Today, MLS expansion team Orlando City SC announced the signing of it's first major player - Brazilian midfielder Kaka (Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite). Fans poured into the airport to see the international soccer star as he arrived in Orlando after exercising the release clause in his contract with AC Milan earlier in the day.
Kaka is expected to return on loan to his first club, Sao Paulo, before joining Orlando City SC in January 2015 for its first MLS season.
Kaka, 32, played for Real Madrid and AC Milan, was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007 and helped Brazil win the World Cup in 2002. Kaka scored 104 goals in 307 appearances during his two spells at Milan, sandwiched by a four-year spell at Real Madrid. The midfielder helped Milan to the Champions league title and Serie A success before joining Real Madrid in 2009 for a jaw-dropping transfer fee of $93,800,000.
New Orlando City stadium underway
Earlier this month, Orlando City revealed renderings of its new natural grass, downtown MLS stadium. The $85 million dollar stadium, scheduled to open prior to the 2016 season, provides capacity for 19,500 fans with the infrastructure for future expansion. During construction, Orlando City will play its inaugural MLS season in 2015 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, which is currently undergoing $200 million in renovations.
Orlando City SC will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the League’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL.