Orlando awarded MLS expansion franchise



ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando City Soccer has become Major League Soccer’s next expansion franchise.

MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed a franchise agreement with Orlando City on Tuesday at a community celebration near the site where a new downtown stadium will be constructed.

Once construction is completed the team will begin playing in MLS in the 2015 season.

Orlando City becomes MLS’ 21st franchise. It is the latest of four new franchises that Garber said in August that the league planned to add by 2020. New York is also getting a team in 2015.

Both city and county officials previously approved the use of tourism taxes to help fund the construction costs for a new $84 million, 18,000-seat downtown soccer-specific stadium. That was the final hurdle the MLS said the city needed to clear to be awarded a team.