In the first of two major announcements this week regarding the future of Orlando City SC, the Club and Orlando Health announced today an extension of their existing partnership.  The announcement ensures that Orlando Health’s will remain the official healthcare partner to Orlando City SC, the Club’s proposed new downtown soccer stadium and Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS).

 “There is no partner we’d rather have. Orlando Health has always shared our vision of bringing Major League Soccer to Orlando since day one,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “Not only are we securing a world-class healthcare partner, but we are solidifying a true partnership between two organizations committed to making Central Florida a better place.”

 “We’re excited about this agreement and what it means for us as an organization and this community, which has rallied fervently around Orlando City SC,” said George Haidukewych, M.D., academic chairman and chief of orthopedic trauma at Orlando Health. “It will showcase the unique abilities of our medical team to provide high-quality care for these professional athletes, and help ensure successful, winning seasons for the Lions.”

 Under the agreement, Orlando Health will be the exclusive provider of medical care to Orlando City SC players, and provide athletic trainers who will perform training services for players, including on-site, in-stadium medical services as required on game days. In addition, the athletic trainers will provide services to participants at Orlando City Youth Soccer during practices, games, and tournaments.

 Having served as the only jersey sponsor during the Club’s history in Orlando, the agreement also means Orlando Health is on the verge of becoming the first jersey partner in MLS history to commit to an expansion club before admittance into Major League Soccer.

 Importantly, the partnership affiliates two organizations based in Orlando with strong ties to the local community.  The Lions have volunteered over 550 hours throughout the Central Florida community over the past year, with multiple appearances occurring at Orlando Health affiliated hospitals such as Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. The Orlando City Foundation, Orlando City’s non-profit arm, has also recently partnered with Healthy Families Orange, an Orlando Health program focused on parenting skills and actions families can implement to prevent child abuse.

 The second of two major announcements involving the future of Orlando City will occur tomorrow and is open to the public.  The fan event involving the announcement about the Club’s pursuit to become a Major League Soccer club will take place in downtown Orlando at the Cheyenne Saloon (128 W Church Street, Orlando, FL, 32801). Festivities on Church Street begin at 5 p.m. while the program is set for 6 p.m.

-courtesy Chris Jones/Orlando City S.C.