Orlando City SC Will Sign ‘The Brazilian Beckham’

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Franchise President Phil Rawlins made the bold, if cryptic, statement during a presentation on Tuesday.

Orlando City SC have not even been granted MLS status yet, but are already planning their inaugural marquee signing.

Club President Phil Rawlins revealed that Orlando will aim to sign ‘the Brazilian Beckham’ as a Designated Player upon the club’s launch.

Rawlins was speaking at the first of two club presentations to local government authorities and assembled media, including Soccer America. In order for Orlando to secure Major League status they must first secure $20m (£12.9m) to fund the construction of a football-specific stadium in downtown Orlando.

“The market is proven,” Rawlins said. “Orlando deserves a second major league franchise, and we can bring it here.”

The first Major League franchise set to enter the league from the central-Florida area will be the Tampa Bay Mutiny, who will make their MLS debut in the 2020 season.

Orlando City plan to join much sooner, should all administrative work go as planned, with dates as early as the 2015 season being suggested.

As for the identity of this so-called ‘Brazilian Beckham’, one player stands out above all others.

Orlando City’s owner, Brazilian businessman Flavio Augusto da Silva, is known to be close friends with none other than the former most expensive player in the world Kaka. Not only that, but Kaka has a family home in Orlando and speaks fluent English.

Currently 31, Kaka would be less than 12-months older than David Beckham was when he joined the LA Galaxy should Orlando sign him for a potential 2015 campaign. There are still few Brazilian stars who can rival Kaka in terms of celebrity and marketability, and even fewer who would be both able and willing to move to MLS in two years time.

Orlando City will meet with the Tourist Development Council on Thursday to put across their case for the establishment of a MLS club and its beneficial impact on tourism.

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