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Orlando City to host preseason tournament featuring four MLS teams

Orlando City SC head coach James O'Connor (right) high fives fans after defeating the Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City Stadium. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Orlando City’s supporters don’t have to wait until March 2 to see the new-look Lions in action. 

The club will hold a preseason tournament, the Orlando City Invitational, for the first time Feb. 16 and Feb. 20. It will be open to the public. The tournament brings together four MLS teams, including Orlando City, for two days of doubleheader matches at Orlando City Stadium. The other teams are the New England Revolution, Minnesota United and NYCFC.  

“The invitational is a fantastic new tradition we hope to start here in Orlando. For us, it’s a great opportunity to get returning and new players back into the fold gaining valuable minutes against league teams. And for our fans, we invite them to come be part of the process and see their team come together ahead of a new year,” Orlando City EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said.

Orlando City plays NYCFC at 7:30 p.m. ET Feb. 16 and plays the Revs at the same time Feb. 20. The invitational is a four-match tournament — the Revolution play the Loons Feb. 16 and NYCFC plays Minnesota United Feb. 20. 

Tickets are available for $15. Season ticket holders can get tickets with a $5 donation to the Orlando City Foundation. 

Orlando City opens preseason training Monday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The Lions will play the New York Red Bulls in a closed scrimmage at IMG Feb. 2. Orlando City will return from Bradenton Feb. 3. 

The Lions have three other preseason scrimmages. One is against Louisville City, which is O’Connor’s former team, on Feb. 6 in Orlando City Stadium. That one is closed to the public. The other scrimmage is a Feb. 12 date against the Philadelphia Union at Omni Championsgate, which is also closed. 

Orlando City’s final closed preseason scrimmage is against Minnesota United Feb. 23 at Orlando City Stadium. 

The Lions, who are coming off a 8-22-4 (28 points) season, open their regular season at home March 2 against NYCFC. 

Orlando City has brought in 12 new players — so far — after jettisoning 13 players from last season’s roster. The Lions have gotten much younger during the offseason. All the players who have been added to the team are 27 years old or younger. 

Orlando City Invitational – 2019 Schedule

Date Match Location Time (Eastern)
Saturday, Feb. 16 New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United FC Orlando City Stadium 4:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 16 Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC Orlando City Stadium 7:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Feb. 20 New York City FC vs. Minnesota United FC Orlando City Stadium  4:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Feb. 20 Orlando City SC vs. New England Revolution Orlando City Stadium  7:30 p.m. ET

 

 

 

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