The announcement? All signs point to it being official word that Orlando will be awarded the 21st Major League Soccer franchise.
“We are excited to make these two big announcements next week, which will solidify Orlando as a soccer market for years to come,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said in a statement released by the club. “We encourage all of our fans to come out on the 19th, which will be a historic day for the city of Orlando!”
The city of Orlando has been poised to become the latest MLS expansion city ever since the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted to approve funding of a soccer-specific stadium,a total of $35 million in tax-generated contributions to the project. MLS president Mark Abbott was quoted as saying that if the funding came through that MLS would grant Orlando City an expansion team.
That formal announcement, which will serve as a celebration of the completed mission of bringing pro soccer to Orlando, is set for Wednesday at Cheyenne Saloon.
The announcement is supposed to unveil two pieces of news. One is expected to be MLS expansion, while the other is rumored to be the announcement of a jersey sponsorship with Orlando Health, the current jersey sponsor for USL PRO side Orlando City.
Orlando City is expected to join MLS in 2015, the same year New York City FC is set to join MLS as its 20th franchise.
Wednesday was a good day on the Florida soccer front, with more news also emerging about David Beckham's plans for bringing an MLS team to Miami. The Miami Herald reported that Beckham was looking at sites for a potential stadium for an expansion team, with Marlins Park and a stadium on the campus of Florida International being identified as possible temporary homes for a Miami franchise.
With Orlando already set to join the league, Miami doesn't look to be too far behind, with a David Beckham-backed expansion bid potentially launching a team by 2016.