On Friday evening Orlando City President Phil Rawlins announced that the club would be building a new training facility for Orlando City, Orlando City B, and their U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams in Lake Nona. The announcement has far reaching implications for the entire club.
The idea of a new training facility for the club is not a new concept. Head Coach Adrian Heath has mentioned in the past that the club’s current training home at Sylvan Lake Park was simply too small for what the club was building.
For the senior team, this facility will be a big improvement. While Sylvan Lake is a fine training facility, the fact that the building and fields were already in place meant that the club was limited in what they could provide for the players. While the club has exclusive use of the facility at Sylvan Lake Park, it’s still owned by Seminole County. Building its own facility means the team can give its players exactly what they need and build it exactly how the team wants.
This new facility will also have a major impact on the academies as the boys’ academy players can now train at the same facility as the senior team. Ever since the academy was founded in 2012, Rawlins and Heath have spoken about wanting to create a “club culture” from the youngest ages to the senior team. By having all these different levels training at the same facility, the academy players are being shown what it takes to make it to the top level.
Rawlins and Heath have also talked about having the ability for academy players to see the pathway to MLS. From where the academy players are training, they’ll be able to see the fields used by the senior team. It may not seem like much, but the ability to physically see the where the ultimate goal is can have a significant impact on the psyche of a young player.
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