The 2016 Florida Cup will be expanded from its original four-team format to nine teams from around the world this January, the tournament announced today. The tourney more than doubles in size in its second year, welcoming back three of the four teams from last year Brazilian sides Corinthians and Fluminese, and German club Bayer Leverkusen.
Five of the nine matches will be held in Central Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, with the other four being held in Boca Raton. Tickets for the tournament go on sale Nov. 20 on Ticketmaster.
In addition to the three returning original tournament teams, the 2016 version of the Florida Cup will welcome Independiente Santa Fe (Colombia), Schalke 04 (Germany), SC Internacional and Atlético MG from Brazil, and Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine). The only U.S.-based team in the tournament is NASL club Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
"We are excited to be the anchor venue for the Florida Cup, especially as the appeal of competitive soccer continues to grow not only in Central Florida but internationally as well," said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports in a release. "We hope to expand the Florida Cup to attract even more world-renowned soccer clubs and their fans to enjoy our world-class sports venue and the very best in family-friendly entertainment."
Here's the schedule of matches:
Sunday, January 10
Bayer (Germany) vs Santa Fe (Colombia) - ESPN Complex, Walt Disney World
Schalke (Germany) vs Strikers (US) - ESPN Complex, Walt Disney World
Wednesday, January 13
Bayer (Germany) vs Inter (Brazil) - ESPN Complex, Walt Disney World
Schalke (Germany) vs Atlético MG (Brazil) - Lockhart, FT. Lauderdale
Sunday, January 17
Shakhtar (Ukraine) vs Fluminense (Brazil) - ESPN Complex, Walt Disney World or Citrus Bowl
Corinthians (Brazil) vs Atlético MG (Brazil) - FAU, Boca Raton
Strikers (US) vs Santa Fe (Colombia) - FAU, Boca Raton
Wednesday, January 20
Corinthians (Brazil) vs Shakhtar (Ukraine) - ESPN Complex, Walt Disney World
Fluminense (Brazil) vs Inter (Brazil) - Lockhart, FT. Lauderdale