MLS- Orlando City

Orlando City Notes: Robinho move to Orlando hits snag; New Citrus Bowl renderings; and more

RobinhoACMilan1-Livorno2014 (Getty)


SANFORD, Fla. — Orlando City Soccer Club’s acquisition of AC Milan forward Robinho may have run into a brick wall.

According to reports in Italy, Robinho’s move to Orlando City from Milan is more than likely doubtful. Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has admitted to discussions between the Lions and the Rossoneri, but the inability to match a transfer fee seems to be a problem.

“For Robinho we are waiting for other offers, we’ll see on Monday,” Galliani said. “Negotiations with Orlando are advanced, but we are very far apart with regard to the numbers. The deal will not go through for economic reasons. Their offer and our request is very, very far away. Our relationship with Orlando is very good, but we are very far away. My prediction is that nothing will be agreed with Orlando.”

Orlando City isn’t the only club courting the forward. Brazilian clubs Flamengo, Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro are also interested in the services of the former Real Madrid and Manchester City player, according to the Orlando Sentinel. 

Here’s more news regarding Orlando City’s push to MLS: 


Orlando City won’t play in their downtown soccer-specific stadium until 2016, but will play in a $200 million-plus renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium once they kick off in their first Major League Soccer game in 2015.

City of Orlando leaders along with Florida Citrus Sports executives released updated renderings of Orlando City’s future home on Friday, which is expected to be completed by mid-November.

The new-look Citrus Bowl will still have artificial turf however, replacing the previous turf that Orlando City played on from 2011-2013.


From one Englishman to another, Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath praised Frank Lampard’s move to fellow expansion club New York City FC.

The former Chelsea and England midfielder joined New York City as their second Designated Player on Thursday, joining former Spanish striker David Villa for their debut in 2015.

“He’s had an unbelievable career,” Heath told SBI. “Frank arguably has gotten more out of his career than any player in the history of English football. He performs at the maximum, he’s consistent, he looks after his body, he looks after himself, know’s what he good at and he know’s what he’s bad at.

“He’s been a great role model for players in England, I don’t care about the fact that he’s 36. All I know is he’s fit, and this year he broke the Chelsea (scoring) record. I have no doubt he’ll be a big hit in MLS. I think David (Beckham) was different because he’s one of the few players that his iconic status away from football transcended everything but certainly on the field, Frank will be very, very good for New York City.”

Orlando City and New York City are set to join Major League Soccer in 2015 as expansion clubs. OCSC will play their first season in a renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium before moving into their soccer-specific stadium in 2016. Meanwhile, NYCFC will play their home games at Yankee Stadium.

— —

What do you think of these developments?  Can Orlando City manage to acquire Robinho? What do you think about the latest Citrus Bowl renderings? Do you think Orlando and New York can form an expansion rivalry?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Matt C

    Artificial turf…in Florida. Nice job Orlando. I don’t care if the stadium will eventually be used mostly for football. Grass grows here. Plenty of rain and sun. Yup, it will be hot down there on the turf for those summer games.

    I suspect this has been covered, but why is Orlando spending money to renovate this stadium when UCF has it’s own football stadium and Orlando City’s only going to play there for a short time. Who’s going to use the stadium once OC has its own house?


    • bogie8

      The Citrus Bowl is a huge New Years Day bowl and brings a lot of tourists to the area. There is also another college football bowl game that is played in the stadium as well as other outdoor events. It’s like any other stadium in any major city….they don’t pay for themselves but they help with tourism, image, etc. Turf provides flexibility for outdoor events like concerts, shows and the like which can be held without destroying a field. A lot of thought went into this.


    • Mike Gramajo

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for reading. Besides Orlando City, the Citrus Bowl is also used for the Florida Classic games between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman, while the Capital One Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl occupy the stadium in late December-early January.


