International Soccer Returns to Orlando with start of Florida Cup!

2018 Florida Cup, Orlando, Florida - 9th January 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The wait is officially over. The 2018 international soccer calendar kicks off with the fourth annual Florida Cup. At the official kickoff press conference at Universal Orlando’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Florida Cup CEO Ricardo Villar, Universal Orlando Resort President and COO Bill Davis, Montverde Academy Headmaster Dr. Kasey Kesselring, and special guests including executives from each of the eight participating teams: PSV Eindhoven (NED), Rangers FC (SCO), Legia Warsaw (POL), Atlético Nacional (COL), Barcelona SC (ECU), SC Corinthians (BRA), Atlético Mineiro (BRA) and Fluminense (BRA).

The Florida Cup starts January 10 in thundering fashion, as Brazilian Serie A 2017 Champions SC Corinthians face for the first time in history the current Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven, and their red-hot striker Mexican international Hirving “Chucky” Lozano. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Tickets to the opening match and all Florida Cup events are available at www.FloridaCup.com.

“The City of Orlando is honored and proud to be the host city for the 2018 Florida Cup,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “There is no doubt that our region has become the nation’s premier sports destination by hosting high-quality events like the Florida Cup that bring visitors to our shops, restaurants, hotels and amenities, serving an economic engine for our community.”

2018 Florida Cup, Orlando, Florida - 9th January 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“We couldn’t be more excited about giving our visitors from around the world the opportunity to enjoy it all in one place – theme park thrills, the passion of soccer and amazing entertainment,” said Bill Davis, President and COO, Universal Orlando Resort. “Partnering with the Florida Cup and hosting events like the Florida Cup Fan Fest at Universal Studios Florida is just another way of showing our commitment to continue delivering world-class entertainment to our guests every day.”

“Months and months of preparations has led us to today and the launch of our biggest Florida Cup yet,” said Villar. “We are thrilled with the fan and media response we have seen thus far, and incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished with our partners at the City of Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, UCF, Montverde Academy and the entire Florida Cup family. The time is here to kick off this exciting event, and draw the world’s attention to the City Beautiful and our entire state.”

2018 Florida Cup, Orlando, Florida - 9th January 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Brazil’s Clube Atlético Mineiro will face the legendary Rangers FC from Scotland on January 11 at Orlando City Stadium. The event returns to Spectrum Stadium at the University of Central Florida, with marquee matchups between PSV and Fluminense of Brazil, the Rangers FC face Corinthians on Jan. 13, and Atlético Nacional against Atlético Mineiro on Jan. 14.

It will be a battle of loyal fans in South Florida as Barcelona SC, 2017 Copa Libertadores semifinalists, face Legia Warsaw, the current leader of Poland’s First Division, at Central Broward Stadium on January 13. Al Lang Stadium, home of the USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies, will host the final match of the Florida Cup in St. Petersburg on January 20 when Legia Warsaw face Colombia’s Atlético Nacional of Medellin.

In addition to world class soccer, the 10-day event will feature:

Florida Cup and Universal Orlando Resort will host the annual Florida Cup Fan Fest – a two night celebration of music and football featuring live music and concerts by Boyce Avenue and Fernando & Sorocaba.

Florida Cup and Montverde Academy will host the youth FC MAST tournament and Florida Cup All-Star Game Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.

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