Orlando City to host Italian powerhouse AS Roma for second straight year

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

Orlando City SC will play Italian Serie A side AS Roma in an international friendly for the second consecutive year. The match will take place on Friday, May 23, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with kick-off set for 7:30 p.m.

OCSC season-ticket holders will have priority to purchase tickets beginning on Thursday, April 10, at 11 a.m., and the general public will have an opportunity to secure their seats on Saturday, April 12, beginning at 10 a.m.

In addition, City will also offer a four-game plan, which includes the match against AS Roma on May 23 and the choice of any three remaining home games. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, fans must call 1-855-ORL-CITY.

“AS Roma are one of the top clubs in the world and we are delighted to have them back in Florida again,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “I know our fans will enjoy seeing The Lions take on a world class team like Roma.”

“Our partnership with Disney is an important part of our efforts to connect with young fans worldwide,” said AS Roma CEO Italo Zanzi. "We look forward to hosting fans, particularly the Disney Memorial Day Shootout players at our training, and for an exciting match versus Orlando City."

The two sides are familiar with one another as Roma and Orlando City participated in an exhibition match in January 2013 at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla. The Italian giants, who were in prime mid-season form, defeated the Lions 5-0 in front of a sell-out crowd with superstars Michael Bradley, Daniel De Rossi and Fracesco Totti all making appearances.

In 2012, Roma signed a six-year deal with Walt Disney World to train at the WWOS Complex on an annual basis. Competing in the top division of football in Italy, Roma have won three Serie A championships with their most recent title occurring in the 2000-01 season. After finishing sixth in the Serie A last year, Roma currently sit in second place behind Juventus who are the defending champions.

“It’s always a thrill for the youth athletes and coaches competing and training at our sports complex when A.S. Roma is here,’’ said Disney Sports’ director of sports development Mike Millay. “Having world-class soccer teams, prestigious youth soccer events and creating unique soccer experiences are part of what makes our sports complex one of the premier youth soccer venues in the country.’’

The Lions, on the other hand, will feature a more competitive roster this year after playing with a modified squad in the 2013 off-season match that included eight signed players and multiple trial players.

Orlando City are coming off a championship winning season in 2013 and have made key acquisitions with its inaugural MLS campaign less than a year away. Head Coach Adrian Heath and his staff have added to the existing core of players by completing five MLS signings in 2014, including Yordany Alvarez, Kevin Molino, Darwin Ceren, Tyler Turner and Tommy Redding.

The club has also added veteran players such as Bradford Rusin, Corey Hertzog, and Austin Da Luz, and will be in mid-season form for this year’s international friendly.

For more information, please visit OrlandoCitySC.com.