Thursday, June 5, 2014

Interview: Orlando City president talks stadium, Kaka, Robinho and Brek


Today I had the chance to talk with Orlando City Owner and President, Phil Rawlins about a multitude of topics, including our favorite: transfers. 

Rawlins on the stadium renderings that came out this week and the official announcement next week:  "I think what they can expect is one of the best downtown stadiums in the league. It's a great facility, it's a great location. We're two or three blocks from the bars and everything else in downtown Orlando and we've spent a lot of time studying a lot of stadiums. Not only around MLS but around Europe and we're trying to incorporate the very best of what we like into those stadiums so it's pretty cool."

Rawlins on Brek Shea: "It's really been a favor to Stoke City. Brek wanted to train somewhere and was here in the states for a couple of weeks and obviously because of our connection to Stoke we were able to offer him (a place to train). He's been here the last couple of weeks and I think he's headed out today or tomorrow to go back to Dallas. He's totally enjoyed his time here and good for him and good for the lads to be around that kind of quality player."

Rawlins on bringing Brek back to Orlando permanently: "No, there's nothing right now, just was simply an opportunity for him to train and we were excited for him to be here, and that's really it was all about."

Rawlins on updates of possible Brazilians coming to Orlando: "We continue to talk with them (Brazilian players) about the possibilities. We've said our business plan is to bring very, very top level, best of the best Brazilian player here and that's all we're committed to doing. We've had talks with several players among them, Kaka and Robinho, and we'd be delighted to bring someone of that caliber. That's our goal. We hope to get someone in that arena in the next few months."

Rawlins on other specific Brazilian players tempted to Orlando: "We've spoken to a number of them but that's confidential. We're going to try and bring someone in the caliber of Kaka because that's what we promised we would do and that's something we're committed to doing."

Rawlins on the announcement of their first DP: "I'm delighted to see David (Villa) in the league and it's a great signing for New York. They have their time scale, we have our time scale that we set but it's the time scale that suits the player, agent and everybody else to get into negotiations so we haven't set a firm time. We're working towards it diligently and we'll get there I'm sure, in the not too distant future."

Rawlins on the possible number of DP slots to be filled up in 2015: "We don't right now know. What we're really focused on is building the right team balance. It's about quality and the right balance for the way that we play. We're very committed to our style of play and we're not going to change that. New players will have to fit into that system and style of play before anything else."

Rawlins on Orlando City style of play for 2015: "We have our style of play since day one, we've won two championships in the last 3 years. It's very exciting, very dynamic style of play. We play a 4-2-3-1, it's no secret, we make very exciting, entertaining football, a very short passing game, we move the ball quickly, we seek to get our fullbacks forward as much as we can and it's created for exciting soccer."

-Marc Kusant (@TheRedestBull)

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