Orlando City announced the 2019 preseason schedule today, including a new tradition —the inaugural Orlando City Invitational. This preseason invitational will see the Lions invite New York City FC, the New England Revolution, and Minnesota United to Orlando City Stadium for a two-day, four match tournament, with the team that accumulates the most points being named winner and heading home with a trophy.
The Lions will also take on the Loons in a closed match to finish off a preseason that will begin with closed-door friendlies against the New York Red Bulls at IMG Academy on Feb. 2; Louisville City at Orlando City Stadium on Feb. 6; and the Philadelphia Union at Championsgate on Feb. 12.
“The Invitational is a fantastic new tradition we hope to start here in Orlando,” Orlando City SC Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “For us, it’s a great opportunity to get returning and new players back into the fold gaining valuable minutes against league teams. And for our fans, we invite them to come be part of the process and see their team come together ahead of a new year.”
The matches against NYCFC and New England will be open to the public, with season ticket holders able to enter with a in-kind donation to the Orlando City Fund, while non-season ticket members can purchase tickets for $15. The tournament’s schedule for the matches is as follows:
- Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m. New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United
- Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Orlando City vs. New York City FC
- Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 4:30 p.m. New York City FC vs. Minnesota United
- Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Orlando City vs. New England Revolution
This stands in fairly stark contrast to the last few preseasons that saw virtually no open-door training or media access. This will also be the first proper preseason tournament the Lions have been involved in since the Carolina Challenge Cup in 2015.
The Lions are scheduled to report to camp Monday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. It is scheduled to be a 14-day camp before the Lions come home to Orlando on Feb. 3 and prepare for a series of closed-door matches and the inaugural Orlando City Invitational.
The Lions open the 2019 season against New York City FC at home on March 2, the fifth straight season that Orlando begins an MLS campaign on its home field.
Full Orlando City Preseason Schedule
Jan. 21 — Preseason begins at IMG Academy.
Feb. 2 — Closed-door friendly vs. New York Red Bulls, 10:30 a.m.
Feb. 3 — Return to Orlando.
Feb. 6 — Closed-door friendly vs. Louisville City, 4 p.m.
Feb. 12 — Closed-door friendly vs. Philadelphia at Omni Championsgate, 12 p.m.
Feb. 16 — Friendly vs. NYCFC at OCS, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20 — Friendly vs. New England at OCS, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23 — Closed-door friendly vs. Minnesota at OCS, 12 p.m.