Or­lando City B names di­rec­tor

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY - By Jor­dan Cul­ver

Or­lando City B has hired Oguchi Onyewu as the team's sport­ing di­rec­tor.

League sources con­firmed the hire to Pro Soc­cer USA. It was first re­ported by MLSSoc­cer.com

Onyewu played in two World Cups for the U.S. men's na­tional team and spent time with Bel­gian First Divi­sion side Stan­dard Liege. He also made ap­pear­ances for New­cas­tle United, Sh­effield Wed­nes­day and Sport­ing CP be­fore end­ing his play­ing ca­reer with the Philadel­phia Union in 2017.

Onyewu made 69 ap­pear­ances for the U.S men's na­tional team from 2004 un­til 2014.

Or­lando City B will play in USL League One — for­merly USL D3 — in 2019. Last month, the team an­nounced its first two sign­ings, both play­ers from Or­lando City's de­vel­op­ment acad­emy.

Onyewu will re­port di­rectly to OCB GM Mike Potempa and “will over­see daily tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions and com­pli­ance, man­age player re­la­tions and sup­port re­cruit­ment ef­forts.”

“We are de­lighted to di­rectly in­volve some­one of Oguchi’s stature into our next gen­er­a­tion youth move­ment,” Potempa said in a state­ment.

“Onyewu has played a vi­tal role within the soc­cer com­mu­nity in the United States for the past 15 years, both at the club and coun­try level. The ex­pe­ri­ence and im­me­di­ate pro­fes­sion­al­ism Oguchi will bring to our pro­ject are es­sen­tial traits we be­lieve will only en­hance the cul­ture of our team in 2019 and be­yond.”

Crew gets more sup­port: The new in­vestor group that is slated to pur­chase Columbus Crew SC as soon as a deal is fi­nal­ized with Pre­court Sports Ven­tures in­tends to build a $230 mil­lion sta­dium in the Arena Dis­trict of down­town Columbus.

The sta­dium would be 430,000 square feet, hold around 20,000 seats and sit on a 33-acres plot, which will also house 270,000 square feet of com­mer­cial and of­fice space and 885 res­i­den­tial units in a de­vel­op­ment called “Con­flu­ence Vil­lage,” ac­cord­ing to a fact sheet dis­trib­uted Thurs­day.

The an­nounce­ment comes a day af­ter the city of Columbus un­veiled plans to re­de­velop the cur­rent MAPFRE sta­dium site into a train­ing fa­cil­ity for the Crew and a Columbus Com­mu­nity Sports Park, with fields avail­able for pub­lic use. That de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to cost $20 mil­lion to $30 mil­lion.

The sta­dium an­nounce­ment was held at Land Grant Brew­ing, a lo­cal Columbus brew­ery that has been in­te­gral in the #SaveTheCrew move­ment. Mul­ti­ple dig­ni­taries were in at­ten­dance, in­clud­ing Columbus Part­ner­ship CEO Alex Fis­cher, Gover­nor-elect Mike DeWine, MLS Vice Pres­i­dent Charles Altchek and mem­bers of the new own­er­ship group Pete Edwards Jr., MD, and JW Johnson, the son-in-law of Cleve­land Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.

Be­tween pur­chas­ing the team, build­ing the train­ing fa­cil­ity and build­ing the sta­dium, the po­ten­tial new own­er­ship group is com­mit­ting $645 mil­lion to the team. The city of Columbus will pro­vide $50 mil­lion for in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment of the Columbus Com­mu­nity Sports Park. The city's in­vest­ment will not go to­ward the new sta­dium. The Franklin County Com­mis­sion will also con­trib­ute $50 mil­lion.

When the sale is fi­nal­ized, a clause will be in the own­er­ship con­tract that does not al­low the team to leave Columbus.

Con­struc­tion is slated to be­gin in 2019 and be ready for the 2021 MLS sea­son.

Mul­ti­ple peo­ple spoke at the event, giv­ing thanks to the com­mu­nity for help­ing make this pro­ject a re­al­ity.

"We're not the owners of this team. We're the stew­ards of this team. The peo­ple in this room are the owners," Johnson said, "ev­ery­thing we've done so far pales in com­par­i­son to what [the fans] have done for this team."

Said Edwards: "With­out #SaveTheCrew, this doesn't hap­pen."

Fis­cher gave thanks to MLS, say­ing the league gave them a chance to save the team. Fis­cher also said an end-of-year dead­line for the sale has been set by the league, and that they are work­ing hard to meet that dead­line.

A city coun­cil meet­ing is sched­uled for 6 p.m. ET Thurs­day for com­mu­nity com­ments and fi­nal­iza­tion of the train­ing fa­cil­ity plan.

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