USL PRO champions Orlando City SC only need to secure a stadium deal in order to become Major League Soccer’s 21st franchise.
The Lions are leading the way to enter MLS as early as 2015, to join recently established club New York City FC, but president Phil Rawlins says a stadium agreement is required to confirm their status as a top flight outfit.
"Completing this final step would secure a Major League Soccer team before the end of 2013," Rawlins said in an email to the Orlando Sentinel.
"A vote is expected by both the County and City Commissioners in the coming weeks. We look forward to continue to work closely with them and encourage our fans to let their elected officials know they support this project."
Orlando City are attempting to collect 15,000 signatures before the end of September via an online petition - http://orlandobelievesinmls.com/ - and Rawlins is extremely positive after clinching more than 13,000 names.
"We are extremely encouraged by the early feedback from the petition drive," Rawlins said.
"It shows that people around Central Florida have a true passion for bringing Major League Soccer to Orlando. We still have yet to hit our goal of 15,000 signatures but are confident we can reach that milestone in the next few weeks."