There has been a personnel shakeup for Orlando City SC, as Phil Rawlins is exiting his post as the organization’s president.
Rawlins will not be leaving the organization completely, as he has been named life-president by Orlando City SC majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva. The club has said that it will not appoint a new president. CEO Alex Leitao will now take on more day-to-day responsibilities.
Rawlins, the club founder who played a major role in the establishment of the organization in the MLS, departs after having much success with Orlando City SC. The team ranked second in MLS attendance in 2016, and the opening of its new stadium is a highly-anticipated event for 2017. The organization includes Orlando City SC in the MLS, along with the Orlando Pride in the NWSL, and Orlando City B in the USL. All three teams are slated to play in the new stadium.
“The opening of the stadium in March is the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle. With the stadium complete I have accomplished all that I promised the community of Central Florida when I arrived in Orlando in 2010. We now have a very strong management team in place for Orlando City, Orlando Pride and Orlando City B, and it’s the right time for me to take some time for myself,” Rawlins said in a statement.” “For the past nine years, three in Austin and six here in Central Florida, I have given my all, 24/7, to building this soccer club. During that time, we have won numerous awards and are considered to be a model for both minor league success and Major League Soccer expansion. I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved.”
“When Phil told me his desire to leave the day-to-day operations, I was saddened by his decision. He has made an enormous contribution to both this Club and the Orlando community. I wish Phil great success with whatever he decides to do next. I have all trust in Alex and his team to continue the story of success that Phil built,” Augusto da Silva said.
Rawlins arrived in Orlando when the USL club he founded, the Austin Aztex, relocated to the city in 2010. Orlando City SC joined the MLS in 2015.