Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao announced on Wednesday that he would be stepping down from his role with the club, one week after the completed sale of the team to the Wilf family. He will remain involved with the club as an advisor to the soccer operations.
“Being the leader of this organization has been one of the greatest honors of my career. I am incredibly proud of everything that we have been able to accomplish over the previous seven seasons, from our first-ever Orlando City match to last year’s incredible playoff run, to bringing the Pride to Orlando and all of the successes we have achieved in our front office,” Leitão said in a club release. “I’d like to thank everyone who has dedicated their efforts to the Club and who have helped build Orlando City to the globally-recognized franchise that it is. While my decision to step away was not easy, it is one I do with the belief that the Club is in great hands with the Wilf family, and I am happy to help assist in providing a smooth transition for this new era for Orlando City SC.”
Leitao, a close friend of now-former owner Flavio Augusto da Silva, was appointed to the role in early 2015 as the club began the early building during its transition into Major League Soccer.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I’d like to thank Alex for everything he has given to Orlando City and the Orlando Pride during his time with the Club,” incoming Chairman Mark Wilf said. “We are respectful of his decision to step away and appreciate him for the support he has provided, especially during our acquisition period. We are pleased he will be staying involved with the Club in an important role, as we aim to continue the successes both teams have shown on the field this season.”
Leitao was a key figuring in bringing the MLS is Back Tournament at the Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as one of first pro sports to return from the pandemic hiatus.
During his time with the club, Orlando has welcomed some of the biggest names in global soccer to its club, including Kaká, Nani, Marta, and Alex Morgan. Additionally, with the completion of Exploria Stadium, the club’s downtown soccer stadium, Orlando has hosted some of the biggest soccer games in the country since 2017, including US Men’s and Women’s National Team World Cup matches, including World Cup qualifiers, the MLS All-Star Game, CONCACAF Champions League, Gold Cup, and the NCAA Final Four championship.
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