Orlando City is at a point that many never thought we would see. After a successful run in the American minor leagues as a USL Pro franchise, the club seemed poised to be the next big thing in Major League Soccer.
The team's hopes of being an annual playoff and MLS Cup contender have never materialized. Each season, the story has gotten worse, with Orlando City finishing 14th, 15th, 18th in the overall league standings its first three seasons.
They currently stand as the Eastern Conference's worst squad yet again and clearly are in need of another reboot. The goodwill built by the franchise in the Phil Rawlins days is slowly decaying and the city's place as the Soccer Capital of the South has been usurped by hotshot upstart, Atlanta United.
There have been times of front office upheaval and several failed style of play changes on the pitch. Even the organization's women's side, the Orlando Pride, assembled a roster of superstars but had to recently part ways with head coach Tom Sermmani after the team failed to make the playoffs and sported a losing record over three seasons.
While the Pride's issues may turn around under new leadership, there is no easy fix to the bevy of on-field problems that exist for Orlando City, but last week's announcement that the City Beautiful will host the 2019 MLS All-Star Game could provide a necessary jolt of energy. This showcase is something that the club's ardent supporters deserve and that they can hang their hats on if yet another season gets off to a rocky start.
The league's annual midseason showcase is shown in over 170 countries worldwide and it features a team of the very best the MLS has to offer facing off against one of the world's elite club teams. Juventus, Real Madrid and Arsenal are the most recent teams to participate.
This opportunity will give the world an up-close look at the great environment at Orlando City Stadium. It will be a great rallying point for the community and the week should provide numerous benefits to the Central Florida region.
Maybe, just maybe, it will also inspire and energize a lackluster Orlando City team as they work to find a way to make their first postseason appearance in the MLS era.