MLS: Orlando Vs. Miami, the Birth of a Rivalry

By Jackee Arce
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Orlando City SC and David Beckham‘s future MLS Miami club are not even playing in the league yet, but the rivalry is already going strong. The official news of Beckham‘s MLS club location was announced on Wednesday and, as speculated, his club will be located in Miami, Fl. This will be the second Florida club in the MLS as Orlando is poised to begin playing in the league in 2015.

MLS is well aware of this future rivalry and shared this image on its Facebook. The first half of the image is in a purple hue with the phrase “David, Welcome to our state.” Obviously as an already formed club, Orlando wants to show it’s the boss of Florida in the soccer world. Orlando will also have two years up on Miami, because when Miami begins playing in the league in 2017, Orlando will have already been playing for two years.

Miami isn’t going take the trash talk though, because the other half of the image shows a Disneyesque outline with an arrow through it stating, “We are coming,” complete with a Miami Kings of Florida tag in the corner. This is obviously a shot at Orlando, because Orlando’s most famous attraction is Disney World. It’s a really clever image, even if it will be three years until we see how the rivalry goes.

Orlando’s hashtag of “Built Not Bought” is used as a reminder to Miami, and the league, that it started from the ground up. It joined USL Pro in 2011, and in all three years it has played in the USL, it reached the championship. It worked on a bid for an MLS expansion club, and last November it announced its bid was accepted by the league. It is excited to join, and MLS fans are happy to have more clubs — especially clubs that play well — to watch.

Is this all part of the MLS marketing team? Probably. But it is a really good marketing campaign. MLS fans from all over are ready to see what happens between these clubs. I hope it will match the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC rivalry. Who will truly be the kings or Florida? Beckham’s club or the club with history? Everyone will have to wait and see.

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