ORLANDO, Fla. — Atlético Nacional, the top club in Colombia, will headline the sixth Florida Cup in January. The tournament announced its schedule this week, featuring a slate of teams from Colombia, Brazil, Russia and the Bundesliga.
This year’s tournament will be rounded out by Brazilian clubs Corinthians, which has participated in the tourney twice before, and Palmeiras. It will also feature Spartak Moscow, marking the first time the event has featured a Russian club.
“For us it’s good validation that we’re going in the right direction,” Florida Cup CEO Ricardo Villar said. “It shows our growth. It’s going to bring an interesting environment with the buzz and the fans in the stadium. It’ll be another good matchup between these teams.”
The event will begin on Thursday, Jan. 9, in St. Petersburg, where Al Lang Stadium will host two Bundesliga squads — Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha BSC — in an exhibition to kick off the week of soccer. From there, all of the Cup action will move to Orlando.
Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium will host two days of doubleheader matches. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, Corinthians will open the action against Spartak Moscow, followed by a match featuring Palmeiras and Atlético Nacional.
The tournament will continue on Saturday, Jan. 18, with Spartak Moscow starting the day against Palmeiras and Atlético Nacional finishing off the play against Corinthians. Between the two Saturday matches, Brazilian star Ivete Sangalo will perform a show on the field.
Sangalo will also serve as the headliner for an array of events taking place off the pitch throughout the week of the Florida Cup, hosted in partnership with Universal Studios. The event will see a return of its 5-on-5 tournament, which will feature retired legends of the game, along with a 5K run at the theme park.
“We’re trying to grow the event away from just the soccer games,” Villar said. “We want it to reach families of all ages. Whether you’re going to run inside the parks or go to football or go to the concert, all of these things can appeal to the entire family. There’s a little bit of everything and that’s what makes this event different.”
Ticket packages for the Florida Cup will include options to add on a two-day pass to Universal Studios that will cover Cup events in the park.