Orlando City Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club based in Orlando, Florida. Orlando City SC competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the Eastern Conference.
Orlando City SC Youth Development System
MLS dissolved its reserve league in 2014. Like most MLS teams, Orlando now has a USL affiliate by way of Orlando City B, a USL League One team based at Osceola County Stadium. Orlando City originally had an affiliation agreement with Louisville City FC, the club that bought the USL license from the owners of the Orlando City. The agreement provided that Orlando City will loan at least four players to Louisville City during the season. In 2016, Orlando City ended their affiliation with Louisville and began its own USL expansion franchise OCB who originally played at Titan Soccer Complex. The team played two seasons in USL before going on hiatus in 2018. The team returned in 2019 following a league restructure and became a founding member of USL1, the third tier of the US Soccer pyramid.
In 2010, the founding year of Orlando City’s original USL franchise, the team allied with Central Florida Kraze of the Premier Development League to assist player development. Following their successful first season, Orlando City acquired a 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. In lieu of OCB’s creation, the U-23 team was folded after the 2015 season.
After their 2011 season, Orlando City also acquired controlling interest in the Florida Soccer Alliance youth soccer club, renaming them Orlando City Youth Soccer Club. The club is now a member of the Elite Club National League (ECNL) and has several boys and girls teams competing at local, state and national level with age groups from 8 to 18.
Orlando City Academy
The Orlando City Youth is Florida’s leading program for developing players from 8-18. Orlando City Youth offers team levels from local league level (Greater Central Florida League AKA GCF) to State Level (US Club and Florida State Premier League) to National League Level. The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) program is a national level league for both Boys and Girls. For those with ambition to play collegiately, the ECNL gives players exposure to College coaches through its Showcases. Orlando City Youth hosts the Winter Showcase annually with attendance of over 300 College coaches. ECNL is only available to players born 2000-2006 (U13 – U18/19 ages).
Orlando City Academy Structure
Orlando City Academy is divided into Junior Academy and Senior Academy. Teams are determined by age and then team level. Our Senior Academy is for players born 2000-2006 and who play on 11v11 teams (full sided games). Our Junior Academy refers to all players aged 2007-2011 who play on either 7v7 or 9v9 teams (small sided games).
Orlando City SC Senior Academy
- Our top level teams are called “ECNL” and play in the ECNL Southeast League between August and May.
- They attend 2-3 ECNL showcases annually (including the Winter Showcase that we host at Seminole Soccer Complex).
- They train at minimum 3 times a week.
- Our second level teams we refer to as “Purple” or “Purple/League” for example if the second team plays in the National Premier League (NPL) we would refer to them as Purple/NPL or Purple/FPL.
- They train 3 times a week.
- Participate in FYSA State Cup or Presidents Cup.
- Our third, fourth, fifth teams we call White 1, 2, etc. The difference between Purple and White is the training frequency. White teams train 2 times per week in season and they participate in the GCF league, a local league in Central Florida.
- Participate in FYSA Presidents or Commissioners Cup (where appropriate).
Orlando City SC Junior Academy
- Similar to the Senior Academy our top teams are called Pre-ECNL and participate in the Pre-ECNL Developmental League.
- Train 3 times a week in season.
- Participate in Presidents or Commissioners Cup (where appropriate and determined by Club staff).
- Our second level teams are called “Purple” or “Purple/League” for example Purple/Pre-NPL.
- The train 3 times a week in season.
- Participate in Presidents or Commissioners Cup (where appropriate and determined by Club staff)
- Our third, fourth, fifth teams we call “White” 1, 2 or “Bridge”. They participate in the GCF League, a local league in Central Florida
- They train 2 times a week in season.
All players are coached in the Orlando City system and philosophy of play by professional coaches. All players tryout for teams in May, this is a standard time for all clubs in Florida and is dictated by our governing bodies (FYSA and US Club). Player movement between teams is possible throughout the year, when a player demonstrates improvement.
*Deposits are non refundable. Returning players receive a $150 loyalty discount on the deposit when registration occurs during the tryout period. This discount is available until May 5 for ECNL/US Club tryouts and May 11 for FYSA tryouts. This reduces the total annual club fee by $150.
