Fluminense U23 join six Major League Soccer (MLS) teams including MLS Cup Champion Sporting KC, Supporters Shield Champion New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC, along with USL Pro Club Orlando City to complete the eight-team field; Tickets on sale now.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (January 13, 2014) — The Brazilian Fluminense U23 team will round out the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic field at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Fluminense FC, one of the top soccer clubs in Brazil, joins the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, Sporting KC, Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact and Orlando City soccer clubs in the eight-team field. Teams begin arriving in Central Florida on Feb. 19 for three weeks of pre-season training camp and competition, culminating with the Disney Pro Soccer Classic title game on Mar. 1 at 8 pm.
Fluminense FC is one of the world’s leaders in talent development. The club is not only responsible for selling world soccer stars like Thiago Silva on to Europe to AC Milan, but also developing several currently renowned players such as Marcelo (Real Madrid), Rafael (Manchester United) and his twin brother Fabio (Manchester United).
“This is a great addition to the tournament and gives us one of our strongest fields in the five-year history of Pro Soccer Classic,” said Disney Sports Director of Sports Development Mike Millay. ” We have always looked to strengthen the tournament year after year and with our world class facility and event management staff we feel this event will give the teams a unique training camp experience that hopefully will launch them toward successful seasons.
“We are proud to be the first Brazilian team invited to compete in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic,” said Fluminense President Peter Siemsen. “We see the U.S. as a fast growing market, strategic in our international plans for the club during the next couple years. Our goal is to continue to develop these players and we’re looking forward to playing great MLS competition.”
Fluminense Director of Operations Marcelo Teixeira added: “The quality of play in the United States is improving each year. It is physically more demanding than in Brazil. It is most similar to the European game, where players have less time on the ball. The opportunity for our younger players to compete at this level is fantastic and compliments the final stage of their development as professionals.”
The Disney Pro Soccer Classic field will be split into two groups. Group A features Orlando City, Philadelphia, Columbus and Toronto. Group B includes New York, Montreal, Sporting KC, and Fluminense.
Entering its fifth year, the Disney Pro Soccer Classic is designed to boost interest in soccer throughout Central Florida and establish the area as a prime training and competition destination for pro soccer clubs. Last year, the event at Disney attracted fans from across the U.S. and Canada and gave them a unique opportunity for an intimate fan experience at a world-class facility.
The tournament is just one of more than a dozen popular soccer events held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is the leading multi-sports venue in the nation and the official preseason training home of the AS Roma soccer club.
For more information on the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, visit www.espnwwos.com/prosoccerclassic. Tickets for the event are on sale today through Ticketmaster.com, search “Pro Soccer Classic” or by calling 800-745-3000. Travel packages are available through GetTravel.com. The packages may include accommodations near Walt Disney World Resort, game tickets, ground transportation and discounted Disney theme park tickets.
For media credentials, please contact Danny Noll at 407-566-7806 or Danny.X.Noll.-ND@disney.com.
The tournament schedule is listed below.
SCHEDULE - 2014 WDW PRO SOCCER CLASSIC
|Wednesday, February 19||HOME||AWAY|
|Game #1||1:00 PM||Columbus Crew||Toronto FC|
|Game #2||3:00 PM||NY Red Bulls||Sporting KC|
|Game #3||6:00 PM||Orlando City Lions||Philadelphia Union|
|Game #4||8:00 PM||Montreal Impact||Fluminense FC|
|Saturday, February 22|
|Game #8||1:00 PM||Philadelphia Union||Columbus Crew|
|Game #9||3:00 PM||Fluminense FC||Sporting KC|
|Game #10||6:00 PM||Montreal Impact||New York Red Bulls|
|Game #11||8:00 PM||Toronto FC||Orlando City Lions|
|Wednesday, February 26|
|Game #12||1:00 PM||Philadelphia Union||Toronto FC|
|Game #13||3:00 PM||Fluminense FC||NY Red Bulls|
|Game #14||6:00 PM||Orlando City Lions||Columbus Crew|
|Game #15||8:00 PM||Sporting KC||Montreal Impact|
|Saturday, March 1|
|Game #16||1:00 PM||Consolation Game||Consolation Game|
|Game #17||3:00 PM||Consolation Game||Consolation Game|
|Game #18||6:00 PM||Consolation Game||Consolation Game|
|Game #19||8:00 PM||Championship Game||Championship Game|
About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD production center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.disneysportsnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports and on Facebook.
Danny Noll, Disney Sports Public Relations, Danny.X.Noll.-ND@disney.com, (407) 566-7806
Raquel Giorgio, Disney Sports Media Manager, Raquel.firstname.lastname@example.org (407) 566-5339