by: Orlando City Soccer Club Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
Orlando City SC, in cooperation with Fluminense Football Club, is proud to announce an international friendly between the two teams on Saturday, June 22, at the Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The announcement comes off the heels of new Brazilian Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva making a significant investment in Orlando City last week, exhibiting the Lion’s strong new ties with the country of Brazil.
“We are delighted to be hosting the reigning Brazilian Champions, Fluminense,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “They are one of the very best teams in all of Brazil and have a host of world-class players in their squad. I’m sure it will be a great spectacle for our fans.”
Fluminense FC competes in Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, the top level of Brazilian soccer. This year they are also one of the sides representing Brazil in the prestigious Libertadores of American Cup. Led by Head Coach Abel Braga, who began his professional career with the club, Fluminense boasts some of the top talent from the country of Brazil and beyond. Midfielder Deco and forward Fred headline the club’s players coming to Orlando for the friendly.
“We are honored to have been invited to participate in this international friendly match and, most importantly, of the new relationship being built with Orlando City,” said Fluminense's president Peter Siemsen.
The match adds to the list of top-level clubs Orlando has played in the Central Florida area, which includes: English Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and A.S. Roma of Serie A. The ability to draw major franchises from top-level leagues is something Rawlins says is an important factor in Major League Soccer’s considerations of who gains entry into the league.
“Arranging this took a lot of work and several meetings with Fluminense but it once again shows our commitment to bringing the very best in club soccer to Orlando,” Rawlins added.
The Lions announced last Monday that the Rio de Janeiro native Silva invested in Orlando City, funding the club’s share of a private/publicly funded multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando and future acquisition of a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise. The new owner also told those in attendance that his Brazilian contacts with major companies and soccer franchises will be important moving forward, with the Fluminense release displaying just that.
Fans can buy their tickets to the friendly beginning Tuesday, February 26, at 12 p.m. Tickets start at just $15 and can be bought online by going to Ticketmaster.com. Fans can also buy Orlando City 2013 season tickets, which start at just $125. The Lions kick off the regular season at home on Sunday, April 14, at the Florida Citrus Bowl against the Rochester Rhinos. For more information on tickets, fans can call 855-ORL-CITY.
About Orlando City Soccer Club:
Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is a premier professional soccer sports franchise in the United States and is a member of the USL PRO. The Lion’s pro team has won two regular season titles and one postseason championship during their short time in Orlando. Outside of the pro squad, OCSC also has their own youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U23s team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com and www.orlandocityyouth.org.