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NYCFC joins Florida Cup lineup after Spartak Moscow pulls out

The MLS club will use the tournament to begin training for the Concacaf Champions League tournament.

New York City FC forward Héber (9) celebrates after scoring a goal against the New York Red Bulls during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC will join the Florida Cup lineup in January, entering the friendly tournament to replace Spartak Moscow. The Russian club was forced to withdraw from the 2020 competition due to complications with the club’s visa application.

NYCFC will use the tournament to begin training for the Concacaf Champions League competition, which the club qualified for by finishing first in the MLS Eastern Conference in 2019. 

“We are thrilled to welcome NYCFC into our international preseason platform,” Florida Cup CEO Ricardo Villar said. “We look forward to hosting them as they prepare for their first Concacaf Champions League.”

Taking Spartak Moscow’s slot in the tournament, NYCFC will face off against Brazilian powerhouses Corinthians and Palmeiras. The team will take on Corinthians on Wednesday, Jan. 15, and then play Palmeiras on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Exploria Stadium.

For the MLS side, both of the Brazilian teams will offer a challenge as the team works into shape for the Champions League.

“When you think of Brazilian football, you think of Corinthians and Palmeiras,” said NYCFC striker and Brazilian native Héber. “Both teams are known for producing world class players… so it will be an incredible opportunity for us to play against them. We will measure our team’s strength against two of South America’s best clubs. This will help us prepare, not only for the MLS season, but also the Concacaf Champions League where we will face teams with the same playing style and technical level.”

Tickets for the 2020 Florida Cup are available for purchase at floridacup.com.

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