Since 2010, Orlando has been bleeding purple in support of Orlando City Soccer. Though it’s only been around for six years, soccer has become a large part of the Central Florida Community. Soccer’s short, but rich history in Orlando, has developed into a Lion-loving lifestyle.
1985 - 1996: The Orlando Lions played in the American Soccer League and American Professional Soccer League.
1997: The Orlando Sundogs played in the USL First Division aka A-League.
1997 - 1999: The Orlando Nighthawks played in the USL Premier Development League (amateur).
2004 - 2006: The Orlando Prospects played in the USL Premier Development League (amateur).
2006 - 2007: The Orlando Sharks played in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
2006 - 2007: Orlando Falcons played in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
2010: The foundation year of Orlando City began under the name of Orlando Pro Soccer when Phil Rawlins bought the USL Pro rights and relocated the Austin Aztex organization to Orlando.
2011: Orlando City’s inaugural season took off with their first home game on April 9, 2011 against F.C. New York. Their season ended with winning the USL Pro Regular Season title and USL Pro championship title.
2012: OCS repeated as regular season champions.
2013: In OCS’s third season, they took second in their regular season. The #Mission15k campaign that launched to draw fans to attend the championship game resulted in setting the record for most people at a minor league event in the U.S, all while OSC won the championship title for the second time in three years.
2014: As Orlando City’s last year in the league, it would be their best. They won their third championship title, while ground broke on the site of the new stadium.
2015: OSC began operations under the Major League Soccer franchise. Over 62,000 fans #FilledTheBowl for the first MLS match against New York City FC. Also, the announcement of the newest National Women’s Soccer League team in Orlando was made, as well as the announcement for the Orlando City B team.
2016: The first Orlando Pride home game sets a record for largest attendance for a match at a National Women’s Soccer Game with over 23,000 fans.
The history of soccer in Orlando will only continue to grow. The groundwork for a very successful soccer community has been laid by Orlando City and Orlando Pride. What’s to come in the future with these programs will only exceed the expectations.