Orlando City may have made the move from USL to MLS this year, but are bringing a replacement in 2016.
Orlando City announced on Thursday that Orlando City B will begin play in the third-division league in 2016. Orlando City B, which will be known as OCB for short, will play their home games at Titan Soccer Complex in Eastern Florida State College (EFSC) in Melbourne. The EFSC stadium will seat 3,500 fans for OCB matches.
OCB will be coached by Anthony Pulis, a former player who spent 2012-2014 with Orlando City in USL and son of Tony Pulis, who coaches West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League.
“The addition of Orlando City B represents another important and exciting step in the continued growth of our club,” said Orlando City vice president of development Tim Holt in a statement. “OCB will have an immediate impact in the advancement of our young and emerging players by offering week-in, week-out action in the highly-competitive USL, serving to accelerate their development. With our past USL accomplishments serving as one of the club’s foundations, we are particularly thrilled to be rejoining a vibrant league in the form of OCB, rekindling old rivalries and establishing new ones.
"Further, our partnership with EFSC for the staging of games at the Titan Soccer Complex will allow us to offer a festive event experience and intense game atmosphere for our fans in Brevard County and throughout Central Florida to enjoy.”
Additionally, Orlando City B have signed their first three players by coming to terms with midfielder Tony Rocha and defenders Mikey Ambrose and Kyle Callan-McFadden. Rocha and Ambrose join OCB from the Austin Aztex while Callan-McFadden comes after most recently playing for Norwich City in England.
With the move, Orlando City become the latest MLS side to start its own USL outfit. They will join the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union in bringing teams into the league for 2016 season. Those three teams will in turn join the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and Montreal Impact in fielding USL franchises.