Orlando City introduce Pride to NWSL, Sermanni as coach

Orlando Pride

by DAVE MARTINEZ

The National Women’s Soccer League is ready to expand to 10 teams with the addition of the Orlando Pride.

Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins made the announcement official, introducing the new NWSL team and revealing former U.S. Women’s National Team coach Tom Sermanni as the club’s head coach.

“The name ‘Orlando Pride’ captures how we all feel about the City of Orlando, as well as firmly tying into the Lions family,” said Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “The time is right for women’s professional soccer here in Central Florida, and we are excited to launch this new team for 2016. We want to win championships and build one of the best women’s teams in world soccer.

“We have taken a strong first step in this direction by naming Tom Sermanni as head coach of the Pride. Tom brings world class experience to our city, combined with the expertise to build a winning franchise. This is a thrilling time for our organization, our partners, and for fans in the ‘Soccer Capital of the South.’”

The Pride will begin play in 2016 and, like their MLS counterparts, will play at the Citrus Bowl for their inaugural campaign.

Orlando enters the league in an interesting time for Women’s soccer in America. NWSL is now set to venture into uncharted territory, entering their fourth year of operations in 2016. They are also buoyed by a historic and memorable year for the Women’s program which saw the U.S. regain the World Championship at the 2015 World Cup.

With the growth of Orlando City SC, the Pride have a tremendous opportunity to piggyback off of the eye-opening gains of the fledgling MLS franchise, bringing even more eyes to the women’s game in a vital Floridian market.

“We are very excited to welcome the Orlando Pride as the second expansion club in the history of the National Women’s Soccer League,” NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush said. “Orlando is a remarkable organization with an authentic club culture and a community that will help us continue to grow the league and provide more opportunities for female soccer players at the highest level. As we continue to build the overall fan base, we are thrilled to have a club in the Southeast to provide fans in the region with the opportunity to see and interact with our amazing players. We have no doubt Orlando will be a tremendous addition to the NWSL.”

  • 5 Boroughs SC

    It’s too bad that Sky Blue FC is not partnered with the Red Bulls. It would be a great platform for the NWSL in the New York Metro area.

    • BleedingRed

      agreed