattle Sounders FC.[citation needed]


Orlando City's official mascot is Kingston, an anthropomorphized and "bulked up" lion complete with dreadlocks.[48]


Current roster[edit]

As of May 4, 2017 [49]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Bendik, JoeJoe Bendik  United States
2 Defender Spector, JonathanJonathan Spector  United States
3 Defender Hines, SebSeb Hines  England
4 Defender Aja, JoséJosé Aja  Uruguay
5 Midfielder Carrasco, ServandoServando Carrasco  United States
6 Midfielder Laryea, RichieRichie Laryea (GA)  Canada
7 Midfielder Higuita, CristianCristian Higuita  Colombia
8 Midfielder Johnson, WillWill Johnson  Canada
9 Forward Larin, CyleCyle Larin  Canada
10 Midfielder Kaká, Kaká (DP)  Brazil
11 Forward Rivas, CarlosCarlos Rivas (DP)  Colombia
12 Defender Alston, KevinKevin Alston  United States
13 Forward Barry, HadjiHadji Barry  Guinea
14 Forward Barnes, GilesGiles Barnes (DP)  Jamaica
16 Midfielder Rocha, TonyTony Rocha  United States
17 Midfielder Gil, LuisLuis Gil (on loan from Querétaro[50])  United States
19 Forward Sane, MoussaMoussa Sane (on loan from AS Dakar Sacré-Cœur[51])  Senegal
21 Defender Sutter, ScottScott Sutter   Switzerland
22 Defender Donovan, ConorConor Donovan (GA)  United States
23 Midfielder Nocerino, AntonioAntonio Nocerino  Italy
25 Defender Toia, DonnyDonny Toia  United States
27 Defender Ramos, RafaelRafael Ramos  Portugal
28 Goalkeeper Saunders, JoshJosh Saunders  Puerto Rico
29 Defender Redding, TommyTommy Redding (HGP)  United States
31 Goalkeeper Stajduhar, MasonMason Stajduhar (HGP)  United States
32 Midfielder Pérez García, MatíasMatías Pérez García  Argentina
36 Goalkeeper Edwards, Jr., EarlEarl Edwards, Jr.  United States
94 Defender , PCPC  Brazil
95 Defender Pereira, LéoLéo Pereira (on loan from Atlético Paranaense)  Brazil
98 Midfielder da Silva, PierrePierre da Silva  United States

Out on loan[edit]

No. Position Player Nation
Defender García, DevronDevron García (on loan to Real España[52])  Honduras


Majority owner and chairman Flávio Augusto da Silva
Minor owner and president Phil Rawlins
Owner John Bonner
Chief executive officer Alex Leitão
General manager Niki Budalić
Coaching staff
Head coach Jason Kreis
Assistant coach C.J. Brown
Assistant coach Miles Joseph
Assistant coach/Academy coordinator Bobby Murphy
Goalkeeping coach Tim Mulqueen
Orlando City B coach Anthony Pulis


Team records[edit]

Year MLS Regular season Position MLS Cup
Open cup Champions
Top scorer
P W L D GF GA Pts Conf. Overall Player Goals
2015 34 12 14 8 46 56 44 7th 14th DNQ QF DNQ Canada Cyle Larin 17
2016 34 9 11 14 55 60 41 8th 15th DNQ R16 DNQ Canada Cyle Larin 14

Head coaches[edit]

  • Includes MLS regular Season, MLS Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
As of June 25, 2017
All Time Orlando City SC Coaching Stats
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Tie Win %
Adrian Heath  ENG November 21, 2014 July 6, 2016 55 19 20 16 34.55
Bobby Murphy (interim)  USA July 7, 2016 July 23, 2016 4 0 1 3 00.00
Jason Kreis  USA July 19, 2016 present 33 12 11 10 36.36

Player records[edit]

All-time appearances[edit]

As of June 22, 2017 [58]
# Name Career MLS Playoffs Open Cup CCL Total
1 Canada Cyle Larin 2015– 75 0 2 0 77
2 Colombia Carlos Rivas 2015– 67 0 4 0 71
3 Colombia Cristian Higuita 2015– 66 0 3 0 69
4 Brazil Kaká 2015– 64 0 3 0 67
5 England Seb Hines 2015– 49 0 4 0 53
6 United States Servando Carrasco 2015– 55 0 4 0 59
7 United States Joe Bendik 2016– 53 0 0 0 53
8 England Luke Boden 2015–2016 45 0 4 0 49
9 United States Brek Shea 2015–2016 46 0 1 0 47
10 El Salvador Darwin Cerén 2015–2016 42 0 2 0 44
11 Portugal Rafael Ramos 2015– 38 0 5 0 43

Top goalscorers[edit]

