New York City FC Wednesday announced it will open 2020 preseason in the Florida Cup 2020 in Orlando, Fla. as the club starts preparation for its appearance in the Concacaf Champions League.
Preseason will begin Jan. 11 as NYCFC will face two Brazilian clubs at Exploria Stadium, home of Orlando City SC, during the competition.
On Jan. 15, NYCFC will face Corinthians at 6 p.m. and three days later on Jan. 18, City takes on Palmeiras at 2 p.m.
Corinthians has won the Brazilian championship seven times, plus three Brazilian Cup titles. The São Paulo-based team won the Copa Libertadores in 2012 and defeated Chelsea FC (England) in the Club World Cup later that year.
Fellow state of São Paulo club Palmerias has won the Brazilian league 10 times, making it the most successful club team in Brazilian football history. The club also has secured won three Brazilian Cups and the 1999 Copa Libertadores tournament. Palmerias won the league title in 2018 and is second in the 2019 competition.
“Corinthians and Palmeiras are two of the biggest clubs in all of Brazil,” said NYCFC striker Heber, a Brazilian native. “They play great football in front of some of the best supporters in all the world. When you think of Brazilian football, you think of Corinthians and Palmeiras. Both teams are known for producing world class players, most recently Gabriel Jesus for Palmeiras, so it will be an incredible opportunity for us to play against them.
“It will be very important to play against these teams as we prepare for the season ahead. 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.”
The Florida Cup, which began in 2015, has featured many of the top European and South American teams in the world. That includes Dutch giants Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, German Bundesliga teams Bayern Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt, Argentine side River Plate and several Brazilian teams.