Relegated Fluminense Joins 2014 Disney Pro Soccer Classic

Filed under: Orlando Sport,US Soccer,Walt Disney World |

The final team for the 2014 Disney Pro Soccer Classic has been announced as past Brazilian Champions Fluminense. Fluminense will field their under 23 squad in the tournament.

Unfortunately, Fluminense are currently in a battle to retain their top flight status in Brazil as on 12th January a Brazilian judge granted a court injunction demoting the Rio de Janeiro giants to the country’s second division.

The ruling overturned an earlier sports tribunal decision to dock rivals Portuguesa four points for fielding a suspended player. The penalty relegated Portuguesa to Brazil’s second tier and spared Fluminense the drop for only the second time in their history.

In handing down his decision, judge Marcello do Amaral said Portuguesa had not been properly notified of the ineligibility of midfielder Heverton in the final match of the season on December 8.

“This (issue) does a disservice to Brazilian football,” the court said in a statement. “It generates uncertainty and instability for the organization of competitions, causes serious financial losses to clubs and fans, without mentioning the effect it has on Brazil’s credibility on the eve of the World Cup.”

The court also returned four points to Flamengo, who had also been docked points for fielding a suspended player.

The Brazilian Football Confederation is expected to appeal against the decision.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic schedule has now been released.The first round of games begin at 1pm on 19th February as Columbus Crew take on Toronto FC and possibly an early chance for fans to see new Toronto signings Jermaine Defoe and Michael Bradley in action.

The second game at 3pm sees New York Red Bulls take on MLS Champions Sporting Kansas. At 6pm Orlando City get their first outing against Philadelphia Union with the final game beginning at 8pm as last years Classic winners Montreal Impact take on Fluminense U23 side.

“We are proud to be the first Brazilian team invited to compete in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic,’’ said Fluminense President Peter Siemsen. “We see the U.S. as a fast growing market, strategic in our international plans for the club during the next couple years. Our goal is to continue to develop these players and we’re looking forward to playing great MLS competition.”

Fluminense Director of Operations Marcelo Teixeira added, “The quality of play in the United States is improving each year.  It is physically more demanding than in Brazil.  It is most similar to the European game, where players have less time on the ball.  The opportunity for our younger players to compete at this level is fantastic and compliments the final stage of their development as professionals.”

It promises to be a great tournament and we’ll be bringing you all the action.


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