Orlando City SC‘s memorable 2013 added another positive moment Monday. With a surprise announcement by Mayor Dyer that Orlando would be hosting a USWNT-Brazil Nov. 10 friendly, the Orlando City Council unanimously approved a bill that included funding for OCSC’s new stadium plan. The only step keeping the team from negotiating with MLS is an Oct.22 Orange County meeting.
Monday’s decision is great news for the club and its supporters group. Over the year that has included a 2013 USL-Pro Championship, their fans have shown why Orlando indeed deserves an MLS franchise. If attendance records this year mean anything, Orlando will have no problem filling seats in their proposed new stadium.
There seems to be very little local opposition seen by the council’s unanimous vote. It seems that Orlando’s dream to be in the MLS by 2015 looks more and more possible. Even if they don’t join the league in 2015, it should be no surprise for them to join in 2016.
Orlando has the fans, the financial ownership backing, and is one step away from securing stadium funding. These are three key areas that MLS looks at when awarding expansion franchises. It has been awhile since there has been no MLS team in the Southeast, but it should not be much longer.
If Orange County approves requested funding on Oct. 22, MLS could be announcing Orlando as the 21st franchise before the year’s end. However, Orlando and its fans can celebrate that they are one step closer to their dream coming true.
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