Orlando City SC has announced its preseason schedule for the 2021 season. The news came perhaps a tad late as the club had already opened up its preseason on Monday, March 1 at the club’s training ground, but better late than never and scheduling anything during a pandemic can’t be easy. The team has some very busy weeks ahead of it before opening the season the weekend of April 17, with a heavy emphasis on scrimmages as in the past.
The club’s preseason includes a seven-day trip to IMG Academy in Bradenton, where the team will stay and train for a week. At the end of that week, the Lions will take on the Philadelphia Union in a scrimmage, and then return to Orlando. In total, OCSC has seven scrimmages scheduled before the start of the regular season, with the first on March 15, and the final one coming on April 9 against Minnesota United, with matches in between against New York City FC, an as-yet opponent to be announced, FC Cincinnati, Miami FC, and Minnesota United.
A departure from previous years is that there will be no preseason games that are open to the public, with all contests of the closed-door scrimmage variety. With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting people everywhere, this isn’t a particularly surprising decision and probably one that makes the most sense. Most of the scrimmages will be against MLS teams. One exception is the match against Miami FC of the USL Championship and the opponent to be named could also be a lower division side.
As mentioned previously, the club will open its season on either April 17 or 18, with the precise date and opponent still to be announced.
2021 Orlando City Preseason Schedule
- Sunday, March 7: Depart for IMG Academy
- Monday, March 15: Preseason scrimmage vs. Philadelphia Union, return from Bradenton
- Thursday, March 18: Preseason scrimmage vs. New York City FC
- Saturday, March 27: Preseason scrimmage vs. opponent TBA
- Wednesday, March 31: Preseason scrimmage vs. FC Cincinnati
- Saturday, April 3: Preseason scrimmage vs. Chicago Fire FC
- Tuesday, April 6: Preseason scrimmage vs. Miami FC
- Friday, April 9: Preseason scrimmage vs. Minnesota United FC
- Saturday, April 17: Start of MLS regular season