By a vote of 5-2, the Orange County Commissioners tonight approved funding for a soccer-specific stadium to be built in downtown Orlando, which paves the way for Orlando City Soccer Club to become a MLS team in 2015.
“We are ecstatic about the positive vote,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “Our fans have been the driving force behind the effort to bring MLS to Orlando. This one is for them.”
Club officials have stated that, with approval of funding for a downtown stadium, a franchise could be awarded as early as November. The Orlando City Soccer Club would begin play in MLS in Spring 2015.
“We’d like Orlando to be the next expansion team,” MLS President Abbott said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel Monday. “We have in place a number of the factors that we think are needed to be successful, a strong leadership group and a strong fan base. Once we finalize (a stadium plan), we will have a Major League Soccer team here.”
Congratulations to the Orlando City Soccer Club, its supporters and the Orange County Commission on moving the city a giant step closer to getting its own MLS team. Based on the attendances and passion shown for the club, I’m positive Orlando City SC will be a great success story for MLS.