By MIKE GRAMAJO
With their USL Pro era now over, Orlando City’s transfer into Major League Soccer appears to have a start date. Club president Phil Rawlins told the Orlando Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that the club’s MLS opener is tentatively scheduled to be a home game on March 8, 2015.
“Nothing has been finalized yet,” said Orlando City spokesperson Lenny Santiago. “Our understanding is that Major League Soccer is set to open the season sometime in March 2015.”
The opponent for Orlando City’s inaugural game has not been resolved. The league is expected to release its 2015 schedule sometime in December.
The date would likely fall on the first weekend of MLS play in 2015, and could potentially be nationally televised.
The team currently has seven players on its MLS roster: Kevin Molino, Darwin Ceren, Tyler Turner, Tommy Redding, Kaka, Estrela and Rafael Ramos. The club is currently in negotiations with Luke Boden, Adama Mbengue and Harrison Heath for potential MLS deals.
The rest of the roster is still being sorted out as the Lions and NYCFC are scheduled to partake an MLS Expansion Priority Draft on Wednesday. The draw will decide which club will pick first in the MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 10.
The Lions will play the entire 2015 season at the Citrus Bowl while their permanent home is under construction. Groundbreaking for the downtown soccer stadium is expected in October, according to an Orlando City official. The facility is set to open in 2016.
What do you make of this development? Who do you think Orlando City will play in their season opener at the Citrus Bowl?
Share your thoughts below.
Why the Roma banner flying above the stands?
That facility in the photo is the Disney Wide World of Sports where OCSC had to hold the 2014 season while the Citrus Bowl is being rebuilt. Roma have a mulit-year offseason training contract with Disney and WWoS in particular, so that facility has several Roma logos and badges and flags posted in many places. OC and Roma have played a couple of friendlies the past few years.
it seems like that pole is photo-shopped in there or something. i know Roma has a deal at the WWoS, but is there really a big pole just smack in the middle of the stands like that? i can’t wrap my head around that picture.
Pole isn’t photo shopped. Those poles are scattered all over Disney’s WWOS’s soccer fields.
oh i believe that, it just seems like it is. idk why, but it just looks strange to me.
That one’s at the front corner of the end of the stand, but you’re right, with people standing a couple deep against the fence, it does look like the pole is right in the middle. But it’s actually at the corner. There’s a few others like that, at the respective corners of the smallish stands at that field we had to play at this past season.
ah ok, i see. that helps!
Tampa Bay Rowdies…..MLS corrects their errant ways and gets the best FL club back to the big stage
They’ve been affiliated with SKC for two seasons….they’d be a likely candidate too. Could be the return of Dom Dwyer….unless SKC cashes in on him during the offseason….
makes too much sense. the only other one i could see would be NYCFC..
No way they have 2 expansion teams meet for opening weekend. Guarantee it’s a Northern team though.
The Chicago Fire.
The Fire always seem to open new stadiums.
I thought it was the Sounders ?
I will bet money on this if that happens. Fire opened up JELD-WEN Field and hosted Montreal’s MLS inaugural at the Big O. I bet there were others too. I would laugh if Fire play March 8 at Citrus Bowl or first game at Yankee Stadium.