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The 2017 Florida Cup returns to action this weekend as it opens with a double header at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon. Argentina’s Estudiantes will play German side Bayer o4 at 2pm on 8th January and that game will be followed up at 4.45pm when Tampa Bay Rowdies take on Germany’s VFL Wolfsburg.
This will be the third edition of the Florida Cup and this year the event will be played under two different formats, one where points will awarded to the participating clubs’ countries and the other a single-match knockout tournament.
Florida Cup Challenge 2017 is an international competition in which Clubs represent their countries in a format similar to the Davis Cup in tennis. In this format, each team will play 2 matches and fight for points for their country. A Win = 3 pts, a Tie = 1 pt with 1 extra point awarded to winner by penalty kicks. The country with the most points will win.
The first tiebreaker, shall it be needed, will be goals differential, followed by goals scored.
The six teams competing in this format are Bayer 04 and VFL Wolfsburg representing Germany, Atlético Mineiro and Bahia representing Brazil and Estudiantes and Tampa Bay Rowdies representing a combined group pairing of Argentina / USA.
Florida Cup Playoff 2017 is a single-elimination tournament where only one remaining champion will thrive. The teams competing in this format are Brazilian teams Vasco da Gama, São Paulo and Corinthians, Colombia’s Millonarios, Ecuador’s Barcelona SC, and Argentina’s River Plate.
In total, eleven international teams will play in venues all around Florida with the Tampa Bay Rowdies being the only US club involved in the two week event. Matches will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports, Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale and, for the first time, at UCF’s Brighthouse Networks Stadium.
Tournament organizers have also announced that a series of tributes and activities are planned to honor the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense that crashed into the mountains with 77 people aboard when its charter plane ran out of fuel outside of Medellin, Colombia in November.
An All-Star game will be played on 15th January sandwiched in between a double-header at UCF’s Brighthouse Networks Stadium that features Argentina’s Club Atlético River Plate vs. Millonarios FC of Colombia at 2 p.m. followed by Brazil’s Bahia vs. Estudiantes, also of Argentina, at 4:45. The game will kick off at 4pm and the 20-minute exhibition match will feature well-known local players and legends of the game.
Tickets are available for all Florida Cup games at FloridaCup.com as well as a complete list of fixtures.
We’ll also have match day action photos at FloridaLeisurePhotography.com