All OCYSC players must purchase their uniform kit online from soccer.com made available to you by your Team Manager. A link will be available to you late June of each year.
OCYSC uniforms are provided by Soccer.com. They provide the end to end management of all uniform and gear ordering process as well as our spirit store. Uniform cycles are every two years. Our cycle began in 2017-18, those players returning for the 2018-19 season will not need to purchase a new uniform kit unless they choose to. All new players for 2018-19 must order a uniform kit.
A complete kit includes; Adidas Home & Away jersey, shorts and socks, training jerseys and socks. Additional items include but are not required, warm up and backpack. Youth sized kits are approximately $257 and adult sized $272.
We recognize that teams and families make their own choices regarding how to travel. Some prefer to fly, others prefer to drive, some like to car pool, others prefer to drive alone. We leave these choices to you. In addition to travel related expenses, all team decisions are paid for by the families participating. An example of this would be College Showcases and Tournaments.
If you would like more information about Orlando City Youth or the 2018-19 season, please contact the appropriate director below, or call our youth office at 407.321.5264.
Please contact the Technical Director Paul Shaw
How to join the Orlando City Soccer Club Academy?
At the Orlando City Development Academy they strive to become the best and most successful academy in Major League Soccer and the United States.
Their Mission is to offer a role model program to maximize our youth players’ capacities while teaching them good sportsmanship and respect for their coaches, referees, spectators, opponents and the game.
Interested in joining the Orlando City Development Academy? Fill out the form here and Orlando City SC staff will be in touch!
Why Join The Academy?
- Perfect pathway to increase opportunities for young players.
- Integration of academy players into usl league one and major league soccer at younger ages.
- Centered around player development.
- Economically rational (no costs).
Orlando City Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club in Orlando, Florida, that competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC began play in 2015 as the 21st franchise in MLS, succeeding the USL Pro team of the same name. In doing so they became the first MLS team in Florida since Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny both folded following the 2001 season. The team plays at Exploria Stadium in Downtown Orlando.
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Orlando City SC History
Phil Rawlins and Orlando City Soccer Club’s investor group made their intention to join Major League Soccer public on October 25, 2010. An expansion meeting with Commissioner Don Garber and league officials was announced by Orlando City on February 28th, 2011. The demographics of the Orlando market, corporate and fan support for soccer in the area, and the development of a plan for an MLS club in Orlando were all discussed. MLS Commissioner Don Garber met with Orlando City team officials for a second time on November 10, 2011, to further discuss the team’s potential entry into the league as its 20th member (which ultimately went to New York City).
He visited Orlando on March 1, 2012, and spoke with local and county authorities. It’s not a question of “if,” but “when,” he said when discussing Orlando’s possibilities in the MLS. Rawlins told the Orlando Business Journal on August 31, 2012, that the franchise may be approved by Major League Soccer as early as 2013, and ready to compete in the league by 2014 or 2015, according to the publication. A 22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium was requested by the league in order to make that possible, according to Rawlins.
There was no requirement that a stadium be built before joining, but they would like to see some indication that one is in the works. Orlando City SC, the league’s twenty-first team, was announced as such on November 19, 2013. They debuted a new logo and signed their first MLS player, ex-Brazilian International Kaká, in May of 2014. After being released by A.C. Milan, Kaká was immediately loaned to So Paulo for the duration of the MLS season, becoming the team’s first Designated Player. Orlando City and Benfica signed a collaboration in the same month.
On August 7, 2014, Orlando City signed two Benfica U19 players to MLS contracts: Estrela and Rafael Ramos. Head coach Adrian Heath extended his contract with the team on November 21st, 2014, making him a long-term employee until the end of the 2017 MLS season. As an expansion team, Orlando selected Canadian forward Cyle Larin with the first overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
To a crowd of 62,510, the team played New York City FC in its inaugural MLS match at the Citrus Bowl on March 8, 2015. During stoppage time, Kaká scored to win a 1–1 draw for the visitors. Against Houston Dynamo on the road, they won 1–0 to get their first win of the season. For the first time in their history, the Orlando Magic were defeated by the Vancouver Whitecaps‘ Octavio Rivero in stoppage time on March 21.
