The Wilf Era or Orlando City Soccer has been a huge success all season. The new group of owners is smashing the club’s transfer fees, bringing in player capabilities and price tags that Orlando City fans could only dream of.
Designated Player Facundo Torres is the club’s most expensive player in history, and Orlando has since acquired two more DP attackers and three U22 extras. This investment has also shown early returns on the pitch.
Last season was the most successful campaign in Orlando City history. The club won his first major trophy at the US Open Cup and made his first appearance in the Champions League for Conca Cafe. At the same time, Orlando continued its playoff winning streak under head coach Oscar Pareja.
Despite some disappointing regular season and first-round playoff losses, the results on the pitch were among the best Orlando City fans have ever seen.
But with this new funding came new expectations.
For many, simply making the playoffs is no longer considered success. Some Orlando fans even wanted to see a head coach change this offseason. That level of ridicule didn’t deserve it, but it shows the stakes have been raised in this new era.
In a sport defined by the haves and have-nots, Orlando quickly became the have of Major League Soccer. The Lions may not have spent $16 million on transfers like Atlanta United, or $14 million per season on his one player like Toronto FC. No, but the club definitely has the resources to compete like his team in the league’s elite.
On paper, the team currently built should be a true contender for the MLS Cup. Torres and new DP Martin Ojeda are both potential top 11 finishers. A seasoned goalkeeper, a reliable centre-back group and a strong midfield with a strong spine. Most of the team’s core now has multiple years of his MLS experience under its belt.
If ever there was ever a time for Orlando City to rise to near the top of the MLS hierarchy, it’s now. This season will be a defining moment in the club’s history and new expectations will demand new levels of success.