By FRANCO PANIZO
While one 2015 MLS expansion team has struggled mightily to find a permanent home and training facility, the other continues its mostly upward swing.
Orlando City announced on Tuesday that Seminole County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted 5-0 in support of an agreement that secures the club’s newest training facility ahead of its debut season in MLS. The facility will be within the county’s Lake Sylvan Park complex, where the Lions have trained for years but in a different part.
“This partnership will expand the economic benefits generated by professional soccer in the Central Florida region,” said Orlando City President and Founder Phil Rawlins. “It not only creates a world-class training facility that will place Orlando City near the top of MLS practice facilities, but it provides opportunities to host youth and other professional teams throughout the year – teams that will stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and spend money in our community.
“Lake Sylvan has been our training home since the start and we are excited to be here for the long-term,” Rawlins continued. “This partnership also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the community by delivering programs and benefits including educational initiatives and new recreational fields.”
This development is another positive for Orlando City, who will join MLS next season along with New York City FC. The New York club has struggled, however, in finding a permanent location for a soccer-specific stadium and currently does not have a training facility after withdrawing plans that were in place with Manhattanville College in order to avoid lawsuits.
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