From the crowds lining the streets to the stadium full of purple, there’s no doubt that Orlando has become the mecca for all things soccer. Orlando began its love affair with soccer by hosting the World Cup in 1994, moving on to the 1998 MLS All Star Game, and making history by hosting the Copa Americana in 2016. These are huge milestones that led to Orlando becoming the soccer capital of, not only the Southeast, but arguably, the United States. The experts in Orlando women’s soccer are here to tell the tale of how the City Beautiful grew from soccer fields to stadiums in the heart of our downtown streets.
While the history is clear, what needs to be discussed is how the fans of soccer made their way to the streets of downtown Orlando. On game days, you can see the swarm of purple blocking streets from Church to Pine. While on other days, you can see passersby look up toward the magnificent lion decorated on the top front entrance of our beautiful, NFL-like stadium. These fans come from all over to see the United League, the Major League, and of course, our personal favorite, the Orlando Pride. Not only are tickets to games on the affordable side, the chants, the battle cries, and the wins are something you won’t want to experience anywhere else.
Orlando’s very own, Mayor Buddy Dyer, couldn’t be happier to be a part of the fan club. From the games, to the camaraderie, to the City Beautiful, soccer is simply what makes Orlando the place that it is. There’s one commonality between our stadium and our city, and it’s the atmosphere of triumph, diversity, and excitement. In 2016, Mayor Buddy Dyer was especially thankful and happy to host the Copa Americana’s 100th anniversary Latin American Championship. We made history by being the first host outside of South America. Not only did this catapult Orlando into soccer history, it marked its territory on being the biggest and the best in the sport of soccer.
The tale of Orlando and soccer does not end here and will only continue to grow alongside our prestigious city. From the swarms of purple to the chant of Orlando City's support leagues, and from the experts in Orlando women's soccer, here's to soccer; and here's to our City Beautiful.