New USL Orlando Team Seeking MLS

New USL Orlando Team Seeking MLS

  • 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.

  • Ralph

    Yes because we know a lack of local fan interest in places like Seattle and Toronto totally predicted their failure at the MLS level.

    Seriously? I think the more telling thing here is that the EPL/English owners want to build a SSS some time. If only 1000 show up, then that should be fine.

  • Pedro1616l

    Drew, we at Miami Ultras disagree with you 1000 %.

  • Soccerfan

    Just an FYI, they are planning on playing at the Citrus Bowl. I have already sent my email to inquire about season tickets. I would love for the MLS to come to Orlando, but in the mean time I will support whatever soccer is here.

  • http://www.DaveBrett.com DaveBrett

    They will probably draw two to three thousand fans per game. That’s what most minor league soccer teams draw. But they are going to be playing in the Citrus Bowl – a 70,000 seat venue. Just how ridiculous is that going to look? Are they going to put tarp over the 68,000 empty seats?

  • http://www.DaveBrett.com DaveBrett

    They will probably draw two to three thousand fans per game. That’s what most minor league soccer teams draw. But they are going to be playing in the Citrus Bowl – a 70,000 seat venue. Just how ridiculous is that going to look? Are they going to put tarp over the 68,000 empty seats?