Phil Rawlins Steps Down As President Of Orlando City SC
Phil Rawlins is stepping down as president of Orlando City Soccer Club.
Rawlins brought a United Soccer League franchise to Orlando from Austin, Texas in 2010. Soon, Rawlins announced he wanted to take Orlando City into Major League Soccer.
MLS granted the expansion in 2013, and Orlando City’s inaugural 2015 season broke league records for attendance. Orlando City has also brought a National Women's Soccer League team to Orlando and a United Soccer League B team to Melbourne.
In a video online, Rawlins said the new soccer stadium will be ready for the 2017 season.
“The time has come for me to move on, take some time for myself, it’s something I’m choosing to do and I want to do for my own personal reasons," Rawlins said.
One thing that has eluded Orlando City since its MLS debut: the team is yet to make the playoffs. Day-to-day operations will now be handled by Alex Leitao, who became CEO earlier this year.
“But don’t worry, I’m not going away, I’m not going anywhere, I’ll be here, I’m staying on board with the board of directors," Rawlins said. "In fact, I’ve been given the position of Life-President of the club, which I’m very honored to take up.”
The club will not replace the position of president. Rawlins will continue to consult and be an ambassador for Orlando City Soccer.