      • Chuck D

        The High School Football State Championships are also hosted by the Citrus Bowl (8 classifications, so 8 games in total)


    • Pele

      Plastic pitches are lousy for soccer but I’m sure it’s just economics. Because the city doesn’t have a college or NFL team playing there consistently they probably just can’t justify the year-round cost of maintaining a grass field; turf requires pretty minimal maintenance, just painting lines here and there. The stadium is only hosting gridiron football a few days per year. Now, if Orlando City outgrows their new soccer-specific stadium and want to move into the Citrus Bowl I bet they’d be willing to consider replacing the turf with grass!


  • The Imperative Voice

    Inability to match a transfer fee = Vaguespeak for ACM at some point refused to drop and OC refused to pay that number. I assume OC offered something even if I personally think actively paying for the privilege of rolling retirees into the retirement home is basically bad business.

    If they want an expensive white elephant playing maybe half the time and scoring a couple goals a season on their books, have at it.


    • Diego's Maradoughnuts

      +1. Do what everybody else is doing. Don’t pay them. Robinho is hardly the guy to take a flyer on. Paying for a guy like Dempsey or Cahill is one thing… they are leaders who are always engaged and have always travelled well. Robinho’s travels in Europe consisted of being an expensive passenger on a few winning teams and not liking the rain in Manchester. Guy will be gone for Santos in 6 months claiming he is scared of Mickey Mouse. Pay him a nice salary to sell a few shirts during that time and be done with it.


    • don Lamb

      Robinho is 30. And whether he’s lived up to the expectations that were set for him or not, he is a damn good player.


      • The Imperative Voice

        For ACM’s purposes he played slightly more than half their league games and scored 2 goals. I’m sure they want someone younger and more productive or they wouldn’t be trying to sell. But if you ask too much you get to keep an expensive player who while not bad is getting older and is less useful to you.

        He might be useful to OC for free or at a low fee but if he only has a few years left and it’s unclear if you will get eyepopping performance or just solid play for a high price, I wouldn’t spend millions buying him. You’d be better off waiting the contract out and getting him free. You only pay for prime cuts.


  • bryan

    from what i have seen, the only hold up is that Orlando don’t want to pay the $4M fee for Robinho. they have to understand that AC Milan will easily be able to find a club that will pay that. suck it up and offer something in the range as opposed to being “very, very far away.”


  • Jay

    If is 4 million then I have to agree with a Milan that’s a bargain. Yes he is over hyped and hasn’t lived up to expectations but worth 4 million especially in today’s soccer economy.


    • bryan

      “so Orlando wants Robinho to rip up his Milan contract aka free transfer to MLS”

      especially if that is their plan.


      • Jay

        Lol yeah. Especially since he would come into the league and easily be one of the 10 most talented payers in the league. But these are the growing pains of MLS. Other teams know they have more money to spend so they are less inclined to cut deals. And honestly if MLS payed a million for Cahill who is older and not as skilled then 4 million for Robhino should have already happened.


      • bryan

        agreed. MLS dished out $9M for Dempsey. i love Dempsey, but if they were willing to do that for Dempsey, i don’t see why they wouldn’t at least help Orlando close the deal for $4M for Robinho. both would be 30 at the time of signing.

        i’ve found other reports saying, “Milan would be looking to get at least €3-4 million from Orlando on the 30-year-old.” that’s basically $4M to $5.5M, which is still reasonable. even transfermarkt has his market value listed at €4.5M. so there is no way Milan just let him go for free.


      • Jay

        Exactly, MLS and the fans have to realize that when playing more with the big boys this is what comes with it. Transfer fees are only going to get larger not smaller especially if you want top talent. It makes the league look weak to beg for hand outs or special deals instead of stepping up and buying talent like everyone else.


      • Ali Dia

        Agree to an extent, but I think there is a more specific question when it comes to players over 30.

        When evaluating a player’s transfer value, one has to ask, “Who else is bidding?”

