Roger Simmons | From the Sports Editor
11:17 AM EDT, September 9, 2013
Orlando City soccer's announced crowd of 20,886 for Saturday night's USL Pro championship game was more than just a record for the franchise and the league.
Orlando City is trying to gain a Major League Soccer expansion franchise for Central Florida, and the Lions' Citrus Bowl crowd was larger than those at seven of the eight MLS games played over the weekend.
Only the Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire game in Seattle, with an announced crowd of 38,503, drew more fans than Orlando City did in their 7-4 win over Charlotte on Saturday night.
(Quick footnote: The City of Orlando's turnstile count showed there were 17,195 fans at the Citrus Bowl on Satuday night, but generally turnstile counts and announced crowds often don't match -- regardless of the sport or the team. We don't have turnstile counts for the MLS games, so we'll use the announced attendance from all the matches -- in Orlando and in the MLS.)
Orlando's announce crowd of 20,886 topped ...
The 7,781 crowd in Carson, Calif., for Chivas USA vs. D.C. United;
The 9,165 crowd in Foxboro, Mass., for the New England Revolutuion vs. Montreal Impact;
The 10,034 crowd in Santa Clara, Calif., for the San Jose Earthquakes vs. the Philadelphia Union;
The 18,501 crowd in Houston for the Houston Dynamo vs. the New York Red Bulls
The 19,211 crowd in Kansas City for Sporting Kansas City vs. the Columbus Crew;
The 20,674 crowd in Portland for the Portland Timbers vs. the Toronto FC
The 20,801 crowd in Carson, Calif., for the L.A. Galaxy vs. the Colorado Rapids;
OK, so the City Lions just barely beat two of those MLS games over the weekend, but still ... the record crowd makes a pretty strong case that Orlando could support a MLS team.
Roger Simmons is the executive sports editor for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via email at email@example.com. Or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@rogersimmons. Become a fan of the Orlando Sentinel Sports Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/orlandosentinelsports
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