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Orlando City SC : Q/A with The Mane Land

We don't know much about the new MLS franchise from Orlando who will join the league in 2015. I had a chat with Michael from their blog The Mane Land to learn more about their franchise.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

This is the second part of a Q/A with The Mane Land. The first part can be found online here: http://maneland.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/meet-our-new-foes-montreal-impact/ . Impact fans get an exclusive sneak peak on what makes Orlando City SC clicks, its history, its ambitions and more.

1-Tell me more about your Club the Orlando SC. What is this history behind the club? Notable former player?

 

 

Orlando City Soccer Club has exploded onto the scene, winning three regular season championships and two playoff championships in four seasons of USL Pro play from 2011-2014. This team loves to win trophies and to compete. It beat BPL side Newcastle United in 2011 in an international friendly, without conceding a goal. Team leadership is not going to be content with just being in MLS. They want to win, and they don’t want to wait long to do it.

 

Our notable former player is coming with us to MLS. Kevin Molino was USL Pro MVP twice in his time with the club. This past season, he broke Dom Dwyer’s league record for goals in a season. He has been signed to an MLS contract.

 

2-What are the expectations from the supporters in Orlando about their expansion club for next year?

 

Orlando City fans want the team to win of course, but I think they’d be OK with being competitive and fighting for a playoff spot. We understand that to build a team you need to develop a youth system and HGPs, plus you need experienced players. Orlando City has youth, but right now only two players with big-time experience—Kaka, of course, and goalkeeper Tally Hall, who was just acquired from the Houston Dynamo (and that move isn’t even official yet).

 

3-Which player from the current club is going to make it to the MLS ?

 

I’ve already talked about Molino, and the club recently signed defender Luke Boden, who was an All-USL Pro first team player last season at left back. In addition, there are a lot of young players making the jump, although they may end up getting loaned out in the short term. Teenage defenders Tommy Redding and Tyler Turner may have bright futures on the back line. Those guys probably have the most upside, although 24-year old midfielder Estrela and 24-year-old defender Rafael Ramos—both assigned by Benfica—each scored on their debut last year.

 

4-What was the reaction when Orlando acquired the Brazilian superstar player Kaka? And tell me about the expectation you are placing on him.

 

The city of Orlando was very excited to hear about Kaka’s signing and thousands of people came out to see him when the club introduced him. He is not only the face of the club right now, but also the driving force behind the team’s international marketing efforts. We have seen Kaka settle into a new role as a deeper midfield player and his form has been good enough to earn a recall to the Brazilian national team. I think it’s fair to say that City fans expect him to play most of the games and to create chances for his teammates, while scoring some goals himself as well.

 

5-And finally since it’s not always easy to bring an expansion team at a good level what is the timeframe to make the playoff and if the club sign another DP what kind of player it should be ?

 

Realistically, not many expansion teams make the playoffs. But Orlando City leadership wants to win as soon as possible. The team’s motto is "defy expectations" and they’ve done that many ways—becoming successful quickly in a city that has not been an easy sell for sports teams, making the jump to MLS, getting a stadium deal done quickly, and drawing 20,000+ for a USL Pro championship game.  I think people will want to see a playoff appearance by the second or third season at least.

 

For DPs, coach Adrian Heath has said he will look for the right player. We think that means he won’t spend money on a big name just to sell tickets. He will want to find the right player for his system and someone who will help the team be successful right away. Many of us want that to be a lethal striker or a stopper at center back, because those are the spots that are so difficult to find quality.

 

 

I would like to personally thank Michael for answering my question it was really fun and i’m planning to contribute in the future with The Mane Land as they join SBnation soon.