|(Photo courtesy of OCSC)|
By Mike Gramajo
ORLANDO, Fla. — There was an ironic twist in the air on Tuesday during Orlando City’s stadium rendering unveiling.
That was the Aztex making a return to professional soccer.
The Austin Aztex announced that they will become USL PRO’s 18th club in 2015, leaving the USL Premier Development League where they have currently played since 2012.
Former Aztex owner, now Orlando City president Phil Rawlins spoke to the OSJ about the return of the Aztex into the professional scene.
“I’m delighted for Austin, I’m delighted for David Markley (Aztex owner),” Rawlins said. “It’s a great city, and I know it’ll be a great success.”
Orlando City, who are currently competing in their final USL PRO season, has roots that trace back to Austin, Texas, where the original Austin Aztex played in the USL First Division (2009) and the now defunct, temporary league; USSF D-2 Pro Leaugue (2010).
Of course the Aztex side would eventually relocate to Orlando, where they are now spearheading into Major League Soccer in 2015. However, there’s no doubt that even when Orlando City departs USL PRO, there will be plenty of Orlando heritage in that league for years to come.
Louisville City FC, who were announced as another USL PRO expansion side expected to kickoff in 2015, will become OCSC’s MLS affiliate. Moreover, you can now add the Aztex, though not much of OCSC is there, but the grassroots of where the Aztex began, which evidently became Orlando will be forever cemented.