Orlando Faces Italian Superclub AS Roma Wednesday
Italian giant to play in front of sellout at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla.
Orlando, Fla-- Orlando City kicks off the 2013 season with an exhibition match against three-time Serie A Champion A.S. Roma on Wednesday, January 2, at Barker Family Stadium in Winter Park, Fla. The game, which was announced only a few weeks ago at City’s second annual fan forum, gives soccer fans in Central Florida a chance to see top-level talent play against their favorite hometown team.
“It’s obviously a fixture we’re incredibly looking forward to,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We realize we’re playing one of the biggest clubs in the world. We know it’s going to be extremely difficult, but we just want to give a good account of ourselves.”
Roma, who competes at the top of the Italian football league in Serie A competition, have won three Serie A championships with the most recent title coming in the 2000-01 season. The club participates in the same league as soccer-super giants like A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. The team, which has USA national team star Michael Bradley on its squad, currently sits in 6th place in the Serie A table with a record of 10-2-6.
A.S. Roma recently agreed to a multiple-year sponsorship deal with Disney and their Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., with this the first trip to Orlando during their Winter break. Team officials agreed to hold a match before Roma’s flight later in the evening, with all ticket proceeds going toward the Orlando City Soccer Foundation. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit, the Foundation promotes exercise and healthy eating to the children and families in the Central Florida area and has done recent work in the Parramore area at the New Image Youth Center.
The Lions will be playing with a modified roster, fielding six-eight players from the 2012 regular season championship squad along with trialists brought on by Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath and Assistant Head Coach/Midfielder Ian Fuller. The preseason matches, Heath says, are a great opportunity to evaluate new talent.
“It’s given us an opportunity to invite one or two college graduates and see what they can do,” Heath said. “It’s something we can look forward to.”
Important Game-Day Information: