Orlando City SC
|Full name||Orlando City Soccer Club|
|Founded||November 19, 2013|
|Owner||Flávio Augusto da Silva (majority)
Phil Rawlins (minority)
|League||Major League Soccer|
|Website||Club home page|
Orlando City Soccer Club is an American professional soccer team based in Orlando, Florida that competes 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 Flávio Augusto da Silva and Phil Rawlins, owners of the USL Pro Orlando City Soccer Club. The club began playing in the 2015 MLS season alongside the twentieth franchise New York City FC. Orlando City SC is 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. 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.
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. They conceded the first goal from Mix Diskerud and had Aurélien Collin given a straight red card for a challenge on New York's Designated Player David Villa, but Kaká equalised in added time with a free kick for a 1–1 draw. In the following game on the road, Orlando City achieved their first ever victory over Houston Dynamo. The hosts' goalkeeper Tyler Deric conceived an own goal in the 74th minute while under pressure from substitute Pedro Ribeiro for a 1–0 victory. On March 21, Orlando conceded a goal late in second half stoppage time by Octavio Rivero of Vancouver Whitecaps FC for their first defeat. On May 18, Orlando won their first Home game defeating LA Galaxy with a dominant score of 4–0.
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.
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.
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 players to Louisville City during the season.On June 30, 2015, Orlando City announced that they are suspending their affiliation with Louisville City FC, And developing their own USL team for the 2016 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, which will combine forces on game days to create "The Wall": The Ruckus and The Iron Lion Firm. 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 separated from The Ruckus prior to the start of City's first season.
During the start of the club's first MLS season, supporters groups formed in nearby cities. The Ruckus grew to include the affiliated chapters of Seminole County Ruckus, Ruckus of Brevard, Treasure Coast Collective, and Capitol City Ruckus in Tallahassee.
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, and also announced they were close to selling out the second home game versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
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.
Orlando City's official mascot is Kingston the Lion.
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of February 27, 2015.
Out on loan
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of February 27, 2015.
|26||Forward||Rivera, SidneySidney Rivera (on loan to Louisville City FC)||United States|
|42||Goalkeeper||Ford, JoshJosh Ford (on loan to Fort Lauderdale Strikers)||United States|
- 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
- Flávio Augusto da Silva - Owner and chairman
- Phil Rawlins - Owner and president
- John Bonner - Owner
- Alex Leitão - Chief Executive Officer
|Year||MLS Regular season||Position||MLS Cup
- Includes MLS regular Season, MLS Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- As of June 28, 2015
|Adrian Heath||ENG||21 November 2014||Present||18||7||6||5||38.89|
Louisville City FC
Main Article: Louisville City FC
Louisville City FC is the affiliate of Orlando City SC. Unlike most MLS franchises having their own USL franchises or having an affiliate not owned by an MLS team, Orlando City's affiliation with Louisville is different where Orlando City are minor owners of the USL franchise. It was announced on June 30, 2015 that Orlando City SC would be ending its affiliation with Louisville City FC and seek ownership of an Orlando-based USL affiliate beginning with the 2016 season.  
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