By DAN KARELL
Last week’s visit to the Orlando City SC training facility by Kaka might not have just been for fun.
Speaking to a local reporters, Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath stated that if the club make the jump to Major League Soccer in 2015 as they are hoping, the Real Madrid midfielder could be wearing the iconic purple jerseys of Orlando City.
Kaka was in Orlando last week due to many connections he has with the Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto da Silva, who has not only helped spearhead the campaign for a new stadium and a place in MLS, but has through his connections back in his native Brazil, helped bring Brazilian club Fluminense in for a mid-season friendly on Saturday.
The former World Player of the Year has long been rumored for a move to the New York Red Bulls, but Wednesday’s news has certainly sent shock waves up the eastern seaboard.
Here are some more notes from around the nation:
NASL IN OKLAHOMA CITY? IT CERTAINLY COULD BE
The North American Soccer League could be coming to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 2015.
Earlier this week, Sold Out Strategies and their president Brad Lund were awarded the lease to Taft Stadium, which they plan on renovating and refurbishing to house a professional soccer team in the NASL. The $9 million dollar renovations are set to be completed by the end of 2014, just in time to put a team on the field the following spring.
Taft Stadium is currently used by a couple of local high school’s football teams, but has been in a state of disrepair recently due to lack of funding within the city towards fixing the stadium built in the heart of the Great Depression.
Lund and his ownership group will make a formal presentation to the NASL Board of Governors on July 25, in Dallas, Texas, but it looks a forgone conclusion that Oklahoma City will become the next NASL franchise.
COSMOS WIN PRE-SEASON OPENER, DECLINE TO SIGN BELLION
The New York Cosmos started off their pre-season strong, defeating USASA side Newtown Pride, 6-0, at a match with proceeds going to the Newtown Parent Connection.
New signing Marcos Senna was not in the squad, but the team found six different scorers on the night, including Spain native Ayoze, who scored the opener on a curling free kick. Henry Lopez, Edison, and Pablo Mendes were among the scorers on the night for the Cosmos as well.
In other news, sources told SBI that the Cosmos have decided not to make former Manchester United forward David Bellion a contract offer, after the Frenchman spent last week trailing with the club.
What do you make of these reports? Do you see Kaka playing for Orlando City over RBNY? Do you like the choice of OKC for an NASL team? Surprised that Bellion wasn’t offered a contract?
Share your thoughts below.
Orlando City has been in existence for about an hour and a half, their purple jerseys are “iconic” already?
My God, citizen journalism.
I’ve played on the pitch at Taft Stadium. It is very narrow and they would probably need to make it wider to have an NASL team there.
Orlando’s purple uniforms are iconic huh? That’s flat-out hilarious.
By the way, I thought Tulsa and okc were both getting NASL teams.
I think kaka will go to nycfc or red bull but if Orlando want him, they will get him. As for MLS expansion, MLS will stop at 26 or 28, with each conference having an even number. As for NASL, they can easily do 15 to 20, same with USL. I also think Albuquerque or El Paso,tx need an NASL team and that would be a crazy rivalry, both cities hate each other. In final thought, I think MLS teams should go for Japan’s Honda player, his good and looks cheap.
OKC is a great fit for NASL. If anyone knows anything about the Market, it does nothing but attract fans. 7500 fans a game will be a good # for OKC but it will need a bigger stadium in the future. Hint…The arena the Thunder play in was built to bring in NHL and NBA teams…but that dream only came when its CHL team continually drew near capacity in the 13k seat Myriad.
By the way the management group is the same that was just granted the use of the stadium in Okc and plans to Rennovate it for NASL competition.
As for Orlando city. I hope you are the selection for MLS. It makes perfect sense. Disney and Mickey Mouse should team with Beckham and the current owners and bring a franchise to Orlando.
If not, come join the NASL. As it grows, it will be a great 2nd Division with good Cities and solid Ownership groups. Its already a better league than USL Pro. The rivalry between O city, Tampa and the Strikers would be a great one.
I agree with you. I think the best bet that Becks can make if he wants to build an MLS franchise in Florida is to join forces with Orlando. In fact, he could offer is franchise fee discount as his consideration and become part of the Orlando City set-up at no extra dollar cost to Becks.
I think that the success that other teams have had in Florida, compared to Orlando City’s success, makes Orlando clearly the safest bet/option.
I am excited that the NASL may come to OKC. I was a big fan of the Tulsa Roughnecks of the old NASL back in the late 1970s and had a chance to see my favorite stars come to Tulsa to play . . . Johan Cruyff, Gerd Mueller, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Neeskens, etc. The best thing about the NASL is there are no salary caps, so that means alot of great foreign players and coaches can be enticed to come play in the league, which will draw the fans. Taft Stadium in OKC, was built during the depression out of the abundant red sand stone common to central Oklahoma. It really is a historical treasure, and after the renovation will be a beautiful venue with a beautiful grass field in which to watch the world’s beautiful game. The stadium currently holds 20K, but seating will be reduced to 7500 for the NASL. Can’t wait.
