[USL PRO] With its impending move to MLS in 2015, the USL PRO franchise rights owned by Orlando City have been transferred to Louisville, where it will relocate for the 2015 season and play as Louisville City FC.
The team will be owned and operated by a group of local investors led by architect Wayne Estopinal. Orlando City, winner of two of three USL PRO titles and unbeaten in 2014, also will retain an ownership share.
Louisville City FC will serve as the official USL PRO affiliate of Orlando City SC, pending the approval of both USL PRO and MLS. It is seeking to finalize an agreement to play at Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats.
“USL PRO is thrilled to welcome Louisville City FC for the 2015 season,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in a statement. “The beautiful city of Louisville, on the banks of the Ohio River, features a rich collegiate soccer tradition and is destined to become one of the top professional soccer cities in the United States. The distinguished leadership of Wayne Estopinal, combined with the strong and proven mentorship of Phil Rawlinsand Adrian Heath from the Orlando City partnership group, provides Louisville City FC with an outstanding professional soccer organization.
USL PRO will add expansion franchises in Colorado Springs, St. Louis and Tulsa in 2015. It is expected that several MLS teams operate teams in the manner that the LA Galaxy has launched Galaxy II.