- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 26, 2010
- 5 Comments
- MLS Expansion, Orlando Expansion
It seems like Major League Soccer is always a bit of a pipe dream for some USL teams. Let’s go a head and add the new Orlando City SC of the USL-Pro as one of those clubs hoping to reach MLS one of these days.
The Aztex, founded by Stoke City owner and director Phil Rawlins, have been sold to a new British investor group, Orlando Sports Holdings. The new owners are aggressively seeking a bid into MLS within the next “three to four years” according to their press conference yesterday.
“The new investors made it very difficult for us to turn down their offer,” Rawlins said on the official site of the Aztex. “Their goal is to build up the soccer operations so that we can pursue an MLS franchise in the next few years.”
I’ve written in the past about why Orlando would be a solid town for MLS. But let me again say like I did in that post that we are years away from MLS soccer in that part of the country. I know I’ll piss some Florida folks off by saying that (especially those in South Florida). There is a need for professional soccer in that part of the country but for it to be viable, again as I’ve said many times before, the league can’t just go to one city in the south…there as to be at least two teams to make it work.
Honestly seeing Orlando get a USL-Pro team (even a relocated one) is a good sign for this town. If they can prove within the next couple of years that they are a good enough market to support soccer on a professional level (a D-3 even) then it could be worth considering. Let’s just see where the decide to play their games and if they can come up with both an expansion fee and a quality stadium. Also getting a strong group of supporters wouldn’t hurt either.
If the whole second team in New York somehow falls through in the next year or so then maybe Orlando is that next eastern city to go in MLS. We’ll just have to wait and see.