Merger of major youth soccer organizations creates 'powerhouse'

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ORLANDO, Fla.,None —

Orlando City announced today the completion of a merger with Central Florida’s largest youth soccer organization, Central Florida Kraze/Krush (CFK).  The merger adds over 1,700 youth soccer players ages 5 to 18 into the Orlando City Youth system.

“We have been talking to the board at CFK for quite some time about the potential of the two clubs coming together, said Phil Rawlins, President of Orlando City.  “I am absolutely delighted that CFK have voted in favor of the merger. This will make the new Orlando City Youth Soccer club a powerhouse in Florida and the South East United States. CFK has very experienced leadership and a great coaching staff which we look forward to working with to progress youth soccer in the region.”

The new club will have a much increased geographical footprint; from Lake Nona in the south to Sanford and Lake Mary in the north. OCYS will continue to serve all these areas through local, community-based, programs and continue to utilize the existing CFK field locations.

In merging together FSA and CFK (including East Orange Soccer who merged with CFK in 2011), Orlando City Youth Soccer has bought together the three oldest clubs in Central Florida. The three clubs have a combined 60 plus years of experience in youth soccer. With CFK being consistently ranked by TopDrawerSoccer.com as the #1 Club in Florida.

“From CFK’s perspective merging our program with Orlando City  will give us the brand recognition of being affiliated with a top pro team, help us attract more players and give us access to professionals to help us in our development,” said  Ed Filliben President of CFK Soccer.

“At CFK we have invested in creating a strong club structure, which has helped in making us one of the top clubs in the state. Together with Orlando City we hope to get the opportunity of placing teams in the top two leagues in the United States, USSF Development Academy for the boys and ECNL for the girls. The combination of both organizations will be a win-win for all the soccer players in our area.”

The merger is subject to the approval of the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) and will become official at the close of the FYSA Spring Season.  The CFK coaches and staff will all be welcomed into the existing OCYS club structure. All current CFK teams will play the remainder of Spring season without changes.

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is one of Orlando’s premier professional sports franchises. Orlando City plays in the USL PRO league, part of the United Soccer Leagues.  During the inaugural 2011 season, the Orlando City Lions captured the USL PRO American Division, Regular Season, and Playoff championships, and was named the 2011 USL PRO Organization of the Year.  For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.

About CFK:

CFK is the largest youth soccer organization in Central Florida, providing unparalleled soccer training and playing opportunities to more than 1,700 young people. We emphasize full player development. It’s not just about winning – it’s about developing a lifelong set of skills to help players succeed both on and off the field.