November 20, 2013

Orlando Lands Major League Soccer Team: The Orlando City Lions are making the jump from the US Pro League to Major League Soccer. Commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday night that Orlando is becoming the 21st MLS team in 2015. A $84 million, 18,000-seat stadium is being built for the team near the Magic's Amway Center with around half funded by local tourism taxes. This will be the first MLS team in the southeastern U.S. since Tampa and Miami franchises folded in 2001. New York City also is getting an MLS team in 2015, and two as-yet-undecided cities are expected to be added by 2020.

posted by rcade to soccer at 10:10 AM - 5 comments

I'm psyched about this. Before Orlando the closest MLS team to me here in Florida was D.C. United. I'm hoping to be an inaugural season ticket holder.

The announcement last night at Cheyenne Station in downtown Orlando drew several thousand fans, many of whom couldn't get in and gathered outside. This feels to me like a club that will draw huge support from day one.

Miami is likely getting a club led by David Beckham. I don't know if that's a good idea for the league, but it raises the prospect of an Orlando-Miami rivalry like the one between Portland and Seattle.

posted by rcade at 10:13 AM on November 20

Now if we could just get Atlanta a team. Maybe they could play in Turner Field.

posted by flannelenigma at 10:23 AM on November 20

Atlanta makes more sense to me than Miami, which already lost an MLS team and has a history of fickle fan support of all pro sports. There's a highway that makes the Miami-to-Orlando drive only 60 to 90 minutes long.

posted by rcade at 10:34 AM on November 20

I think Miami and Atlanta are likely to be the next two. MLS owe Beckham from his contract and if King James puts in with the ownership group the league won't have a choice anyway. Atlanta would make sense, allowing West Coast teams to make two game road trips to the region, the Falcons new stadium is being shown in soccer-configurations and their NASL team has a strong local base, which follows the pattern we saw in Orlando, Montreal, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:22 PM on November 20

David Beckham gets into a taxi in Miami. The driver looks at him through the rear view mirror, and they make eye contact. Beckham nods.

After a while the taxi driver says "OK, give me a clue."

Beckham replies "I used to play for Manchester United, Real Madrid and the LA Galaxy. My wife was in the Spice Girls, and I have modelled a lot of underwear. I'm in Miami to set up a new soccer franchise"

The taxi driver says "I don't give a shit about any of that. Where do you want me to take you?".

posted by owlhouse at 09:36 PM on November 20

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