Orlando City SC is an American professional soccer club based in Orlando, Florida that competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC began play in 2015 as an expansion team of the league. The team is the first MLS franchise located in the state of Florida since the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were folded by the league following the 2001 season.
On March 1, 2012. Garber visited Orlando to meet with city and county officials. He stated, "It's not a matter of if, but when," when addressing Orlando's chances of joining MLS. On August 31, 2012, Rawlins told the Orlando Business Journal the team could get the Major League Soccer approval as early as fall 2013, and be ready to play in the league by 2014 or 2015. Rawlins said to make that happen, the league had asked the team to explore building a 22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium. "They didn't say we had to have a stadium built before we could join, but they at least would like a plan that it's happening."
On November 19, 2013, Orlando City SC was announced as the league's twenty-first franchise. On May 13, 2014, the team unveiled its new logo. On June 9, 2014, Orlando City SC announced a partnership with Benfica.As part of that partnership, Orlando City signed two players from the S.L. Benfica Juniors U-19 developmental team – Estrela and Rafael Ramos – to MLS contracts on August 7, 2014. On June 30, 2014 the team signed former Brazil international Kaká as their first Designated Player after his release from AC Milan, loaning him out to São Paulo FC until the start of the season.
On November 21, 2014, Adrian Heath signed a contract extension committing him to the club through to the end of the 2017 MLS season. As an expansion team, Orlando had first pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, choosing Canadian forward Cyle Larin, formerly of the Connecticut Huskies.