Behind the MLS Ambition Rankings: Orlando City SC
• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?
Orlando City has invested in its youth club well into the seven figures, most recently with the announcement of a new training center at Lake Nona here in Orlando. That facility will house the MLS team along with the Academy, creating a centralized home for both level of players.
• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?
We have four homegrown players (Harrison Heath, Tommy Redding, Mason Stajduhar and Tyler Turner). Heath played three games and started two for the first team in 2015. Redding played two games, starting one in 2015. Turner played seven games, starting five in 2015. Mason was just signed during the offseason and has not played for the first team. Also of note, Orlando City had one of the youngest rosters in MLS for 2015.
• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?
That information can be found here. USSDA teams are fully funded.
• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?
18,000 season ticket holders for 2016, up from 14,000 in 2015.
• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?
First team currently trains at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, Fla. Orlando City announced in January that it will construct a new multi-million dollar training facility for the MLS team and Academy at Lake Nona in Orlando. The move was necessitated due to the organizations growth and launch of OCB and Orlando Pride in NWSL. The new facility at Lake Nona will open in 2017.
• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?
Yes. The entire academy program is trained in the same playing philosophy of the first team. With the launch of OCB in the USL, we have completed the ladder system for players to advance all the way to the first team.
• What's your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?
Technology is utilized each and every training session to gather player data, track movement, distance, speed, and that is incorporated into overall coaching to enhance performance.
• Who is your jersey sponsor? What's your total income on sponsorships this season?
Orlando Health is our jersey sponsor. Exact figures have not been disclosed but it's a seven-figure deal.
• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?
19 games will be on local TV. Our partner is WFTV and WRDQ TV 27. We do not receive a rights fee for local TV.
• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?
All our games will be broadcast on 104.1 FM (English) and 1030 AM La Grande (Spanish).
• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?
Orlando City continues to grow as an organization, especially with the launch of Orlando Pride in NWSL and Orlando City B in USL. Our front office staff is close to 80 people.
• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?
We have not made changes to the size of the coaching staff but have changed some personnel. We also hired a new Equipment Director to lighten the load on our equipment manager given the addition of B.