In Don Garber’s State of the League event on Tuesday, a lot of news was made regarding the future of MLS and North American soccer in general. One aspect that hasn’t received too much discussion is the official disbandment of the MLS Reserve League and the league officially becoming “deeply committed to the USL Pro.”
“The Reserve League is going away. Every one of our clubs is either going to own or be affiliated with a USL Pro team,” the commissioner said. “And the reason why we’re doing it with the USL Pro is because they’re interested in doing that. They’re interested in affiliating with us and working together to help develop players.”
So what does this all mean for USL Pro?
Continue reading Louisville City Update: USL Pro to be New Reserve League?
At 17 years old, Tommy Redding is currently the youngest player on Orlando City’s youthful roster. Along with fellow Lion, Tyler Turner, the 6-foot-2 center back is among the elite players coming through the U.S. youth ranks.
Redding is certainly dubbed a prospect for the future, but don’t be fooled, the defender exceeded all expectations in the USL Pro last year. Redding made 15 appearances in his debut season for Orlando, and has put himself in a great position in the lead-up to the MLS season.
Redding’s fine play has been awarded with an MLS contract, which made him the club’s first ever homegrown player. Adrian Heath has been pleased with his young defender’s development and has since showered him with praise following their 2014 USL Pro season. Continue reading Where Does Tommy Redding Fit in 2015?
As Orlando City prepares to make the jump to MLS, its president and founder is headed to the USL Hall of Fame. The club announced today that Phil Rawlins has been elected to the Hall in the Builder category.
He will be formally inducted at the USL Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, just two days after his Lions select 10 new players from among active MLS rosters in the Expansion Draft.
“I’m proud to be a part of the growth and development of USL PRO,” said Rawlins. “It’s an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as USL PRO was an important part of our Club’s history.”
Continue reading Rawlins Elected to USL Hall of Fame
[Ed. Note: Jeff Leadbeater, our copy editor at The Mane Land, has been on the leading edge of club news from its foundation. In this article, he shares some of his memories of the club’s formation.]
On Thursday, March 4, 2010, I got permission from my workplace to leave early, and went downtown to a press conference. The presser was for the announcement by the United Soccer Leagues (USL) of an expansion franchise in Orlando.
It would be the latest attempt by the USL to bring pro soccer to Orlando. Previous attempts in the 1990s didn’t work. But with the tightening of social media, the disparate fan groups were finally beginning to gel and were crying out for a team of their own.
Continue reading Reflections on Orlando City’s Genesis
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? Continue reading Don’t have an MLS team yet? Why not Orlando City?
The weather in Louisville, Kentucky has cooled down considerably this week. We even awoke to find (gasp!) snow on the ground. All before Thanksgiving. However, despite the weather cooling, Louisville City FC news is heating up.
The club held a town hall meeting at Against the Grain Brewery, which is inside its home stadium, Louisville Slugger Field. Coach James O’Connor and club President Djorn Buchholz were made available to answer questions from a crowd of around 100 LCFC fans. Here are my notes on the meeting:
(By the way, if you find yourself wondering what Louisville City FC is, you can find my introduction to the club here.)
- O’Connor already has expectations for what his first team will look like on the pitch next spring. He expressed his desire to have a team that can play “attacking, possession-based football” featuring a high pressure system with players that will be able to “win the ball back high up the pitch.” He discussed that he has specific expectations for each role on the team, and if a player doesn’t meet those expectations, the club won’t sign him. However, he lamented the dimensions of the pitch at Slugger Field, particularly its lack of length, and said that it may have an effect on his potential style of play. Will O’Connor be successful in bringing visually pleasing, attacking soccer to LCFC? Will LCFC be able to sign players with the requisite skills to play the O’Connor’s system? The coming weeks will be telling. Continue reading Louisville City: Signing Announcements Soon?
This is the first of what will be regular weekly posts on Louisville City FC, the USL Pro affiliate of Orlando City and the legacy of what was the Lions’ USL franchise. We hope to bring you all of the pertinent Louisville City news and information as it becomes available. This being the first post, we felt it was a good idea to introduce you to the fledgling club and it’s relationship with Orlando City.
Wayne Estopinal – Principal owner of Louisville City FC. Estopinal is the president and founder of TEG Architects and, among his other business interests, is the owner of Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex, which is Louisville’s leading and most visible soccer facility. He has been an investor in a professional soccer team since 2007, including the Austin Aztex franchise that later became Orlando City. An avid soccer fan, he led the push to bring the Orlando City USL franchise to Louisville after MLS awarded Orlando an expansion franchise.
Djorn Buchholz – President of Louisville City FC. Buchholz has been a soccer executive for 13 years, including stops at Sporting Kansas City of MLS as director of fan experience, and Minnesota United FC of the NASL, as president. He more or less is single-handedly responsible for professional soccer’s existence in Minnesota, having run the Minnesota Thunder for four years until 2009, and then taking over the league-owned Minnesota NASL franchise in 2011 and leading it through a rebranding to become as successful a club as there is at its level. He has experience with the Louisville City franchise, having been CEO of the Austin Aztex between stops in Minnesota. Continue reading Louisville City: Better Know the Front Office, Stadium, Supporters