Orlando lands 21st Major League Soccer franchise

Nov. 19, 2013 at 8:50 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Orlando, Fla., has been awarded Major League Soccer's 21st franchise, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday.

Orlando City Soccer Club will begin operations in 2015.

"We are proud and excited to welcome Orlando to Major League Soccer," Garber said. "From the success of the Orlando City Soccer Club, to the incredible fan support and passion in the community, this is a new market that really excites us."

The team is principally owned by Brazilian investor Flavio Augusto da Silva and Phil Rawlins, part-owner of English Premier League club Stoke City, MLS.com reported.

"Orlando is a special city with amazing fans that have embraced the beautiful game and we have no doubt that Orlando City will become the next success story in MLS," da Silva said in a statement. "We would like to thank MLS leadership for working with us and helping us bring Major League Soccer to Central Florida."

The ownership group has been trying to land an MLS franchise for three years.

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