Coming fresh off the news that David Beckham (and perhaps Lebron James) are looking to bring an MLS team to Miami, Orlando City Soccer Club has been awarded the expansion status.
This isn’t to say Beckham and company won’t be granted a team in Miami, it just means they will have an in-state rival waiting for them if and when they join the league.
2015 will be the debut of Orlando City Soccer in the MLS. With a great group of supportive fans, excellent demographics and superb on-the-field performance, Orlando City has vied for this opportunity since 2010. Now they will finally get their chance as the 21st MLS franchise.
Orlando City Soccer Brings Purple To The MLS
The team from Orlando is expected to don its signature purple color, while the logo may get a makeover. MLS commissioner Don Garber explained how soccer in Orlando City is great for everyone:
“We are proud and excited to welcome Orlando to Major League Soccer. From the success of the Orlando City Soccer Club, to the incredible fan support and passion in the community, this is a new market that really excites us. We have great confidence in Flávio Augusto da Silva, Phil Rawlins and the rest of the Orlando City ownership group. They love this sport, our League and this city. And thanks to the commitment of ownership, the City of Orlando and Orange County, Orlando City will soon have a spectacular new stadium that will provide fans and the entire community with a truly unique downtown sporting experience.”
While 2014 will see the team playing in the 2014 season at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex, the inaugural MLS season will be played in Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. That is, until the summer when the team opens up their brand new 18,000 seat stadium.
Club founder and president Phil Rawlins seems fit for the job of moving to the MLS too, as he is also part owner of the English Premier League club Stoke City. Rawlins exclaimed his excitement:
“It is a dream come true to bring Major League Soccer to Orlando. The fans in Orlando have clearly demonstrated that they are ready for MLS, and we look forward to celebrating with them and working together to set a new standard in this country. We have watched the evolution of Major League Soccer, and we are thrilled to join what has become one of the fastest growing and most exciting leagues in the world.”
Orlando City Soccer is clearly fit for a berth into MLS. Prior news made it evident that the jump to the pros would also come along with some 35 new front office positions, which is a great reward for such a supporting community.
For more information on the newest MLS team, Orlando City Soccer Club, read here and here. Also check out the video below that explains the benefits of acquiring and MLS berth.
Photo credit – orlandocitysoccer.com
I’m going to get crucified by Fire fans for this, but I think Chicago could elsiay support another MLS team if it were located in the city somewhere off an el line. The metro area is 8.5 million people. The Fire play in a suburb called Bridgeview and while it’s not an exurb, Chicago is the type of city where a lot of people just don’t drive to get places. If I drive myself from around Wrigley Field, it’s an hour or more and I can’t do much drinking when I get there. If I take one of the buses, I have to be on the bus 2.5 hours before the game and get back to the bar maybe two hours after the game is over. Public from my house would be two hours each way. My understanding is that the Fire were originally offered the parking lot across the street from US Cellular Field (where the White Sox play) for $1 and turned it down to go to Bridgeview. That location is walking distance from an el stop, a commuter train stop, just off the highway and borders many neighborhoods with large, soccer literate populations. The Fire could play in the burbs and City of Chicago FC could play for us city dwellers.
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