Florida Cup Preview

Corinthians, Fluminense, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Köln to Face off in the Florida Cup

With only 60 days left until Orlando City SC’s historic debut in MLS, the appetite for top-flight soccer continues to grow every day. But, while dozens of new players begin their transition to the City Beautiful, Orlando City has partnered with Disney Sports to offer eager fans in the “Soccer Capital of the South” a unique opportunity to watch two world-class soccer matches between some of the top teams on the planet in the first-ever Florida Cup.

Two German teams will represent the defending FIFA World Cup champions against the most successful FIFA World Cup nation in history, Brazil. Two-time FIFA Club World Cup Champion Corinthians will face three-time German Champion 1. FC Köln. Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a storied club from Germany, will play against four-time Brazilian Champion Fluminense.

Both matches will take place in Orlando on January 15th in a doubleheader at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Tickets are running out quickly but are available for puchase online at ticketmaster.com for only $35.

The Florida Cup puts the “Soccer Capital of the South" in all seven continents, with the games being broadcasted in 125 countries, reaching an estimated 215 million households worldwide.
Only two weeks away from their anticipated debut in the Continental Cup Copa Libertadores de America 2015, Corinthians will have full power on the field against against 1. FC Köln. The match will feature 2012 FIFA Club World Cup Champion Head Coach Tite’s first game for Corinthians after rejoining the club. Tite will once again conduct some of the World Championship stars, such as Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero, goalkeeper Cassio, defender Fábio Santos, and midfielders Ralf and Danilo.

The Florida Cup is coming to the “Soccer Capital of the South”

Fluminense's striker Fred, the previous Brazilian Championship top scorer with 18 goals and Brazilian National Team starter in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, faces the German star Stefan Kiessling, from Bayer 04 Leverkusen, one of the greatest scorers of the decade in Bundesliga.

In the midst of preparation for the 2014-2015 UEFA Champions League knock-out round, Bayer 04 Leverkusen will use the match against Fluminense as an important test for Coach Roger Schmidt's playing system. The match can be one of the last opportunities to see the Argentine midfielder Darío Conca in action for Fluminense. The Rio's team has received several proposals by the tricolor fans' idol lately.

The teams will arrive for preseason training in early January to prepare for the tournament. They will face each other on January 15 at Disney and then travel to Jacksonville for another double-header on January 17. Every match win delivers three points, with one point for a tie in regulation and one additional point for a penalty shootout victory.  

At the end of the tournament, a champion will be crowned and the points will also be aggregated for each nation to determine a national victor as well.  Therefore, every single match represents precious points for club and nation, with the pride of two rich soccer cultures at stake.