Central Florida soccer fans get a rare treat when Orlando City hosts three-time English Premier League champions Arsenal at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday.
The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
The friendly is part of a series of FC events leading up to the Florida Cup, which features rivals Chelsea and Arsenal at Camping World Stadium on Saturday.
It’s the first meeting between Orlando City and Arsenal.
“We’ve been watching them. We watched the game they played last [Sunday],” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said about the Lions, who are coming off a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United. “A team that has evolved. The squad has evolved a lot in the last few years, and it is a beautiful stadium so it should make for a tough match.”
Arsenal has won a record 14 FA Cups, two League Cups, 16 FA Community Shields, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and 13 EFL and Premier League titles, including an undefeated season in 2003-04.
“This game is a unique opportunity for us to host one of Europe’s most recognized teams at Exploria Stadium,” Luiz Muzzi, Orlando’s GM and executive VP of soccer operations, said when the exhibition was announced. “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.”
Orlando City (8-7-6, 30 points) will be playing its third game in eight days. It also had a draw at Colorado last Wednesday.
This week, however, is about more than soccer on the field. Name, image and likeness are playing a role, too, and that could carry over to other events hosted by Florida Citrus Sports.
Thirty-eight women’s soccer players have promoted the games thanks to a partnership with FCS and Dreamfield, an Orlando-based company that helps college athletes capitalize on NIL.
[ 38 women’s soccer players benefit from Florida Citrus Sports’ NIL deal ]
Florida State’s Cristina Roque and Clara Robbins, UCF’s Darya Rajaee, FAU’s Gi Krstec and North Florida’s Lauren Weiss are among some of the participating players. The schools range from Florida and Miami to Rollins College, Jacksonville University and Nova Southeastern University.
FCS CEO Steve Hogan supports college athletes earning money from their NIL but takes a cautious approach to the business side of things.
“You want to be careful and ensure you understand it,” Hogan said. “How can you do it? How is it legal? There are so many different rules, so many different states. I would just tell you as the excitement from the outset, but yet a cautious examination of how do you do this the right way? How do you make sure that there are no unintended consequences for the effort?”
Otherwise, Hogan hopes this experience will be enjoyable for all involved.
“Having this opportunity is exciting and fun and I hope exciting and fun for the athletes we’re going to get to work with,” he said.
Hogan isn’t sure whether FCS would take a similar tact with NIL during the bowl season.
“The bowl games are potential opportunities for the student-athlete and their roster of clients already,” he said. “It hopefully provides a nice opportunity for them without regard to the bowl itself as a potential client.”
There is some concern providing NIL opportunities for a select few athletes participating in a postseason game rather than a whole team might deter from the overall bowl experience.
“If it helps you get out there and sell a few more tickets, that’s wonderful, but that’s kind of where it ends,” said Hogan. “For us right now, it’s more about fun content and continuing to really expand what the postseason is great about anyway.”
One of the most recent trends in the postseason is players opting out of bowl games to prepare for the NFL draft. Hogan doesn’t see a change in direction among opt-outs, even with NIL opportunities.
“This is not a pay-to-play business, and we’re not here to make NIL deals in the hopes that it affects your playing ability,” said Hogan. “Playing or not playing is a decision that’s been debated for many years. Well before NIL, so honestly, I don’t see that changing.”
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.
Top 7 orlando soccer premier league edit by Dream League Soccer Kits With Logo URL
Orlando City to host English Premier League side Arsenal in a friendly this Wednesday
- Author: orlandoweekly.com
- Published: 03/28/2022
- Review: 4.99 (707 vote)
- Summary: “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 …
- Detail: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/arts/orlando-city-to-host-english-premier-league-side-arsenal-in-a-friendly-this-wednesday-32054630
Orlando City to Host English Premier League Giants Arsenal in July
- Author: themaneland.com
- Published: 04/18/2022
- Review: 4.67 (352 vote)
- Summary: Orlando City announced today that the club will host a friendly match against English Premier League giants Arsenal on Wednesday, July 20 at …
- Detail: https://www.themaneland.com/2022/4/19/23032298/orlando-city-to-host-english-premier-giants-arsenal-in-july
Orlando United FC Premier – Central Florida Soccer League
- Author: centralfloridasoccer.com
- Published: 11/21/2021
- Review: 4.54 (551 vote)
- Summary: Orlando United FC Premier. Leagues: Open Premier; Seasons: 2018 B-Fall, 2019 A-Spring, 2019 B-Fall, 2021 A-Spring, 2021 B-Fall, 2022 A-Spring, 2022 B-Fall …
- Detail: https://centralfloridasoccer.com/team/orlando-fc/
Orlando – Premier League
- Author: premierleague.com
- Published: 07/25/2022
- Review: 4.29 (551 vote)
- Summary: Orlando FL. Change City … Opening Hours. Tuesday – Sunday 7pm – 2am*. *Please phone to confirm this bar opens early for Premier League matches …
- Detail: https://www.premierleague.com/usa-bar-finder/city/877403/Orlando
- Author: floridacitrussports.com
- Published: 10/22/2022
- Review: 3.87 (465 vote)
- Summary: English Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, two of the world’s most … professional soccer clubs, will meet at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, …
- Detail: https://floridacitrussports.com/event/florida-cup/
Premier Program – South Orlando Soccer Club
- Author: southorlandosoccer.com
- Published: 03/14/2022
- Review: 3.6 (441 vote)
- Summary: We are proud to offer Premier level play to our teams U13 and older. Our Premier teams will compete in Regional and National Premier leagues and showcases, …
- Detail: https://southorlandosoccer.com/premier-program/
Orlando City Battles English Premier League Side Arsenal FC as Part of FC Series
- Author: orlandocitysc.com
- Published: 07/22/2022
- Review: 3.51 (327 vote)
- Summary: ORLANDO, Fla. (July 19, 2022) – Orlando City SC is set to host one of the most recognized clubs in the world, English Premier League side …
- Detail: https://www.orlandocitysc.com/news/orlando-city-battles-english-premier-league-side-arsenal-fc-as-part-of-fc-series