Orlando City To Be Major League Soccer’s 21st Club

Orlando City Soccer Club

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AWARDS EXPANSION TEAM TO ORLANDO
MLS’ 21st Team Will Debut in 2015 as League Expands to the Southeast

ORLANDO (November 19, 2013) – One of the fastest-growing, top 20 metropolitan areas in the United States will soon be the home of Major League Soccer’s 21st club, as MLS Commissioner Don Garber and expansion team owners Flávio Augusto da Silva and Phil Rawlins announced tonight that Orlando will join the league in 2015.  Orlando’s new MLS team, Orlando City Soccer Club, will join as an expansion team for the league’s 20th season.

 

With the addition of Orlando, MLS has added 11 clubs since the beginning of the 2005 season, leading to a remarkable and rapid transformation of professional soccer in North America. Three more expansion teams will be added by 2020.

 

“We are proud and excited to welcome Orlando to Major League Soccer,” Commissioner Garber said. “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.”

 

One of the world’s top tourism destinations with more than 57 million visitors annually, metropolitan Orlando is the 19th largest market in the United States and features a diverse, young and vibrant community.  The Orlando area’s Hispanic population has more than doubled since 2000, making it the nation’s fourth fastest-growing Latino market.

 

Orlando City’s inaugural season will see the club open its own soccer stadium in downtown Orlando. The brand new stadium will be located on Church Street, in a vibrant section of Orlando’s entertainment district. The new stadium will be accessible by both car and public transportation, with its construction scheduled to begin in spring of 2014. Prior to moving into the new stadium in the summer of 2015, Orlando City will play matches at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

 

During the past year, Orlando has hosted several major soccer events, including the USL PRO championship match in September, which drew a USL-record crowd of 20,886 fans to the Citrus Bowl. More recently, the U.S. and Brazil match on November 10 at the Citrus Bowl drew the largest home crowd in nearly 10 years for the U.S. women’s national team. In addition, Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, where Orlando City will play the 2014 USL PRO season, has served as host to MLS preseason training and many elite international clubs.

 

Da Silva, a native of Brazil, leads Orlando City’s ownership group, which includes club Founder and President Phil Rawlins, Chairman John Bonner and 10 local partners.  Da Silva previously owned Wise Up, a group of more than 400 language schools operating in five countries, and currently owns Geração de Valor (Valuable Generation), a company dedicated to developing young entrepreneurs.  He is the former chairman of Ometz Group, an organization consisting of 16 holding companies, including Wise Up.

 

“Orlando is a special city with amazing fans that have embraced the beautiful game and we have no doubt that Orlando City will become the next success story in MLS,” said Da Silva.  “We would like to thank MLS leadership for working with us and helping us bring Major League Soccer to Central Florida.  Our goal is to continue the championship-winning ways this organization has established and to further the special relationship that this club has with its fans and the city of Orlando.”

 

Originally from the United Kingdom and a part-owner of English Premier League club Stoke City, Rawlins founded and developed a highly successful information technology sales and marketing consulting company. He founded the Austin Aztex, a USL PRO team, in 2007, before moving the team to Orlando in late 2010.

 

“It is a dream come true to bring Major League Soccer to Orlando,” said Rawlins.  “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.”

 

Individuals who purchase 2014 Orlando City season tickets will have top priority for the club’s 2015 MLS season seat selection. Call (855) ORL-CITY or visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com for details.

 

Details regarding conference alignment and schedule format for future MLS seasons will be unveiled at a later date.

 

About Major League Soccer

Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 18th season featured 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2012 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; Montreal Impact; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Expansion teams New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club will begin play in 2015. MLS Cup 2013 will be played December 7, 2013. For more information about MLS, log on to the league’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.

 

About Orlando City Soccer Club

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySoccer.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

 

www.MLSsoccer.com

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Orlando Receives Four Players On Loan From MLS’ Sporting KC

OCKS

Orlando Receives Four Players On Loan From MLS’ Sporting KC

Players include 2012 SuperDraft first rounder, two homegrown Kansas City products

ORLANDO, Fla.—Orlando City SC, in cooperation with Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Sporting Kansas City, announced Thursday that four players from Sporting will join the Lions on permanent loan for the 2013 USL PRO season. The players, who will compete for starting roles immediately, include Forward Dom Dwyer, Midfielder Christian Duke, Defender Yann Songo’o and Goalkeeper Joe Kempin. They will be available for play in Orlando’s upcoming collegiate friendlies and the second leg of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer against the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies on March 30.

