Leitao to remain on as temporary advisor for Club’s soccer operations
ORLANDO, Fla. — Alex Leitão has resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer for Orlando City SC, it was announced today. Leitão, who joined the organization in 2015, will remain involved as a soccer operations advisor to the organization.
“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,” Orlando City SC 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.”
“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. “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.”
Appointed as the Club’s first CEO of the Major League Soccer era, Leitão has led both the business and soccer departments over the previous seven seasons, building the front office from just a few to one of the largest in the league.
The Brazil native has pushed the Club to reach new heights, notably starting with the Lions’ record-breaking debut at the Florida Citrus Bowl in front of a crowd of 62,510 fans. From that point on, Leitão oversaw the project that brought Exploria Stadium to life, the Club’s privately-funded soccer-specific venue in downtown Orlando, as well as the introduction of the Orlando Pride as the National Women’s Soccer League’s second-ever expansion side.
On the field, Leitão helped bring some of the game’s biggest stars to the City Beautiful, including Kaká, Nani, Marta and U.S Women’s National Team standouts Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Sydney Leroux.
Most recently, Leitão was integral in bringing the highly-successful MLS is Back Tournament to life in Orlando, working with Major League Soccer, Disney and local officials to safely return to play at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Following the MLS is Back tournament, Leitão’s leadership guided the Club through the COVID-19 pandemic, not only maintaining all jobs for the Club’s staff, but safely returning both matches and fans to Exploria Stadium for the remainder of the 2020 season and beyond.
Under Leitão’s tenure, Exploria Stadium has established itself as the premier destination for some of the game’s greatest competitions, hosting events such as FIFA World Cup qualifying, Concacaf Champions League and Gold Cup, the SheBelieves Cup, the NCAA College Cup as well as numerous friendly matches for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams.