Professional Sports Teams of Orlando, Florida
Many people know Orlando, Florida for its famous theme parks, but Orlando also is home to several prominent sports teams. Many major and minor league sports have seen great success in the city, with several boasting championships and other historical events.
The Orlando Magic is a National Basketball Association (NBA) professional basketball team. Their home games are held at the Amway Center, a sports arena in the central part of the city. They belong to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The Magic is a relatively young team in the history of the NBA, being founded in 1989, but has seen many notable players and successes since its inception. The team has never won an NBA championship, but their best season was in 1996 with 60 wins and 22 losses.
Famous basketball players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, and Dwight Howard have all played for the team at some point in their careers. Former head coach Brian Hill led the team to their first and only trip to the NBA finals in 1995. Current head coach Frank Vogel has been with the Magic since 2016.
The Magic can be recognized by their team colors—blue, black, silver and white. They wear blue jerseys for away games and white jerseys with blue detailing for home games. Black is worn as an alternate color. Their biggest rivals remain the Miami Heat, another team based in Florida, in what is called the Sunshine State Rivalry.
Orlando City Soccer Club
The Orlando City Soccer Club (SC) is a professional soccer team and a member of Major League Soccer (MLS). This team is an extremely young member of the MLS, being founded only in 2013 in efforts to grow the league, and only competing since 2015. The team plays in the Orland City Stadium, which was opened in February 2017.
The first designated player to the team was Ricardo Kaka, a Brazilian football player who has competed on such teams as Real Madrid and Milan. The current roster consists of players from around the world, many with histories of playing with prestigious teams throughout Europe and beyond. Head coach Jason Kreis is a former MLS player whose history includes being tied for the fifth highest scorer of all time in the league. Orlando City SC has had a total of 3 head coaches in its short timeline, one of which was an interim coach.
The team’s colors are purple and white. For home games, they can be seen in purple uniforms and socks with white detailing, and for away games with white uniforms with purple detailing.
The Orlando Pride is the first women’s professional soccer team of the city. A member of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the team is only 18 months old and has only completed one season so far. They are associated with the Orlando City SC and are the tenth team to become a part of the NWSL. The Pride share the Orlando City Stadium with the men’s league and drew record crowds to the stadium for their debut there.
Most of the players for the Orlando Pride are American, but there are a handful of Australian and other players. Americans Alex Morgan and Kaylyn Kyle were the first players to join the roster. In their first and only season so far they, unfortunately, did not qualify for the playoffs and finished in 9th place in the league.
The Pride wear home colors of dark and royal purple, and away colors of white with light blue sleeves. The team logo and name are derived from the sense of pride its founders have in the city of Orlando. The logo consists of a likeness of the famous fountain that can be found in the center of Lake Eola Park.
Orlando Solar Bears
The Orlando Solar Bears are a professional ice hockey team based in Orlando, Florida. The Solar Bears are part of the ECHL hockey league, in the South Division. They compete in the Amway Center as well, along with the Orlando Magic. Like many of Orlando’s professional sports teams, the Solar Bears have only been around a few years, being founded in 2012. They were founded as part of an expansion franchise of the ECHL. Owners Joe Haleski, Bob Ohrablo, and Jason Siegel led the expansion and adopted the team named based on the former Orlando Solar Bears who had competed in the International Hockey League during the earlier part of the century.
The hockey team has qualified for the playoffs 3 times in its history of 5 total seasons. In the most recent season, 2016-17, they finished with 36 wins and 26 losses, up from 33 wins and 30 losses in the prior year. The current head coach is Drake Berehowsky, A Canadian former professional ice hockey player who has played with some prominent NHL teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Pittsburg Penguins, and the Phoenix Coyotes.
You can spot the Solar Bears in their colors of solar purple, seafoam green, sunset orange, sunrise gold, and white.
The Orlando Predators are a professional football team and part of the Arena Football League (AFL). They operated from 1991 until the 25th season in 2016, when they folded due to declining numbers of teams participating in the league. Although no longer playing, the team harbors a great deal of Orlando history. They made it to the playoffs for 19 years in a row, from 1991 to 2011, and were champions of the Arena Bowl during 1998 and 2000.
The football team had 7 head coaches throughout its 25 seasons. The most recent head coach was Rob Keefe, who was with the Predators from 2014 to 2016. Before coaching the Predators, he worked as the Defensive Coordinator for the Utah Blaze from 2012-2013 and served as assistant and head coach on various other AFL teams. The Predators wear the colors black, red, gold, and white.