Eastern Florida State Could Be Home To Orlando City Soccer Minor League Team
By Giles Malone // July 1, 2015
ORLANDO CITY ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR USL TEAM
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Orlando City Soccer Club today announced plans to own and operate a USL team in Central Florida, possibly at Eastern Florida State College, for the 2016 season pending formal approval from USL and Major League Soccer (MLS).
Sources for Space Coast Daily have revealed that Orlando City officials have visited Brevard twice during recent months to look at potential locations with Eastern Florida being high on the list.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ritchey and Athletic Director Jeff Carr, Eastern Florida State College has recently built a world class soccer facility at their Melbourne campus, which currently has approximately 1,500 seats, press box and high quality video scoreboard by Daktronics.
The facility has ample parking and is also located in the heart of the county. Orlando City will require 5,000 seats at the facility they will choose, so additional seats will need to be added
“The Orlando City Soccer Club has made an exciting impact throughout Central Florida,” said Eastern Florida State College President Dr. Jim Richey.
“They’re a superb organization with outstanding leadership, great players and the best fans in the MLS.”
“EFSC has also been a leader in expanding soccer’s presence in Brevard and Eastern Florida with our nationally ranked teams and excellent community support, so the possibility that Orlando’s USL may locate its home field along the Space Coast would be another huge boost for the sport and our region.”
Orlando City is moving towards acquiring a franchise in the United Soccer League (USL) to begin next season, which is widely considered as the minor leagues of Major League Soccer.
Former Orlando City player Anthony Pulis has been named as its coach, who is the son of Tony Pulis, a coach for West Bromich Albion of the English Premier League.
With a team in Brevard, the over 10,000 youth players in the Brevard Youth Soccer League would have a local team to follow and aspire to play for. Orlando City will become the ninth Major League Soccer team to own it’s own USL franchise.
WILL TRAIN ALONGSIDE ORLANDO CITY FIRST TEAM
Not only will the USL club be competing at a high level, it will also provide a foundation for the club to continue its player development system for Homegrown and Academy players alike.
The team will train alongside the Club’s first team, integrating the same playing philosophy and allowing for the technical staff to accelerate the development of its entire professional player pool.
“Today is yet another significant milestone in the upward growth of Orlando City,” said Vice President of Development Tim Holt.
“Fielding USL and MLS teams are not mutually exclusive endeavors. We believe both are integral to realizing the future objectives of our Club, which is why our pursuit of a USL team is so critical to our continued success. It will prove to be an important resource, close to home, to help accelerate the training and development of our emerging players. It will also allow for the further expansion of opportunities to connect with our dedicated fan base and the Central Florida sports community well into the future.”
Additional details of the new team will be announced in the coming months, including the team name, crest, official venue and players.
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