Orlando City finished 7th in the Eastern Conference and 14th overall in their first season, missing out on the playoffs by a slender margin. The MLS Rookie of the Year Award went to Larin after he scored 17 goals in all competitions, shattering Damani Ralph’s previous rookie record of 13 goals. Following poor results and performances by the club, Adrian Heath was removed as head coach in July 2016. Jason Kreis took his place.
At season’s end, though, the Lions were once again eliminated from contention. In 2017, the Lions relocated to Orlando City Stadium, which was built specifically for soccer. During the summer transfer window, the squad attempted to improve by recruiting Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer, who had previously played for Orlando City’s USL Pro team on-loan in 2013. It was a record-breaking deal between two MLS clubs at the time, with incentives totaling $1.6 million being transferred. The squad was shut out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. On his way out of Orlando City, Kaká indicated that he would not be returning.
Orlando City parted ways with head coach Jason Kreis following just 15 games of the 2018 season. When Louisville City FC in the United Soccer League (USL) decided to replace Kreis with James O’Connor, a former Orlando City FC defender and assistant coach, two weeks later, the world was shocked.
With only two victories out of 18 games in 2018, City missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season under O’Connor. The team also established an MLS record for most goals allowed, with 74, during his tenure as manager. The squad failed to make the playoffs for the second year in a row and finished 11th in the Eastern Conference in O’Connor’s tenure. Orlando has signed scar Pareja, a former Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas head coach, as their new coach for the 2020 season.
Orlando City competed in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in July and August while their season was halted due to the pandemic outbreak. The Lions made it all the way to the final, where they lost 2–1. On August 12, the Major League Soccer regular season resumed. Under Pareja’s leadership, Orlando City SC ended the second-longest MLS playoff drought ever by making the playoffs for the first time in five years. New York City FC was eliminated in a dramatic penalty shootout by the Lions in the first round before succumbing to the New England Revolution in the second round.
For $8.2 million in April 2013, the City of Orlando purchased downtown land for the development of a $110 million Major League Soccer stadium. However, in May, the Florida House of Representatives failed to vote on a bill that had been passed by the Senate and would have granted up to $30 million in state financing for the stadium undertaking.
Phil Rawlins responded by stating that he intends to keep looking for new sources of money and expanding the MLS. On April 25, 2014, a bill was signed into law that will allow the MLS franchise to get a sales tax credit. After reaching an agreement on a contract to offer financial support for other Orlando projects, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer moved closer on August 8, 2013, to securing finance for the downtown Orlando soccer stadium.
The final funding element for the $80 million stadium project was a vote in October 2013 to use an existing tourism tax to fund the final quarter of the project. In a 5-2 vote, the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the use of $20 million in tourist development tax funds to build a $84 million multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando on October 22nd, 2013. Flávio Augusto da Silva declared on May 29, 2015, that the stadium would be privately funded and run by the club, after trying to acquire funds from the state of Florida for two years.
In addition, he said that the club would buy the initial location from the City of Orlando and increase capacity to between 25,000 and 28,000 patrons. New York City FC visited Orlando City Stadium on March 5, 2017, to kick off the 2017 season. Orlando City triumphed 1–0 in front of a crowd of 25,550 thanks to Cyle Larin’s first goal in the stadium’s history. There was no other stadium that hosted an MLS, NWSL, and USL team all at the same time until Exploria Stadium in 2017.
In addition, the stadium has hosted a number of notable national events. The United States Men’s National Team met Panama on October 6 in this stadium in their 2018 World Cup Qualifier. The 2017 NWSL Championship Game between the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns was also held there the following week, as well.
An Exploria Resorts timeshare and vacation rental company purchased the stadium’s naming rights on June 4, 2019. Because of this, Exploria Stadium was renamed. The 2019 MLS All-Star Game between Atlético Madrid and the MLS All-Stars was held at the stadium on July 31, 2019.
