Oct 23, 2013, 7:40 AM EST
Their will be a few sore heads in Central Florida this morning, but they won’t care… a soccer-specific stadium is coming to town.
On Tuesday evening Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the rest of the council voted in favor of funding to allow Orlando City Soccer Club to build a 18,000 seat stadium in downtown Orlando, all but sealing MLS’ 21st franchise in the process.
This is huge news.
And the soccer community across the United States of America knows it. After years of hard work since Orlando City became a USL Pro franchise three seasons ago, what many regarded as the final obstacle was approved and now the final negotiations to make Orlando MLS’ 21st franchise can be squared away.
The stadium sparks a new era for soccer in Florida, and looks to have MLS returning to Florida to ignite the Southeast region and further expansion in Miami and Atlanta.
“We thank the Orange County and City of Orlando Board of Commissioners for their support to build a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando,” MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement. “We also would like to thank [owners] Flavio Augusto da Silva, Phil Rawlins and their staff for their passion and commitment to bring a Major League Soccer team to Orlando.
“We look forward to working with the Orlando City SC ownership group to finalize an expansion agreement.”
Following the vote which approved $20 million worth of Orange County funding would be used for the Lions’ new stadium, an outpouring of delight erupted on Twitter and social media across U.S. soccer. Here’s a small selection of how the events played out.
First of all tension built up to the vote from Orange County that was televised, as plenty of speakers issued their support for MLS in Orlando, including the father of USMNT and Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi.
While MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott chats about the MLS benefits in Orlando prior to the vote.
A huge crowd gathered inside the County Administration building, as fans, locals and club officials began to pledge their support for MLS in Orlando.
Then, the moment of truth arrived and Orlando City celebrated a soccer specific stadium.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs shows her support for Orlando City.
Yours truly got in on the act as congratulations for Orlando City poured in from across the world.
Barclays Premier League side Stoke City, who have close financial links with Orlando and close ties to President Phil Rawlins, sent out the following message:
Steven Goff from the Washington Post revealed the deal for OC to join MLS is all but done.
Grant Wahl is looking forward to two new MLS teams in 2015.
And finally, Orlando gave a not so subtle nudge to MLS Commish Don Garber….
Garber replied with the following:
Dec 21, 2014, 11:59 PM EST
Antoine Griezmann breaks out with three goals in Atletico’s 4-1 result over Athletic Bilbao.
A day of Ronaldo: Real Madrid star erects statue of himself, thinks Real can win Champions League again
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Cristiano Ronaldo has made headlines twice today, for erecting a statue of himself and claiming Real Madrid could repeat in the Champions League.
Dec 21, 2014, 9:07 PM EST
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Dec 21, 2014, 8:17 PM EST
Tim Howard converses about his recently released autobiography, “The Keeper.”
Dec 21, 2014, 7:40 PM EST
Jeremy Menez has done a fantastic job as AC Milan’s primary attacker, and he’s primarily aiming for the French national team call-up.
Dec 21, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Ally McCoist has left Scottish Championship team Rangers, as the club has recognized the former star striker is now on “gardening leave.”
Dec 21, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
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Dec 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EST
According to Brendan Rogers, Liverpool’s prime attacker, Daniel Sturridge, will make his return from a multi-month injury in early January.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:05 PM EST
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Dec 21, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
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Dec 21, 2014, 3:12 PM EST
With polarizing halves separating the teams, Arsene Wenger said a draw was the correct result based on performance.
Dec 21, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to bring a grudge with him to Morocco.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EST
With Newcastle yielding late, Alan Pardew thinks he may have left his team a little too exposed as the clock ticked towards the final minute.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:08 PM EST
Martin Skrtel returned from a nasty injury and took full advantage of the resulting stopptage time.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:58 AM EST
A day to forget for the American central defender in Germany’s top flight.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:26 AM EST
The boyhood Newcastle fan scored at St. James Park for the third year in a row as Sunderland stole the Tyne-Wear derby late.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:16 AM EST
Raheem Sterling looks to be the lone attacking option for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has left both his available strikers on the bench.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:52 AM EST
A magnetizing first touch leads to a meaningless but nonetheless beautiful goal by the man who gives us magic weekly.
Dec 21, 2014, 7:53 AM EST
The heated Tyne-Wear derby has brought us goals and fireworks of many kinds, and will be no different today as Sunderland looks to win four in a row over Newcastle for the first time ever.
Dec 20, 2014, 10:54 PM EST
Howard doesn’t think Lampard will start the MLS season with NYCFC, although he says he should.
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