“We are bringing players in who all want to be on the first team,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We think that they are going to come in and immediately compete. It’s game on for everybody.“

The four Kansas City products will be on loan for the 2013 season, but can be recalled at any time for Sporting KC responsibilities throughout the year. The players coming to Orlando results from a partnership completed in January of 2013, with the Lions becoming the official USL PRO affiliate of Sporting KC for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

2012 MLS SuperDraft first round selection and Sporting’s No. 16 pick Dom Dwyer enhances the Orlando City frontline for the 2013 season. The striker played in nine Reserve League matches last year, scoring two goals for Kansas City. Dwyer’s first competitive minutes were in the club’s 3-2 win over the Lions in the 2012 version of the U.S. Open Cup. The Chuckfield, England, native spent time collegiately at the University of South Florida (USF), leading the Bulls with 16 goals and two assists in 21 games played.

Sporting KC Academy product and Midfielder Christian Duke adds to the already competitive midfield group that Orlando City currently fields. The Overland Park, KS, native has been a part of the Sporting KC Academy since June of 2007, attending Shawnee Mission South High School at the same time. Duke then attended the University of San Diego Toreros, becoming a consistent starter for the team. As a senior in 2012, the midfielder started all 23 matches for San Diego, earning All-West Coast Conference Second Team honors while leading the team to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Another Kansas City home grown product joins the Lions in 2013, with Goalkeeper Jon Kempin to fill the backup slot to Miguel Gallardo. Kempin was Sporting’s first-ever home grown Player signing back in 2010, making his professional debut the same season as backup to starter Eric Kronberg. Kempin, similar to Dwyer, played in the 3-2 U.S. Open Cup match win over Orlando City last season. The goalkeeper is an active member of the Under-20 and Under-23 National Team pools, being named to the 20-player roster for U20 training camp in Puebla, Mexico in January 2013.

The final addition to the 2013 squad includes Defender Yann Songo’o. Son of Cameroon National Team Goalkeeper Jacques Songo’o and brother to Portland Timbers Midfielder Frank Songo’o, Yann was signed to the Sporting side this past December. Songo’o represented Cameroon at the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa, helping his country reach the final and qualify for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Orlando continues preseason play against Florida Gulf Coast this Saturday, March 16, at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Admission is free to the complex for the friendly. For more information on everything Orlando City, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is a premier professional soccer sports franchise in the United States and is a member of the USL PRO. The Lion’s pro team has won two regular season titles and one postseason championship during their short time in Orlando. Outside of the pro squad, OCSC also has their own youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U23s team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com and www.orlandocityyouth.org.

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Orlando City Soccer To Host Brazilian Powerhouse Fluminense Football Club!

Orlando City Soccer

Orlando To Host Brazilian Powerhouse Fluminense FC

Game to be played on June 22 at the Florida Citrus Bowl against 2012 Brazilian Champions

Orlando, Fla.—Orlando City SC, in cooperation with Fluminense Football Club, is proud to announce an international friendly between the two teams on Saturday, June 22, at the Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The announcement comes off the heels of new Brazilian Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva making a significant investment in Orlando City last week, exhibiting the Lion’s strong new ties with the country of Brazil.

“We are delighted to be hosting the reigning Brazilian Champions, Fluminense,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “They are one of the very best teams in all of Brazil and have a host of world-class players in their squad. I’m sure it will be a great spectacle for our fans.”

Fluminense FC competes in Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, the top level of Brazilian soccer.  This year they are also one of the sides representing Brazil in the prestigious Libertadores of American Cup Led by Head Coach Abel Braga, who began his professional career with the club, Fluminense boasts some of the top talent from the country of Brazil and beyond. Midfielder Deco and forward Fred headline the club’s players coming to Orlando for the friendly.

We are honored to have been invited to participate in this international friendly match and, most importantly, of the new relationship being built with Orlando City,” said Fluminense’s president Peter Siemsen.

