The plan was always to remain close to his family no matter what.
Central Florida was the place where everything came to fruition. It’s where he established his family and life-long memories.
But after six years with Orlando City, Luke Boden made the move down Interstate 4 to join the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL.
“When you have a child, your first priority is them, and when you have family living down in Miami, staying in Florida was important for me,” Boden recently told the Orlando Soccer Journal. “Tampa Bay is a great location, but it’s also a great club, and we want to win and take part in things ”
Boden didn’t have his contract picked up for next season with Lions. The announcement, which came in November, shocked Orlando City fans as he was a fan favorite and a staple in the community.
The offers to go play elsewhere soon came. The chance of playing across the American soccer landscape was real, according to Boden.
“It’s about my family, staying in Florida was a big thing,” Boden added. “I think sometimes you can go to places and feel sort of unwanted, and that’s something I didn’t want to do. There could of been one or two teams I could’ve gone to and fill a spot, but I didn’t want that for me and my family because it affects me, and I want to be playing regularly.
“I always said if things didn’t work out in Orlando, I would look and go and play in Tampa. Unfortunately things didn’t continue in Orlando, I knew coming coming to Tampa Bay when I found out they were interested, I knew it was going to be right move for me and my family.”
The move to Rowdies, however, brings a familiar place to the fray. For the left-back defender, it’s a return to a league he’s used to playing in.
“I haven’t played in the USL in two years, but a lot has happened… A lot of new additions of teams but as well additions of players, a lot of good players,” he concluded. “The thing about the USL, there are a lot of teams that work hard, and its level of play is only increasing and getting better.”
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