ORLANDO, Fla. (ORLANDO PRIDE) - In a historic move, the Orlando Pride will receive the first-ever customized, exclusive training facility in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the Club announced today. Following the 2019 season, Sylvan Lake Park will undergo a complete renovation, becoming the first training facility in the NWSL that is tailored to and used only by a women’s team.
The move marks the Club’s continued commitment and investment in the long-term identity and sustainability of the Pride.
“I think this [move] is building the sustainability of the Club and of the franchise and it shows that, you know what, we’re here to stay,” Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said. “We’re showing a commitment to Seminole County, we’re showing a commitment to the Pride and that vision becomes global. This isn’t only for the immediate future and the current team, but it’s also to become a destination for the future of the Club, for the future of the franchise and to be able to attract top-class players from around the world and within the NWSL.”
Like the Club’s new training complex at Osceola Heritage Park, the Seminole County facility will feature a gym, meal room, film room, players' lounge and a locker room designed to replicate the team’s locker room at Orlando City Stadium. In addition, the Pride will have two Club-maintained, grass training fields that will be exclusive to the team - providing the Pride access to the same facilities and amenities as the MLS side.
The complex will also house the Club’s technical and medical staff, as well as exclusive areas for the team’s media operations.
“[The training facility] is such a big, big part of what the players are trying to do, what they need to do and their identity. To have such a special place, where they can be really, truly themselves, [a space] that they own, I think it’s beyond what some people get in their wildest dreams. I think this is a huge statement from the Club to show their ongoing support for the Pride,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “Having this facility is saying to everybody: ‘We’re here, we’re real and we’re something that you want to get behind.’”
The Pride will finish out the 2019 season at their current facility located at Seminole Soccer Complex before moving to their new state-of-the art training ground at the start of their fifth NWSL season in 2020.
In addition, the Club announced today that the Orlando City Development Academy and Orlando City B of USL League One will join the Lions in moving its training operations to the previously announced Orlando City SC Training Complex Osceola Heritage Park.
This new facility will feature the same amenities as the Pride’s soon-to-be renovated training home, along with four fields - three grass and one artificial turf. The First Team will be allocated two of the grass fields, with OCB and the Development Academy sharing the remaining grass field and the turf field.
The Orlando City DA is set to move at the start of the 2019-20 academic year, while the Lions will remain at Sylvan Lake Park, their current training facility, through the end of the 2019 MLS season. Orlando City B will finish its first season in League One at Montverde Academy before moving its training operations to Osceola Heritage Park for the 2020 season.
The Orlando Pride contributed to this report.