The match adds to the list of top-level clubs Orlando has played in the Central Florida area, which includes: English Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and A.S. Roma of Serie A. The ability to draw major franchises from top-level leagues is something Rawlins says is an important factor in Major League Soccer’s considerations of who gains entry into the league.

“Arranging this took a lot of work and several meetings with Fluminense but it once again shows our commitment to bringing the very best in club soccer to Orlando,” Rawlins added.

The Lions announced last Monday that the Rio de Janeiro native Silva invested in Orlando City, funding the club’s share of a private/publicly funded multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando and future acquisition of a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.  The new owner also told those in attendance that his Brazilian contacts with major companies and soccer franchises will be important moving forward, with the Fluminense release displaying just that.

Fans can buy their tickets to the friendly beginning Tuesday, February 26, at 12 p.m. Tickets start at just $15 and can be bought online by going to Ticketmaster.com. Fans can also buy Orlando City 2013 season tickets, which start at just $125. The Lions kick off the regular season at home on Sunday, April 14, at the Florida Citrus Bowl against the Rochester Rhinos. For more information on tickets, fans can call 855-ORL-CITY.

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is a premier professional soccer sports franchise in the United States and is a member of the USL PRO. The Lion’s pro team has won two regular season titles and one postseason championship during their short time in Orlando. Outside of the pro squad, OCSC also has their own youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U23s team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com and www.orlandocityyouth.org.

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Orlando City Ties Philadelphia Union in Game 1 of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic

Orlando City

The Walt Disney World® Resort is teaming up with Major League Soccer to bring you the Walt Disney World® Pro Soccer Classic set to take place February 9 through February 23, 2013.

This action- packed event will feature eight professional teams competing in pre-season soccer tournaments at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In 2012, Fans traveled from across the U.S. and Canada to get up close and personal with their favorite teams at this premiere spring training soccer event.

 

The participating teams are Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, DC United, Montreal Impact, Orlando City, Tampa Bay Rowdies.

And Shalon and I were THERE this past Saturday to support our favorite home town team Orlando City Lions while they faced the Philadelphia Union.

While the game ended in a tie, the energy at the pitch was fantastic! Iron Lion Firm showed up to cheer on the guys and lots of fans of the other teams participating showed their support as well! Orlando City Played a fantastic game and while they didn’t come out with the win, the tie was totally fine with us!

The Disney Pro Soccer Classic runs through February 23, 2013 at ESPN Wide World of Sports! Orlando City’s next game against the Toronto FC is Wednesday, February 13th at 8 pm at ESPN Wide World of Sports. You can find a match preview of the game here.

PLEASE make sure you follow along with us on Twitter @OnTheGoInMCO for live tweeting of the games! The next Orlando City Game is Wednesday night against the Toronto Football Club!  And you KNOW We will be there!!!!!

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Orlando City Soccer – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer To Visit Livestrong Sporting Park

Orlando City Soccer
Orlando City Soccer

ORLANDO MAYOR BUDDY DYER TO VISIT LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK

Joins President Phil Rawlins on trip to further investigate stadium options in Orlando

 

In an effort to further explore stadium options in the Central Florida area, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando City Soccer President Phil Rawlins will be touring facilities around Kansas City, Kansas, from Wednesday through Friday, including Livestrong Sporting Park, Sporting Kansas City’s multi-purpose stadium.

The trip will cultivate with Dyer and Rawlins attending a Major League Soccer match between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo on Friday night.

Dyer has been a big supporter of the club since their move to Orlando two seasons ago. The mayor recently commented on the club’s success and the fan support the organization has quickly grown.

“Orlando City Soccer Club has given our community an opportunity to enjoy this international sport,” he said in an email message. “Our community’s soccer enthusiasts have quickly become loyal fans.”

The Kansas City trip is not the first Orlando City has taken to explore stadium options. Last month, the front office traveled to Houston to tour BBVA Compass Stadium, MLS’ newest and most cost-effective stadium to date. The Lions ownership group has also previously made trips to Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is the premier professional soccer sports franchise in the State of Florida. The Lion’s pro team has won two regular season titles and one postseason championship during their short time in Orlando. Outside of the pro squad, OCSC also has their own youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U23s team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com and www.orlandocityyouth.org.

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