Orlando City to play four-team tournament with Bayer Leverkusen in January
In news that’s news to us, but not many others: Orlando City is scheduled to take part in a four-team preseason tournament in January with German club Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and one club from both Brazil and Canada ahead of the 2015 Major League Soccer season,
Bayer 04, who reported the news on the team’s official website back in August, will spend time in Florida during the Bundesliga winter break, and will be based in Orlando from January 9th to the 18th.
“If we want to continuing growing our business then we need to look further afield and present our club better on the international stage,” said Bayer 04 CEO Michael Schade, “the market in the USA is very attractive for us and the possibilities there are sensational.”
We don’t yet know who the other two of the four teams will be, but there isn’t much to pick from when it comes to the Canadian team, and you could probably bet on Sao Paulo or Fluminense representing Brazil.
We’ve heard a lot of rumors lately regarding what Orlando City has planned for it’s preseason schedule, including a preseason tour against three big clubs in Brazil; most recently, we’re hearing that the club is looking to hold January matches against Sao Paulo FC, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Koln & Fluminense in Orlando.
Traditionally, the Lions have spent their preseasons playing in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, which will be returning for a 6th year in 2015 against other MLS teams, but with the club aiming to create a global name for themselves, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them play their friendlies against a much bigger level of competition as they prepare for the upcoming season in 2015.