MLS’ Orlando City, NWSL’s Pride close to being sold to Minnesota Vikings owner

Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC is nearing an agreement to be sold to the Wilf family, the owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, OCSC owner Flavio Augusto da Silva announced Wednesday. The deal will also include the Orlando Pride of the NWSL and related soccer assets.

The sale, which has long been in the works, will end Augusto da Silva’s eight-year association with OCSC, which began in 2013 when the club was in USL and included its debut in MLS, the opening of Exploria Stadium and the birth of the Pride. Terms of the looming sale have not be announced.

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“While we expect the acquisition to be finalized over the coming months, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, the Orlando City SC family, for being a part of my journey and for embracing our Club as such an integral part of our community,” Da Sliva said in a statement.

The Wilf family includes Vikings owner and chairman Zygi Wilf, his brother Mark and cousin Leonard, both of whom are also part of the Vikings ownership group. They initially pursued MLS ownership in Minnesota before an expansion club — which became Minnesota United — was awarded to to Bill McGuire’s ownership group in 2015.

In 2017, the trio joined Nashville Soccer Holdings as minority owners ahead of the group being awarded an MLS expansion slot, and have remained as part Nashville SC’s ownership group. They will be required to sell their stake in Nashville prior to taking control of Orlando City.

“With their passion for the sport and Orlando’s two teams that are in position to compete for trophies, I am confident that the Wilf family will continue to push Orlando City SC to new heights and lead the Club into this next phase, both on and off the field,” Da Silva said.

Orlando City, which is in its seventh season and is coming off its first-ever playoff appearance in 2020, sits fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings.

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