As of June 17, 2017 [58]
# Name Career MLS Playoffs Open Cup CCL Total
1 Canada Cyle Larin 2015– 39 0 1 0 40
2 Brazil Kaká 2015– 22 0 1 0 23
3 Trinidad and Tobago Kevin Molino 2015–2016 11 0 1 0 12
4 Colombia Carlos Rivas 2015– 6 0 4 0 10
5 Brazil Júlio Baptista 2016 6 0 0 0 6
6 Switzerland Adrian Winter 2015–2016 5 0 0 0 5
7 England Seb Hines 2015– 4 0 0 0 4
8 Honduras Bryan Róchez 2015–2017 3 0 0 0 3
United States Brek Shea 2015–2016 3 0 0 0 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Orlando City's Cyle Larin improving rapidly, may start for Lions". Orlando Sentinel. April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b MLSsoccer staff (November 19, 2013). "Major League Soccer names Orlando City SC as 21st franchise, set for 2015 debut". Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Major League Soccer Awards Expansion Team to Orlando". Orlando City SC. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Orange County Approves Funding for Orlando Soccer Stadium". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ "MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS EXPANSION TEAM TO ORLANDO". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ Borg, Simon (October 25, 2010). "Investors targeting MLS club for Orlando". Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ Wiebe, Andrew (November 10, 2011). "Garber: League still focused on expansion team in NYC". Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Orlando City put MLS ambitions on show for Commissioner". Major League Soccer. March 1, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Orlando City Lions may score MLS dream with stadium – Orlando Business Journal". August 31, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ Tenorio, Paul. "Orlando City Soccer Club reveals new MLS logo". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Paint it purple: Orlando City SC roll out streamlined new crest as MLS debut approaches". Major League Soccer. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ "News". Orlando City Soccer Club. 
  15. ^ "Kaka: Brazilian to join Orlando City via Sao Paulo after AC Milan exit". BBC Sport. June 30, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  16. ^ "ORLANDO CITY SIGNS BRAZILIAN SUPERSTAR KAKA". Orlando City SC. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Orlando City SC Extends Head Coach Adrian Heath's Contract Through 2017". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Orlando City selects Cyle Larin with No. 1 pick in MLS SuperDraft". ESPN. January 15, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  19. ^ Cunningham, Sam (March 8, 2015). "Orlando City 1–1 New York City: Kaka scores last gasp equaliser to deny David Villa victory as superstars make MLS debut". Daily Mail. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  20. ^ Limón Romero, Iliana (March 14, 2015). "Orlando City defeats Houston 1–0, earning Lions' first MLS victory". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Vancouver Whitecaps' dramatic win over Orlando City tempered by Sam Adekugbe injury". Major League Soccer. March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Orlando City forward Cyle Larin named 2015 AT&T Rookie of the Year". Major League Soccer. November 10, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Dyer opens up about land purchase for new MLS stadium". Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Orlando City determined to join MLS despite legislation impasse in Florida House". Major League Soccer. May 6, 2013. 
  25. ^ Orlando Sentinel (April 25, 2014). "House passes stadium-subsidy bill which would aid Orlando, Miami MLS dreams". Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  26. ^ Kennedy, Paul (August 9, 2013). "Mayors line up behind Orlando stadium deal 08/09/2013". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  27. ^ "MLS expansion team likely heading Atlanta's way". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  28. ^ "'We are going MLS!' Pro soccer stadium is coming to Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Orlando City SC to privately fund new stadium project, announce increase in capacity to 25–28,000". Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  30. ^ Tenorio, Paul. "Orlando City to play 2016 season in Citrus Bowl; stadium to open in 2017". 
  31. ^ "MLS, USL Pro reach deal on restructured Reserve League". January 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Orlando City's USL PRO franchise to move to Louisville in 2015; will become MLS team's affiliate". June 4, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Orlando City USL franchise set to play in Melbourne in 2016". Orlando Sentinel. October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Orlando City announce creation of 2016 USL expansion club Orlando City B". 
  35. ^ "Orlando City B – 2016 Regular Season – Roster". Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  36. ^ Orlando Sentinel (June 13, 2015). "Louisville City GM Amanda Duffy thrives in role rarely held by women". 
  37. ^ "Orlando City FC in 2014, Louisville City FC in 2015". Soccer Stadium Digest. 
  38. ^ "Orlando City to own, operate USL franchise in 2016". 
  39. ^ "Orlando City B To Play 2017 USL Season in New Downtown Soccer Stadium". Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  40. ^ "U.S. Soccer Board of Directors Grants Provisional Division II Status to NASL and USL". Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  41. ^
  42. ^ a b "Orlando City SC and Orlando Health Unveil Inaugural MLS Home Jersey". November 5, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Orlando City surpasses 13,000 season tickets sold; ESPN pre-game show coming to Orlando", Orlando Sentinel, Paul Tenorio, February 26, 2015.
  44. ^ "NYCFC hits 16,000 mark in season-ticket sales", Soccer America, Ridge Mahoney, April 8, 2015.
  45. ^ Orlando City SC. "International Fan Clubs". 
  46. ^ "Orlando City SC Officially Sell Out the Citrus Bowl for Home Opener vs. NYCFC". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  47. ^ Michael Parsons, FLORIDA TODAY (March 2, 2015). "Orlando City Soccer Club's first game a sellout". Florida Today. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  48. ^ Orlando City SC. "New year. New @KingstonOC.". Twitter. 
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^ "Orlando City signs Swiss right-back Sutter from Young Boys". Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  52. ^ DelGallo, Alicia. "Orlando City loans Devron Garcia to Honduran club, Bryan Róchez gets fit". Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  53. ^ "Coaching Staff". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  54. ^ "News". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  55. ^ "A Conversation With U-18 Head Coach Paul Shaw". The Mane Land. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Board of Directors". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  57. ^ Orlando Sentinel (April 23, 2015). "Orlando City soccer chief operating officer Brett Lashbrook resigns – Orlando Sentinel". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  58. ^ a b "By Season |". Major League Soccer. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 

External links[edit]