This summer’s World Cup has undoubtably recruited a great deal of new Americans to the sport of soccer, many of which do not have a team to call their own. An abundance of these soccer hungry fans were recruited by the USMNT’s dramatic tournament, so they have an understandable interest in our domestic league. Those fortunate enough to live in a city or state with an MLS team have an easy decision on who to support and can make the natural choice of their local club.
What about those who aren’t so lucky?
These poor unfortunate souls are left with no team at which to aim their newly discovered passion, no group to get behind, and no real reason to continue following each week. After all, isn’t the point of sports to get emotionally invested, bleed your team’s colors, and support your club through thick and thin?
In 2015 their will be 20 active teams in Major League Soccer, so how do these unaffiliated fans decide who to adopt? Do they just cheer for the best in the league and forever be labeled a bandwagon supporter? Will they be forced to draw from a hat, or choose some other obscure way of picking an allegiance?
Why entrust your fate to chance or simply select the best rated team on FIFA when Orlando City SC makes a more than compelling argument for your support?
Be There From the Beginning
Kind of poetic isn’t it? There is something special about saying you have supported a team from their inception, and next season will present a unique opportunity to be a part of a club’s entire MLS history and literally never miss a moment. Also, you will be learning about your team just as every other soccer fan learns alongside you, eliminating the fear of not knowing as much as everyone else.
Habit of Winning
Orlando City likes to win and they have proven to be good at it. During their four years in USL Pro they won over 67% of their games, with an overall record 82-23-17. Adrian Heath’s teams also managed to bring home five trophies in their brief stint in the league. It is doubtful we will see such dominating results when they enter MLS next season, however Orlando City SC president Phil Rawlins has set the bar high in a recent interview with Brian Sciaretta over at American Soccer Now.
“Our goal and our aim in the first year is to get into the playoffs. We know that is not going to be easy. Nobody here is underestimating the league and that is the very last thing we would do. We have a lot of respect for it and the coaches, players, and teams in it. But we’ve come to compete and not to make up numbers. We’ve been used to winning. We’ve got a culture of winning and we want to continue that culture.”
Everybody Loves Disney World
Feel free to roll your eyes, but there is some logic behind it. If you don’t live close to an MLS City and want a realistic chance to watch your team live someday, Orlando may be your best bet. With over 48 million visitors each year, Orlando tops the charts as America’s most visited city. No disrespect, but I like the odds of finding myself in Orlando at some point in life over a Columbus or Kansas City.*
They Wear Purple
Honestly, the color purple doesn’t matter, but what it represents does. The color is distinguishable. When you wear a jersey you want immediate recognition and with the color purple Orlando has that. Just ask NYCFC fans how they feel about club identity.
For all those out there who are looking for a team to support or have friends who are just getting into soccer, check out Orlando City SC. You might just find out it’s a perfect fit.
*[Ed. Note: Columbus is fantastic and well worth the trip and I’m not just saying that because it’s my hometown. At least I don’t think I am.]