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Orlando City SC

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Orlando City SC

Orlando City Soccer Club
Full name Orlando City Soccer Club
Nickname(s) Lions[1]
Founded November 19, 2013 (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
2015 Eastern Conference: 7th
Overall: 14th
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Website Club home page
Active teams of Orlando City SC
MLS USL NWSL PDL

Orlando City Soccer Club is an American professional soccer team based in Orlando, Florida that competes in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC became the league's 21st 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 league following the 2001 season.[5]

History

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

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]

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.[27]

Developmental system

MLS is no longer running a reserve league but supporting affiliations with USL teams.[28] 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.[29] Starting in 2016, Orlando City will no longer affiliate with Louisville City FC and will instead be affiliated with an as-yet-unnamed USL expansion franchise in Melbourne, Florida. [30]

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.

Sponsorship

Season Manufacturer Sponsor Ref.
2015– Adidas Orlando Health [31]

Orlando Health has been the official kit 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 kit provider for the 2015 season.[32]

Supporters

The club had sold over 13,000 season tickets before playing its first match in March 2015,[33] and during March 2015 reached its cap by selling out all 14,000 available season tickets.[34]

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,[35] and also announced they were close to selling out the second home game versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.[36] 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 has averaged 32,683 fans in the first 14 home games, ranking second in MLS behind Seattle Sounders FC.

Mascot

Orlando City's official mascot is Kingston the Lion.[37]

Players

Current roster

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of August 7, 2015.[38]
No. Position Player Nation
2 Defender Turner, TylerTyler Turner (HGP)     United States
3 Defender Hines, SebSeb Hines      England
5 Midfielder Carrasco, ServandoServando Carrasco      United States
6 Midfielder Cascio, TonyTony Cascio      United States
7 Midfielder Higuita, CristianCristian Higuita      Colombia
8 Midfielder Heath, HarrisonHarrison Heath (HGP)     England
10 Midfielder Kaká,Kaká (DP)     Brazil
11 Forward Rivas, CarlosCarlos Rivas (DP)     Colombia
14 Defender Boden, LukeLuke Boden      England
15 Midfielder Ribeiro, PedroPedro Ribeiro      Brazil
16 Defender Ashe, CoreyCorey Ashe      United States
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
26 Forward Rivera, SidneySidney Rivera      United States
27 Defender Ramos, RafaelRafael Ramos      Portugal
29 Defender Redding, TommyTommy Redding (HGP)     United States
32 Midfielder Winter, AdrianAdrian Winter       Switzerland
35 Forward Róchez, BryanBryan Róchez (DP)     Honduras
36 Goalkeeper Edwards, Jr., EarlEarl Edwards, Jr.      United States
42 Goalkeeper Ford, JoshJosh Ford      United States
44 Defender Mateos, DavidDavid Mateos      Spain
55 Midfielder Estrela,Estrela      Portugal
78 Defender Collin, AurélienAurélien Collin      France

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.[38]
No. Position Player Nation
25 Forward Bedell, AdamAdam Bedell (on loan to HB Køge)     United States

Staff

Executive
Owner and chairman Flávio Augusto da Silva
Owner and president Phil Rawlins
Owner John Bonner
Chief executive officer Alex Leitão
Coaching staff
Head coach Adrian Heath
Assistant coach Ian Fuller
Assistant coach Mark Watson
Goalkeeping coach Marcos Machado
U18 head coach/academy director Paul Shaw
Academy coach Anthony Pulis

[39][40][41] [42][43]

Team records

Year MLS Regular season Position MLS Cup
Playoffs
Open Cup Champions
League
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 Cyle Larin 17

Head coaches

  • Includes MLS regular Season, MLS Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
As of October 16, 2015
All Time Orlando City SC Coaching Stats
Coach Nationality Start End Games Win Loss Tie Win %
Adrian Heath  ENG November 21, 2014 Present 35 13 14 8 37.14

Orlando City B

Orlando City B (OCB) is the farm club of Orlando City SC that will begin competing in the United Soccer League (USL) starting in 2016. The creation of OCB was announced on October 15, 2015.[44]

Before the creation of their own farm team, Louisville City FC was the USL affiliate of Orlando City SC during Orlando's inaugural season. Orlando City SC is a minor owner of the USL franchise. On June 30, 2015 Orlando City SC ended its affiliation with Louisville City FC and sought ownership of an Orlando-based USL affiliate, culminating in the creation of Orlando City B. [45][46] [47]

See also

References

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  33. ^ "Orlando City surpasses 13,000 season tickets sold; ESPN pre-game show coming to Orlando", Orlando Sentinel, Paul Tenorio, February 26, 2015.
  34. ^ "NYCFC hits 16,000 mark in season-ticket sales", Soccer America, Ridge Mahoney, April 8, 2015.
  35. ^
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  37. ^
  38. ^ a b
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  44. ^ http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2015/10/15/orlando-city-announce-creation-2016-usl-expansion-club-orlando-city-b
  45. ^
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  47. ^

External links

  • Official website


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