Orlando City announced today that the club will host a friendly match against English Premier League giants Arsenal on Wednesday, July 20 at Exploria Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the two sides and the Lions’ first midseason friendly since meeting Stoke City on July 27, 2016. The kickoff time will be announced later. The match is part of the “FC Series,” which is a national expansion of the long-running Florida Cup.
“We’re excited to be able to provide our fans and the greater Orlando soccer community the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most iconic clubs, Arsenal FC, right here in the best soccer venue in America, Exploria Stadium,” Orlando City President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon said in a club press release. “Not only will the friendly be a phenomenal experience for our fans, but we are excited to see our Lions take the field against a top international opponent. This is going to be a match that no one will want to miss.”
“This game is a unique opportunity for us to host one of Europe’s most recognized teams at Exploria Stadium,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in the club’s release. “This is a great way for our players to get high-level gameplay and for our fans to see us match up with a very exciting Premier League opponent. We’re looking forward to it.”
Arsenal, a three-time Premier League champion, is one of England’s most recognizable clubs worldwide, having been around since 1886. The Gunners have won 14 FA Cups, two League Cups, 16 Community Shields, a European Cup Winners’ Cup, and 13 combined EFL and EPL championships.
Following the match-up against Orlando, Arsenal will meet Chelsea in a stateside London Derby on July 23 at Camping World Stadium as part of the Florida Cup. FC Series international matches will take place across the United States this year for the first time. The Florida Cup has been held in Florida since 2015 and has showcased clubs from all over the world. The event drew an international television audience of more than 5 million viewers last year.
Ticket information is yet to come, but the club will reach out with more information to season ticket members, as they will receive priority access and preferred pricing starting on Tuesday, April 26 at 10 a.m. In addition, the Arsenal match will be part of a special three-game mini plan, which will go on sale to the public on Thursday, April 28 at 10 a.m.
Priority access will also be given to groups of 10 or more seeking tickets. Single match tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, May 3, at 10 a.m. via OrlandoCitySC.com/tickets.