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Orlando City Agrees to Groundbreaking Collaboration with Florida Rush

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and Florida Rush announced today a unique partnership aligning Central Florida’s professional soccer club with local youth powerhouse Florida Rush. The agreement sees the two organizations collaborating on the US Development Academy, which is the highest level of elite youth play in the country, by leveraging two of the Rush coaches leading the U16 and U18 teams.

“This is an agreement that we have been talking with the Rush about for several months now. It makes sense for the two clubs to collaborate on the Development Academy, by pooling players, coaches and resources we can only build stronger and more competitive elite teams to represent our region,” said Brian Pederson, OCYS Executive Director.

The partnership has the advantage of providing pre-Academy players (U13-14) with the option of playing in either OCYS or Rush programs prior to making the transition to the full Development Academy rosters. The two clubs will pool their most talented players for the program. The agreement also provides for joint marketing and sales efforts between the two clubs.

As part of the agreement, Florida Rush Head Coaches Nate Omodt and Sean Murphy will lead the Development Academy teams for Orlando City. Both Rush coaches have become the most successful area coaches in terms of Regional and National success over the past 3 years including (3) State Cup Championships, (1) Region III Championship, and an appearance at the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.

“Until recently, the parochial nature of youth soccer in Central Florida has meant that the talent in Central Florida has underperformed on the national stage. National and Regional exposure for our local players is critical for playing at the collegiate level,” said Phil Rawlins, Orlando City President. “Agreements like this with the Rush only make sense for players and coaching staff alike.”

”We couldn’t be happier to see Orlando City Soccer Club take the lead role in reshaping the landscape of youth soccer in our community. The benefit for overall player development in the area has taken a giant step forward with this partnership,” said Richie Gray, President of the Florida Rush. “We’re very excited to be a part of it moving forward.”

About the Florida Rush:
Based in Ocoee, the nonprofit Florida Rush is part of the largest soccer club in the world, Soccer Partners of America (Rush), with affiliate Rush clubs in 27 states and 8 countries leading over 35,000 players in soccer. The Rush provides youth soccer development opportunities for boys and girls, ages 4-19 at all playing levels primarily in Southwest Central Florida. Locally the Florida Rush has won the most FYSA State Cup trophies of any club in Central Florida with six (6) titles and has a multitude of players who have been promoted to the collegiate and US national team level.

About Orlando City Youth Soccer:
Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) is Central Florida’s largest youth club. Our core values are player development, parental guidance, coaches education and community outreach. Comprised of over 2,500 players ages 5-18 years old, OCYS has 10 playing locations spanning two counties. For more information, please visit www.orlandocityyouth.org.

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