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Orlando City Notes: Kaka edges closer to Orlando City return; Rawlins voted into USL Pro hall of fame; and more

KakaSaoPaulo2-Figueirense2014 (Getty)

By MIKE GRAMAJO

After a six month delay, Orlando City Soccer Club fans are less than a week away from the return of their first designated player, Kaka.

The midfielder spent a portion of 2014 playing on-loan at his boyhood club Sao Paulo after signing with Orlando City in July, and most recently played in his final home game with the Brazilian club. With only one game left in his loan stint, the Tricolor visit Sport Recife on Dec. 7, which will conclude Kaka’s time at Sao Paulo.

Kaka, who will also be the highest paid player in Major League Soccer in 2015, is expected to rejoin Orlando City prior to its 2015 preseason, including the Carolina Challenge Cup, which will run from Feb. 21-28.

OCSC is expected to open up the preseason tournament playing against New York City FC, who also bolster two high-profile Designated Players in David Villa and Frank Lampard. 

The former World Player of the Year signed a contract with the Lions through the 2017 season and is expected to make roughly $21.5 million during his duration in Orlando.

Here are a few other notes regarding Orlando City: 

RAWLINS VOTED INTO USL PRO HALL OF FAME

After taking charge of a winning organization for all of its four years of existence in USL Pro, Orlando City president Phil Rawlins will finally have his legacy cemented for days to come. 

USL Pro announced on Tuesday that Rawlins will be inducted into the USL Pro Hall of Fame on Dec. 12, which places his name among 100 of the most influential figures in American soccer.

“I’m proud to be a part of the growth and development of USL PRO,” Rawlins said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as USL PRO was an important part of our Club’s history.”

The former Stoke City director, who relocated his Austin Aztex franchise to Orlando in 2010, has since then pivoted Orlando City’s front office to several accolades, especially spearheading the club’s social media initiative of bringing in a USL-record  of  20,886 fans during the Lions’ USL championship game in 2013.

TURNER RECEIVES CALL UP FROM U-20 USMNT 

Having already attained his first-two caps with the U-20 United States Men’s National Team, Orlando City defender Tyler Turner has been given the light again from U-20s head coach Tab Ramos to showcase his talent. 

Turner will join the U-20’s for a week-long fitness training camp at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. on Dec. 3 ahead of their U-20 FIFA World Cup qualifying, which is expected to commence in January.

The 18-year-old signed with Orlando City back in February as the club’s fourth MLS signing, and played an integral part in OCSC’s final USL Pro season despite sustaining a quad injury toward the 2014 postseason.

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What do you think of these notes? Glad to see Kaka returning soon? Do you expect him to be fit for action come February and March? What do you think of Rawlins’ honor?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. “Phil Rawlins will finally have his legacy cemented for days to come.”

    Not too high on the idea that the USL Pro Hall of Fame will last long? Don’t blame you.

    Reply

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