Orlando City SC: USL-Pro Era Ends in Disappointing Fashion


Feb 22, 2014; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Orlando CL midfielder Kevin Molino (18) runs with the ball as Toronto FC defender Ashtone Morgan (5) defends during the first half at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City SC’s USL-Pro era ended a little sooner than expected; No. 8 seed Harrisburg City Islanders defeated No. 1 seed Orlando 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Their loss to Harrisburg is nothing short of shocking and disappointing as Orlando was coming off a record-setting season. The result ends their era in USL Pro and now signals the start of their MLS era. Orlando enters MLS in 2015 as the 21st team.

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For the third time in the last four seasons, Orlando City entered the playoffs as the USL-Pro regular season champions. Additionally, Kevin Molino swept the awards he was eligible to win by taking home the scoring, assist, and the league’s Golden Boot award. He also scored a career-high 20 goals this seasons. Molino will be key to Orlando’s success as they make the jump to MLS.

Head coach Arian heath shared his thoughts post-game on the season’s disappointing end.

"“It’s sad that the record-breaking season has come to an end with that type of performance, but that’s football and that’s the way it is. This might be the last time that a lot of these guys will be together, and that’s the tough part. The guys that have been here for a few years have given unbelievable service to this football club. I’m privileged to have been their coach for four years.”"

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  • The USL-Pro era ended with an unexpected loss, but Orlando City has much to look forward and many decisions to making moving to MLS. Two of their supporter sections, the Lions Firm and the Ruckus have agreed to the Lions’ new code of conduct which is also used for MLS supporters groups. The fans can now begin preparing their Tifo, cheers, and other supporters mediums as they prepare for the team’s MLS opener.

    From a business side, Orlando has two drafts – Expansion Draft and MLS SuperDraft – to look forward to. They also have to decided which players to sign to MLS contracts and which players to not. The players not signed will most likely move with the USL-Pro team shifting to Louisville. The Expansion Draft will allow Orlando build a core team from current MLS talent. The SuperDraft will allow them to find the next MLS star.

    All in all, Orlando’s USL-Pro era ended shockingly Saturday, but the future is bright for the Lions and fans alike.