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It’s official: Next MLS expansion city is Orlando!

Nov 19, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT

A growing fanbase excites McDonough as a huge challenge lies ahead. A growing fanbase excites McDonough as a huge challenge lies ahead.

Major League Soccer is back in the American southeast, and is growing faster than ever, with a second new franchise announced within the last six months.

MLS commissioner Don Garber made it official on Tuesday night – it’s hardly been classified information lately – that Orlando City SC will come aboard as franchise No. 21.

New York City FC, announced as No. 20 in late May. Both new clubs are set to begin playing in 2015.

Garber was in Orlando for Tuesday’s big announcement, along with owners Phil Rawlins, Brendan Flood and Brazilian businessman Flavio Augusto da Silva, the big money behind Orlando’s aggressive efforts to get on board with domestic soccer’s top tier league.

The overriding significance here: This gets Major League Soccer back into the American southeast, which has been a league goal for years. (Almost since the dark day in late 2001 when the league was forced to shut down clubs in Tampa and Miami due to flagging interest and ownership issues.)

MLS will hold a national media teleconference Wednesday morning (11 a.m. ET) to talk at more length about Orlando City SC and the move back into an underrepresented part of the country. Garber, Rawlins and da Silva will all take part in the call.

Check back for more later at ProSoccerTalk on Orlando now being aboard as MLS No. 21.

  1. kirielson - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Congrats Orlando.

  2. 407magic - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    It’s a good day to be an Orlando fan and to be living in central Florida!!

  3. hildezero - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    This is very interesting. Maybe the city of Orlando and the fans can show Tampa and Miami how soccer is done in Florida.

  4. danielofthedale - Nov 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Very happy for Orlando City fans! This also makes me as a MLS fan that lives in the Southeast and makes me excited that farther expansion in the region is on the way and perhaps a little farther north.

  5. dfstell - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Congrats to them!

  6. mvktr2 - Nov 20, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    My one request? OCSC highlight vids with ‘Purple People Eaters’ playing in the background.

  7. babatundew - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    After Orlando and Miami, Atlanta and San Diego should be next (if Chivas USA aren’t re-branded and moved to SD).

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