Orlando City SC

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This article is about the Major League Soccer team. For the USL Pro team, see Orlando City SC (2010–14).
Orlando City Soccer Club
Orlando City 2014.svg
Full name Orlando City Soccer Club
Nickname(s) Lions[1]
Founded November 19, 2013; 19 months ago (2013-11-19)
Stadium Citrus Bowl
Orlando, Florida
Ground Capacity 61,348
Owner Flávio Augusto da Silva (majority)
Phil Rawlins (minority)
Manager Adrian Heath
League Major League Soccer
Website Club home page
Current season

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.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.[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 3 to 5 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]

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 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."[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]

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. 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.[18] 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.[19] On March 21, Orlando conceded a goal late in second half stoppage time by Octavio Rivero of Vancouver Whitecaps FC for their first defeat.[20] On May 18, Orlando won their first Home game defeating LA Galaxy with a dominant score of 4–0.[citation needed]


Main article: Orlando City Stadium
The Citrus Bowl (pictured), Orlando City's home venue for 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.[21] 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.[22] The mechanism to allow for the sales tax rebate for the MLS team was ultimately passed on April 25, 2014.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

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.[citation needed]

Developmental system[edit]

MLS is no longer running a reserve league but supporting affiliations with USL teams.[27] 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.[28]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.


Season Manufacturer Sponsor Ref.
2015– Adidas Orlando Health

First sponsor was Orlando Health and was set as kit sponsor while Adidas as its kit provider and Papa John's Pizza as another sponsor.


The club had sold over 13,000 season tickets before playing its first match in March 2015,[29] and during March 2015 reached its cap by selling out all 14,000 available season tickets.[30]

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, whose basis was formed in 2009 as the "Orlando Soccer Supporters Club" without an affiliation to any particular soccer team. They occupy section 120.[citation needed] The Iron Lion Firm separated from The Ruckus prior to the start of City's first season.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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,[31] and also announced they were close to selling out the second home game versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.[32]

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's official mascot is Kingston the Lion.[33]


Current roster[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of February 27, 2015.[34]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Ricketts, DonovanDonovan Ricketts      Jamaica
2 Defender Turner, TylerTyler Turner (HGP)     United States
3 Defender Hines, SebSeb Hines (on loan from Middlesbrough)     England
4 Defender St Ledger, SeanSean St Ledger      Ireland
5 Midfielder Okugo, AmobiAmobi Okugo      United States
6 Midfielder Cascio, TonyTony Cascio      United States
7 Midfielder Higuita, CristianCristian Higuita      Colombia
8 Midfielder Heath, HarrisonHarrison Heath (HGP)     England
9 Forward Paterson, MartinMartin Paterson (on loan from Huddersfield Town)     Northern Ireland
10 Midfielder Kaká, Kaká (DP)     Brazil
11 Forward Rivas, CarlosCarlos Rivas (DP)     Colombia
12 Midfielder Avila, EricEric Avila (on loan from Santos Laguna)     United States
14 Defender Boden, LukeLuke Boden      England
15 Midfielder Ribeiro, PedroPedro Ribeiro      Brazil
17 Midfielder Cerén, DarwinDarwin Cerén      El Salvador
18 Midfielder Molino, KevinKevin Molino      Trinidad and Tobago
19 Forward Mwanga, DannyDanny Mwanga      Democratic Republic of the Congo
20 Defender Shea, BrekBrek Shea      United States
21 Forward Larin, CyleCyle Larin (GA)     Canada
22 Goalkeeper Hall, TallyTally Hall      United States
23 Defender Donovan, ConorConor Donovan (GA)     United States
24 Midfielder Neal, LewisLewis Neal      England
27 Defender Ramos, RafaelRafael Ramos      Portugal
29 Defender Redding, TommyTommy Redding (HGP)     United States
35 Forward Róchez, BryanBryan Róchez (DP)     Honduras
36 Goalkeeper Edwards, Jr., EarlEarl Edwards, Jr.      United States
55 Midfielder Estrela, Estrela      Portugal
78 Defender Collin, AurélienAurélien Collin      France

