More details to come in the near future but I am launching a project in the next month (subject to legal restrictions) that will compare and contrast the fortunes of the three long-term Florida professional soccer clubs – The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Orlando City SC and Tampa Bay Rowdies.
In late 2010, the NASL/USL split was formalized and Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale choose to play in the designated D2 NASL while Orlando City SC choose to play in the designated D3 USL. All three clubs have had ups and downs since 2011 but Orlando City SC has had the most success. What did they do that Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay did not? What did Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay get right? Were things done at those two clubs better than Orlando City SC in some instances? What role did ownership changes and league issues play with each club? How did Tampa Bay’s MLS ambitions evolve?
For soccer fans who are focused on the sporting side, this project will give some insight into the board rooms, decision making and politics around the sport.
Stay tuned for more details in the very near future on this effort. Additional partners might be brought into this effort in the future as well.