Orange County Government, Florida
02 July 2014
Orange County Welcomes Brazilian Soccer Superstar Kaká to Orlando City Soccer Club
Florida Senator Andy Gardiner, Orlando City Soccer owner Flávio Augusto da Silva, Orlando City’s Ricardo Kaká, Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Health executives and Orlando City President Phil Rawlins joined the welcome celebration at The Abbey.

Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined the leadership team of the Orlando City Soccer Club at The Abbey to welcome global soccer icon Ricardo Kaká to Orange County. Kaká’s multi-year contract marks another historic milestone as the Club prepares for its inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season in 2015.

“The world famous Ricardo Kaká has officially joined the Orlando City Soccer Club and we are so glad he's here,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Thank you for choosing our Orange County as your new home.”

Kaká has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and has compiled one of the most highly decorated resumes of any soccer player in history. This new addition marks the next chapter in what has been a long-standing relationship between Orlando City owner Flávio Augusto da Silva and Kaká.

One of the most important accomplishments of 2013 was Orange County’s approval of our $94.5 million venues package. Funded by Tourist Development Taxes, the venues package marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter of sports, creativity, arts-driven economic development, and innovation for Central Florida.

The funds are allocated for five major projects including construction of a new multi-use, soccer-centric stadium for the Orlando Lions, our new Major League Soccer team; improvements at the Orange County Convention Center; support for Visit Orlando and Visit Orlando’s Sports Promotion initiatives; completion of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and renovating the Florida Citrus Bowl.

As announced in December 2013, Central Florida won the right to host seven NCAA Championships from 2016 to 2018, to be held at the new Orlando City Soccer Stadium, December 2-4, 2016 and December 1-3, 2017.

Along with the new MLS soccer stadium, local citizens will enjoy 19 new, multi-use athletic fields, perfect for soccer throughout Orange County.

“This is yet another great step in our journey to Major League Soccer,” Orlando City President Phil Rawlins said. “We are developing a venue that will make soccer fans proud.”

The new MLS soccer stadium is slated to open prior to the 2016 soccer season. Orlando City will play its entire inaugural 2015 MLS season at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, which is currently undergoing over $200 million in renovations.

A collection of photos from the welcome event are available for use by the media and are located on Flickr.