Orlando City has confirmed the first match of 2016 preseason will be against Jacksonville Armada FC at Community First Park in downtown Jacksonville. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. The match was first reported Wednesday evening on Armada blog Flagship Footy and was included in Thursday's Lion Links.
"The Armada are a solid team who will provide a strong test for us as we begin preparing for the 2016 season," said Head Coach Adrian Heath in a club press release. "Obviously we're very familiar with their team as several members are former Orlando City players. But more importantly, we're looking forward to beginning 2016 on a strong note heading into the new MLS season."
The North American Soccer League side is entering its second year with new head coach and former USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Several familiar faces to Orlando City fans play for the Armada, including goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, defenders Bryan Burke -- last year's USL Defender of the year -- and Mechack Jérôme, and 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick Akeil Barrett.
This will be the first meeting between the two clubs. Jacksonville played its inaugural NASL campaign in 2015, finishing sixth (3-4-3, 12 points) in the fall season and 11th (5-11-4, 19 points) in the spring.
Tickets will be available on the Armada website.
The Lions will soon be announcing the rest of their 2016 preseason plans. The Armada will also be playing the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls during the preseason but it is unknown at this time whether those teams will also face Orlando City.