ORLANDO – Oct. 13, 2015 – There is a long line of players that make up the historical backbone of Orlando City SC’s success. To honor their contributions, the Lions are launching the Orlando City Alumni Association to conclude the regularly-scheduled Major League Soccer (MLS) season with over 40 former Lions, who played between 1985 and 2014.
Members of the inaugural class will be recognized during the last home game of the regular season at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Oct. 16. To qualify for the Orlando City Alumni Association, players must have competed in at least 10 matches for the Orlando Lions, Orlando Sundogs or Orlando City SC, and be retired from professional play.
“This year has been a dream come true for many across the organization who have worked together to achieve one goal – to build a great soccer club that would eventually seed itself in the major leagues,” said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “We cannot say enough about the players who have experienced this journey with us, and hope they recognize how integral they are to our success.
“With every year and every team, Orlando City players continued to raise the bar for the organization, helping us reach the level of amazing support we have today in Central Florida,” added Rawlins.
In addition to a successful first campaign in MLS after launching the year with over 62,000 fans for its home opener, City recently broke ground on a new, privately funded soccer stadium as well as announced the return of a USL team.
During the Club’s former USL days, The Lions set the U.S. record for best start of any professional soccer club in its first 100 USL matches (66-12-22), and won three regular season titles and two postseason championships.
This impressive performance was integral in helping Orlando City leadership secure entrance into the MLS, which has sparked a nation of Lions across the globe.