Orlando City has sent out a media advisory for Thursday to announce details about its future USL team. Notably, the location of the presser is at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, one of the long-rumored sites that will host the new USL club.
So, congratulations to our neighbors in Melbourne. You're getting a USL team.
EFSC only has a seating capacity of 1,500, which falls short of the USL minimum requirement of 5,000, but new teams have a grace period of a year to meet it. The Lions will likely have to either rent additional grandstands or donate funds to have more seating built on site, if the club wants to keep the USL team in Melbourne. And there is no indication that this is a temporary arrangement, although time will tell if the surrounding area will support the new team.
The team remains unofficial at this point, as the USL has made no announcement on Orlando City getting a franchise in the league as of yet. Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel wrote today that the league had no comment on "potential expansion franchises," citing USL Associate Director of Communications Nicholas Murray. Tenorio's sources confirm that EFSC is indeed the team's new home.
No colors, logo or name have yet been announced either, although Adrian Heath has said the development side should be called Orlando City 2, going with the trend of other MLS sides.
The location will serve Orlando City well, in that it allows the club's footprint to grow in the area and gives young players a nearby place to develop and to play competitive games when not called into service by the Lions. Guys like Harrison Heath and Tyler Turner will be able to do more than just sit around watching the big club, while learning from the USL team's coaching staff, which includes former Lions Anthony Pulis as head coach and Rob Valentino as an assistant.
The venue is also close enough to Orlando to facilitate a quick trip to watch the younger players for City's fan base. It has not yet been announced whether ticket package deals for both teams will be available but it has been rumored since the club announced it would field its own USL side.
Trialist defender Kyle Callan-McFadden, a former Norwich City center back, is rumored to be tabbed for the new USL franchise for next season, and could become the team's first signing. Tenorio writes in the article linked above that his sources say the 20-year-old Irish youth international has already agreed to terms. Here he is with Harrison Heath at the club's training facility on Oct. 8:
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