This landed in my inbox this morning. I'm not going to bother with full comment, but I will say that there's not much here considering that Orlando City hasn't yet played a league match. I guess it's nice of Garber and Mark Abbott to take a meeting with anyone interested in expansion. Orlando, particularly because of its geographical location, is a semi-legitimate expansion candidate.
But let's see how D3 soccer plays out there before we get ahead of ourselves. Even if they have a massive first season by lower division standards, it's a long, long way to go before Orlando will be top of the list. Never mind that we're hearing about this meeting a month after it happened for no apparent reason. Maybe it's a ploy to sell a few more tickets.
I resisted the tiny urge to post this under a "MLS to Expand to Orlando?" headline. Okay, I'm kidding. Didn't have that urge at all.
ORLANDO CITY MEETS WITH MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
TO DISCUSS EXPANSION PLANS
Orlando City Owners and MLS Officials meet at NSCAA Convention
ORLANDO - Orlando City Soccer Club is proud to announce the club has taken the first step in
becoming a Major League Soccer expansion franchise by meeting with MLS Commissioner Don
Garber and MLS President Mark Abbott last month following the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The meeting was designed to explore the opportunity for MLS expansion in Orlando, Florida.
Topics covered in the meeting included a review of the demographics of the Orlando marketplace,
the level of potential corporate and fan support for soccer in Central Florida and a detailed discussion on developing a roadmap for a successful future MLS franchise in Orlando.
“As a first meeting I don’t believe it could have gone much better,” said Phil Rawlins, Owner and President of Orlando City. “MLS wants a successful future franchise in Florida and our owners believe Orlando has all the ingredients MLS is looking for in a potential franchise.”
Orlando City has already started the road to MLS with a successful opening match on February 19th, 2011. The 1-0 victory over last year’s expansion side Philadelphia Union got the squad’s inaugural season off to a fantastic start. City has already seen an increase in season ticket sales and fan interest via Facebook and Twitter as a result of the team’s historic win.
“It up to us and the people of Central Florida to prove that Major League Soccer has a future here in Orlando,” said Rawlins. “Commissioner Garber and Mark Abbott clearly spelt out what we need to do to be successful in our MLS application, and based on that we are be building a roadmap for MLS status. I anticipate last month’s meeting will be the first of several. We were very encouraged by what we heard.”
I would ask that the Austin people keep the name-calling to a minimum. Thanks!