Out on loan[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of February 27, 2015.[34]

No. Position Player Nation
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


Coaching staff[edit]


Board of directors[edit]


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 17 6 6 5 22 21 23 5th 12th TBD TBD TBD Kaká 8

Head coaches[edit]

  • Includes MLS regular Season, MLS Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
As of June 28, 2015
All Time Orlando City SC Coaching Stats
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Tie Win %
Adrian Heath  ENG 21 November 2014 Present 18 7 6 5 38.89

Louisville City FC[edit]

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. [40][41] [42]

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 "Major League Soccer names Orlando City SC as 21st franchise, set for 2015 debut". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Orange County Approves Funding for Orlando Soccer Stadium". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "It's official: Next MLS expansion city is Orlando!". NBCsports.com. November 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS EXPANSION TEAM TO ORLANDO". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ Borg, Simon (October 25, 2010). "Investors targeting MLS club for Orlando". MLSsoccer.com. 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". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Orlando City put MLS ambitions on show for Commissioner". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. March 1, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Orlando City Lions may score MLS dream with stadium - Orlando Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. 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". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "BENFICA AND ORLANDO CITY SC ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC COOPERATION AGREEMENT". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved June 6, 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. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ Limón Romero, Iliana (March 14, 2015). "Orlando City defeats Houston 1-0, earning Lions' first MLS victory". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Vancouver Whitecaps' dramatic win over Orlando City tempered by Sam Adekugbe injury". Major League Soccer. March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Dyer opens up about land purchase for new MLS stadium". wftv.com. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Orlando City determined to join MLS despite legislation impasse in Florida House". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. May 6, 2013. 
  23. ^ Orlando Sentinel (April 25, 2014). "House passes stadium-subsidy bill which would aid Orlando, Miami MLS dreams". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  24. ^ Kennedy, Paul (August 9, 2013). "Mayors line up behind Orlando stadium deal 08/09/2013". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  25. ^ "MLS expansion team likely heading Atlanta's way". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ "'We are going MLS!' Pro soccer stadium is coming to Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  27. ^ [-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. 
  28. ^ "Orlando City's USL PRO franchise to move to Louisville in 2015; will become MLS team's affiliate". MLSsoccer.com. June 4, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Orlando City surpasses 13,000 season tickets sold; ESPN pre-game show coming to Orlando", Orlando Sentinel, Paul Tenorio, February 26, 2015.
  30. ^ "NYCFC hits 16,000 mark in season-ticket sales", Soccer America, Ridge Mahoney, April 8, 2015.
  31. ^ "Orlando City SC Officially Sell Out the Citrus Bowl for Home Opener vs. NYCFC". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  32. ^ Michael Parsons, FLORIDA TODAY (March 2, 2015). "Orlando City Soccer Club's first game a sellout". Florida Today. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  33. ^ Michael Citro. "Reactions: Orlando City Unveils New Kingston Mascot". The Mane Land. 
  34. ^ a b "Orlando City SC Official Roster". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Coaching Staff". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  36. ^ "News". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  37. ^ "A Conversation With U-18 Head Coach Paul Shaw". The Mane Land. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Board of Directors". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  39. ^ Orlando Sentinel (April 23, 2015). "Orlando City soccer chief operating officer Brett Lashbrook resigns - Orlando Sentinel". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  40. ^ Orlando Sentinel (June 13, 2015). "Louisville City GM Amanda Duffy thrives in role rarely held by women". OrlandoSentinel.com. 
  41. ^ "Orlando City FC in 2014, Louisville City FC in 2015". Soccer Stadium Digest. 
  42. ^ "Orlando City to own, operate USL franchise in 2016". OrlandoSentinel.com. 

External links[edit]