Camping World Stadium
The Lions spent their first two seasons in Major League Soccer at the Citrus Bowl, which was renamed after the team invested in upgrades, until Orlando City’s soccer-specific stadium was completed. Orlando City’s “fill the bowl” campaign resulted in sold-out crowds of more than 60,000 in the first home games of both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. At least 30,000 people attended Orlando City’s games at the stadium.
A reserve league was disbanded by the MLS in 2014. Orlando City B, a USL League One squad situated at Osceola County Stadium, is Orlando’s USL affiliate. Louisville City FC, the club that purchased the USL license from the owners of Orlando City, previously had an affiliation arrangement with Orlando City. During the course of the season, Orlando City will loan a minimum of four players to Louisville City. In 2016, Orlando City cut ties with Louisville and formed its own USL expansion team, OCB, which played its home games at Titan Soccer Complex before moving to its current location. Before taking a break in 2018, the team competed in the USL for two seasons. USL1 was restructured and the team returned in 2019 as a founding member of the third division of US Soccer.
With an eye on player development, Orlando City’s USL franchise partnered with the Premier Development League’s Central Florida Kraze in 2010. In the wake of a successful first season, Orlando City purchased a majority stake in the Kraze and renamed them Orlando City U-23. As a PDL champion in 2004, the team has a rich history that includes several current and former MLS players. After the 2015 season, the U-23 team was disbanded in favor of the formation of OCB. Orlando City also bought the Florida Soccer Alliance young soccer club after the 2011 season and renamed it Orlando City Youth Soccer Club. The club today participates in the Elite Club National League (ECNL) and includes teams for boys and girls ranging in age from eight to eighteen competing locally, state-wide, and nationally.
Osceola Heritage Park will be transformed into a 20-acre (8.1 hectare) training site for Orlando City’s senior MLS team, OCB, and Development Academy in May 2019, the organization stated in May 2019. As well as four practice fields (three of natural grass and one of artificial turf), a training facility, a players’ lounge and eating area, a video room and 2,800 square feet of office space for the team to use, the facility in Kissimmee, Florida also has amenities for the media and a fitness center.
A soccer-specific stadium, Osceola County Stadium, was built and serves as the home of OCB. Luiz Muzzi, the team’s executive vice president of soccer operations, first laid out this plan when he was hired in December 2018 with the goal of building a strong internal pipeline for players from young to professional levels. On January 17, 2020, the facility was officially inaugurated.
Colors and Badge
2014 saw the unveiling of the logo for Orlando City’s new expansion squad USL Pro’s purple and lion identifiers, as well as the overall design, were included into this new logo design. The franchise’s first division status was marked with the introduction of new features and changes. A gold lion’s face with 21 sun flares in its mane sits atop a purple shield as the logo’s centerpiece. Twenty-first place in Major League Soccer (MLS) is represented by the club’s number of flares, and the sun-shaped mane refers to Florida’s moniker, The Sunshine State. White letters spell out the team’s name on the crest.
More than 13,000 season tickets had been purchased by the time the team played its first game in March 2015, and all 14,000 remaining season tickets had been sold by then. Since the start of the 2017 season, Orlando City’s season ticket base has been limited to 18,000. As of 2015, Orlando’s home opener against New York City FC attracted 62,510 fans—a record for expansion teams—and ended second in average attendance behind Seattle Sounders FC for the second year in a row.
The Ruckus and The Iron Lion Firm are two of the club’s most active fan organizations, and on game days they join forces to form “The Wall,” which is now located in the safe standing zone. Founded in 2010, the Ruckus is the oldest of these groups, started in 2009 as the “Orlando Soccer Supporters Club” without a team allegiance. During City’s first season, the Iron Lion Firm broke away from The Ruckus. Both Brazil and the United Kingdom have legally recognized international fan clubs for the club.
Orlando City’s mascot is Kingston, an anthropomorphized and “bulked up” lion complete with dreadlocks.
City of Orlando, Florida
As the capital of Orange County, Florida, Orlando is a major hub for tourism in the state. The Orlando metropolitan area has a population of 2,509,831, making it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. Orlando, Florida’s fourth-biggest city and its largest inland city, with a population of 287,442 as of 2019, making it the 71st-largest city in the United States.
Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain, often known as “Lake Eola fountain” at Lake Eola Park, is Orlando’s official symbol. For international travel, Orlando International Airport (MCO) ranks 13th in the United States and 29th worldwide. More than 75 million people visited Orlando in 2018, making it one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, big events, and conventions. It’s about 21 miles (34 kilometers) southwest of downtown Orlando to find Walt Disney World Resort, which Walt Disney Company opened in 1971, and Universal Orlando Resort, which opened in 1990 as a major expansion to Universal Studios Florida and the only theme park within the city limits of Orlando.
Orlando’s landscape is dominated by wetlands, with numerous lakes and swamps. The ground is often low and moist due to the flat landscape. Lake Apopka, the area’s largest lake, is one of the region’s many water features. Because the bedrock of Orlando is primarily limestone, which is highly permeable, the region is prone to sinkholes. Most people know about the “Winter Park Sinkhole,” a sinkhole that opened up north of Orlando in 1981 and became the most famous sinkhole occurrence in the United States.
Climate | Weather
Orlando, like much of the deep South of the United States, has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa). Orlando has two distinct seasons: a hot and wet one that lasts from May to the end of September (approximately corresponding with the Atlantic hurricane season) and a warm and dry one that lasts from October to April. Low elevation, proximity to the Tropic of Cancer, and being in the middle of a peninsula all contribute to the region’s hot and humid climate. The Gulf Stream, which runs around the peninsula of Florida, has a significant impact on its climate.
Mid-to-low 90s °F (32–36 °C) are common throughout Orlando’s humid summer season, with lows rarely falling below the mid-70s °F (23–26 °C). The typical timeframe for these kinds of temperatures is from April 19 to October 11 each year. As a result of the high humidity, temperatures rarely rise beyond 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), although the heat index can still reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).
The city’s highest ever recorded temperature is 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), which occurred on September 8 of that year. Strong afternoon thunderstorms are practically daily during these months. The collision of air masses over Central Florida from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean is the primary cause of these storms.. Heavy rain (up to several inches per hour) and strong winds accompany these storms, which are made dramatic by stunning lighting.
When it’s cold outside, humidity levels are lower and temperatures are more stable. In January, the average daily high temperature is 60.2 degrees Fahrenheit (15.7 degrees Celsius). Only 2.4 nights out of every year saw temperatures go below freezing, with the lowest reading being 18 °F (8 °C) on December 28, 1894. Snowfall is extremely rare in the winter, due to the dry climate and the tendency for freezing temperatures to arrive only after cold fronts (and the accompanying precipitation) have passed. Since records began, there has only been one accumulation in the city proper: in 1948.
However, a snow event that reached Miami in January 1977 resulted in minor accumulation in the neighboring areas. In 1989, 2006, and 2010, flurries were also reported. Orlando receives more than half of its annual precipitation (1,290 mm) between June and September. Orlando’s dry season lasts from October to May. Wildfires are a common concern throughout this time period, particularly in the latter months. Some years have seen a large number of fires. After a wet winter and early spring in 1998, a strong El Nio brought a dry spring and early summer, resulting in a record wildfire season that damaged Orlando’s air quality and disrupted daily life, the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race in neighboring Daytona Beach was postponed.
While Orlando is a big population center, it is not as vulnerable to hurricanes as the metropolitan corridor of South Florida or the coastal sections of neighboring states. Because of the distance between the city and the Atlantic Ocean (42 miles) and the Gulf of Mexico (77 miles), hurricanes normally weaken before reaching the city. Because the area is 100 feet (30 meters) above mean sea level, storm surges aren’t an issue. Hurricanes can hit the city hard, despite its location. Hurricane Charley was the worst of three hurricanes that struck Orlando in the disastrous 2004 hurricane season. Hurricane Donna in 1960 wreaked havoc on the city as well. Summer thunderstorms aren’t generally associated with tornadoes. Most common during the few winter months and hurricanes that pass through. There have been two big outbreaks that have killed a total of 42 people in the area’s history, one in 1998 and one in 2007.