        MLS clubs are not really bidding aganst the big boys for these players. Most top clubs do not pay a dime for player over 30 any longer, save perhaps a goalkeeper or a truly exceptional talent (i.e. not Robinho). They pick up the wages (which are considerable), but fewer and fewer examples are even available as comps when it comes to transfer fees..

        There are clubs in Asia and the Middle East that will pay fees. But very few players who have agreed to go there have stayed very long. It’s a tough sell.

        I sometimes think MLS clubs are making the mistake of “bidding against themselves” here. The Dempsey fee made almost no sense, other than Daniel Levy is a monster negotiator and the MLS/Seattle folks aren’t used to swimming in the deep end. Mikel Arteta’s eleventh hour transfer to Arsenal is the only deal in the ballpark for a player that age, and all were aware that the Gunners paid a premium because they had left themselves in a desperate spot. They probably could’ve had Dempsey for half that (granted, Spurs were flush with cash and hardly a motivated seller)

        The question here is… if Orlando walks away from the table, what happens? I don’t see a European club of any quality paying that fee. The article only identifies Brazilian teams (we alll know that’s where he’s ending up anyway, after everybody’s checks clear from this deal). Don’t see them paying that kind of fee. But I could be wrong.


      • bryan

        i think you bring up good points but the underlining point I think Jay and i were discussing is that if Milan thinks they can get 3M-4M Euros for him, the chances are Brazilian teams would easily pay that. and given SJ just shelled out $2M for Matias Perez Garcia, it would be nice to see Orlando pony up SOMETHING instead of expecting a free transfer.


      • Ali Dia

        I agree in the sense that in the context of the current dialogue, it appears that Orlando City are in a position where that have to bid at least something in order to get the player, if allow to allow Milan to “save face”. If their peer teams in Europe are getting fees from MLS teams from players they perceive to be similar in value, they’d rather send him somewhere else than take a donut. So if OC are just bent on having him, I’d say your $2 million figure would make a pretty good target.


      • The Imperative Voice

        Except we all but know Dempsey and Bradley are going to finish their careers here. Kaka is friends with the owner and will probably finish up here. But with Robinho there is substantial risk he’s a “rental” whose next step is Brazil. His production is not incredible, his name is diminished in soccer circles outside paycheck leagues, and I don’t think he’ll make OC a winner. The fee is more than the ordinary cap, plus salary, and I bet you he’ll take off first chance he gets.

        Seattle wants to win a title, and has massive attendance (and revenues). TFC wants to make the playoffs. They had an incentive to overpay to secure certain players, and the players in question are former MLS USMNT players whom the league might want to make a show of acquiring.

        Robinho owes us little and may or may not showcase the league in any way. he may have ideas of finishing elsewhere. he does not seem like a good poster boy.


      • bryan

        i think that is a cop out and missing the point of my post. if you want a player, then step up and pay the fee or move on. don’t ask to get him for free and ask him to void out his contract. every club in the world has to measure the risk they are willing to take on purchasing players. that isn’t an excuse to me. the excuse being they don’t know if he’ll retire there or win them anything. heck, pretty much every club that has paid a ton for Robinho knows this all too well. but OC say they want him, and im all for bargaining a price down, but to ask that he be given to them for free is silly.

        i totally get why MLS would pay for Bradley and Dempsey. especially Bradley. lets leave him out of this altogether. Dempsey for $9M was brought up simply to illustrate that Seattle and MLS stepped up to do what it took to get the player they wanted. if OC truly want Robinho, and if Milan have set a reasonable price of $4M-$5.5M, find some middle ground.

        as for the last few things, you could say that for just about any foreign player. so i don’t understand the illustration there. per usual, there is risk. even with domestic players. but Robinho has said he wants to go to Orlando, so i don’t think anyone has a reason to think he’ll just get up and leave first chance he gets. 0% income tax in FL, nice weather, and an American lifestyle will work magic by itself. personally, i think Robinho would be a solid signing and worth the risk/money.


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