It has been a little over a year since the United States Men’s National Team played a match in Orlando — Oct. 6, 2017 to be precise. In front of a sellout crowd, the Yanks dominated Panama to a 4-0 scoreline. This morning, U.S. Soccer selected Orlando City Stadium for the March 21 match against Ecuador. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, UniMas and UDN starting at 7:30 p.m. This will be Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s third match as the new USMNT boss.
The USMNT has played in Orlando two previous times, playing to a 1-0 win against Sweden in 1998 and once in Orlando City Stadium as stated above in 2017. Because this match is taking place during an international window, it will be Berhalter’s first opportunity to pull from the entire player pool for the USMNT, including players who currently play in Mexico and Europe. This also will be a the one opportunity for a full USMNT camp prior to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament begins.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our fans to be part of the U.S. Men’s National Team journey,” said Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão. “In the two years since we opened Orlando City Stadium, our fans have created an energy and atmosphere that continues to bring more marquee soccer events to the City of Orlando exposing us to many different audiences and countries around the world.”
The Yanks will be looking to level the all-time record against Ecuador which currently stands at 4-5-5. The last time these teams met, the USMNT walked away with a 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Copa America Centenario. Goal scorers for the Yanks were Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes.
“Ecuador has an experienced, athletic team that will provide a good test for our group. We will use this opportunity to continue to build on the foundation of the team as we develop our style of play,” U.S. MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Playing in Orlando City Stadium is a great soccer experience - the atmosphere is fantastic.”
Tickets go on sale Feb. 13 to the general public through the ussoccer.com website. Tickets will not be sold at Orlando City Stadium for the match until day of the game and it doesn’t appear there will be a pre-sale opportunity for Orlando City season ticket holders. Ultimate Fan tickets, which include a number of extra benefits (premium ticket, custom USMNT jersey, field access) will also be available through ussoccer.com.
This continues a line of big events hosted by OCS since it opened in 2017. The 2019 MLS All-Star Game this summer will be held at the stadium, which has also hosted the MLS Player Combine (multiple times), the NCAA Women’s College Cup, the NWSL championship game, the SheBelieves Cup, and, of course, a USMNT World Cup qualifier.