Prior to the 2017 Major League Soccer season, Orlando City SC has seen significant changes in its leadership. The Lions fired former City and new Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath on July 6.
On Tuesday, the Lions announced that CEO Alex Leitao will relieve club founder and president Phil Rawlins of all day-to-day responsibilities. Rawlins takes on the new position of Life-President, effective immediately. Rawlins will continue to represent the club on the Major League Soccer, National Women’s Soccer League and United Soccer League boards.
“The opening of the stadium in March is the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle,” Rawlins said, per the release. “With the stadium complete, I have accomplished all that I promised the community of Central Florida when I arrived in Orlando in 20100. 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.”
Leitao has been a board member since 2012. He will report directly to the board in his new role.
“When Phil told me his desire to leave the day-to-day operations, I was saddened by his decision,” majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said, per the release. “He has made an enormous contribution to both 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 built.”