For people who keep saying if MLS expands the league will run out of talent you have to not look at the global picture. England’s second division has 24 teams plus the 20 in the EPL that’s almost 50 high to moderate level talented teams in a country smaller then Cali. Its all about spending money the players are out there to support 50 teams in this country if we wanted to do that. The question is if you can supply those 50 teams with American players. If that’s the question then no I don’t think MLS needs to expand to fast as to keep with the growth of our own talent. But if we throw that idea to the wind and spend more the sky is the limit on how many teams MLS can have. I see a 36 team league with 2 single tables on either side of the country no cross over and playoffs. Can American on its own support that no but can we even support the teams we have now with good homegrown talent?
I hadn’t read your post before I posted above, but I was saying that I see 40 teams with 20/20 East and West split. Home and homes with an 8 team playoff.
OKC would be the smallest market in the country to have an NASL team, pretty interesting move by this ownership group to want to make this happen.
While they may be the smallest market in the US, both Edmonton and Ottawa are smaller than OKC.
Funny you mention Edmonton being smaller than OKC, the OKC barons are the farm team for the Edmonton oilers in NHL
If by “small” you mean considerably larger than than every city in NASL except San Antonio, I get what you’re after.
You know, you could look it up.
From newsok.com: “Upon formal approval on July 25, 2013, Oklahoma City will become the smallest market in the NASL.”
Smallest MARKET. You know, you could read my comment
RSL is very successful, and they’re in the top higher division, and Salt Lake is a much smaller market than Oklohoma City.
I think NASL and USL Pro will work in much smaller markets as we mature as a soccer culture.
NASL that is
mean while a league that only seek 5k attendance is growing.
what will MLS do for pub, if there are no washed up DP to sign & no expansion to talk of? Can’t they just let the league breathe.
Yes to OCSC, but that other So FLA team a bad idea,
See Heat, Dolphin & Marlins
While u r at it, take gander @ TB Rays
By 2015, Kaka will be 33. That’s not that old. Better than 36-year-old Di Vaio.
Also better than Marcos Senna.
already have 20 MLS clubs
Orlando City should join NASL. Building up the rest of the pyramid is more important to the growth of soccer than adding too many clubs to our D1.
MLS is not going to stop at 20. Building for south east in MLS is even better for the growth of soccer in this country.
Not when the country is roughly the size of europe
Unfortunately, the talent isn’t really there, but I guess that’s where the academies are supposed to step up the(ir) game.
I think the MLS is definitely heading for 24 teams. The real question is how quickly to get there. MLS has some exciting teams, but I could name one or two at least that are unwatchable right now.
Expansion means more money for MLS, which should mean a big increase in the salary cap and an increase in the number of international player slots per team. If nothing else, with MLS so interested in being competitive in CONCACAF, adding foreigners will make MLS teams better and also might take away some of the best players from possible CONCACAF opponents.
Can’t really use the talent argument. That is used every time the league gets bigger and yet the teams are only getting better. It comes down to management and coaching. Also by that time each team will have more money to spend on players.
+1 on your point that despite expansion the teams keep getting better. When expansion stops, more and more MLS teams are going to field top notch lineups.
I think 24 = 34 games x2 in conference and x1 out of conference. Definitely the endgame for the forseeable future.
Why not go to 40 teams? 20 in the East and 20 in the West. West only plays East in Cup games and the playoff finals. True East vs. West all-star game.
The US has 300 million people across three time zones, it is not England.
It’s actually 4 time zones but who’s counting.
Six, actually, if you count Alaska and Hawaii, which last I checked were in the US.
Well maybe it’s 6.5, since Arizona doesn’t acknowledge Daylight Savings. they call themselves MST and not MDT.
Right, I was thinking three hours difference between east coast and west coast, but of course that means four time zones not three.
what does the size of the country have to do with wanting to increase D1 over 20 teams?
Can you name one other country on the frickin planet that has a D1 with over 20 teams? How are you going to have a balanced schedule with more than 20 teams?
and then there is pro/rel which is a must to be considered a proper league.
learn how the sport is played around the planet then get back to us.
Better yet you catch a clue and don’t get back to us. MLS does not have a balanced schedule.
Actually, there are currently only 16 mls teams in the United States. So by your rule of 20, we can add nycfc, Orlando, Miami and someone else. (Plus 17 more in Canada!)
LOL, learn to accept that MLS is not the same as every other league then YOU get back to US.
and you wonder why no one watches MLS. Soccer fans hate this league because of the way it gives a finger to the rest of the football world.
the TV ratings for MLS are horrendous.
We don’t wonder that at all, we know it’s all in do time as the league is only twenty years old come next year. I don’t watch Europe because only two to five teams can win each league, boring.
Yes Orlando will get Kaka when Chivas USA signs Messi
Awww come on, don’t burst our bubble.