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09.01.16 Florida Cup / Professional Team

Florida Cup: Passports cleared! Galo to begin 2016 season in the U.S.

Atlético / / Thiago Fernandes

It’s been 17 years since Atletico was in the United States, where it will now face to old acquaintances Schalke 04 and Corinthians in the Florida Cup.

23631254363_3541aba4c0_zAll required visas have been distributed, the flight tickets are ready and the hotel rooms have been booked. Now the only thing missing is soccer!

Everything is set for Atletico-MG’s return to the United States after almost 17 years – the last time the Belo Horizonte outfit visited was back in 1999. On its return to the country, the team will visit Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton for the 2016 edition of the Florida Cup between Jan. 11-18, a tournament that will gather eight renowned clubs from around the globe.

23629804374_7d775492c6_zGalo is set to arrive on the land of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Co. on Monday, where the squad will stay at The Westin Hotel. Players and staff, under the command of head coach Diego Aguirre, will hold their preseason activities on the pitches of Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

The Mineiros will play their matches Jan. 13 and 17 at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium and Boca Raton’s FAU Stadium, against Schalke 04 (Germany) and Corinthians (Brazil), respectively.

Galo is set to have its first challenge in the U.S. against an old acquaintance in Schalke 04, which features German World Cup-winner Benedikt Howedes, Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Brazilian duo Junior Caicara and Felipe Santana. It will then face Atletico at 6:30 p.m. ET on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ field. Both teams met back in 1950, when the Brazilians held a legendary European tour that earned Atletico the “Ice Champion” title with a 3-1 win.

2AE411DAC2C0E0C94BD86BDB8DA00DB0Galo’s other fixture will take place four days later against one of its fiercest rivals in Brazilian football. The team is set to reunite with Corinthians at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton at 2 p.m. ET. It will be a good opportunity to watch the two best teams in Brazil in 2015, as they prepare for their debut in their respective State Championships and the next Copa Libertadores.

Atletico’s activities in North America will not, however, be limited to the playing field: the club is planning marketing activites in the U.S., aiming to strenghten Galo’s brand abroad. Marques, one of Atletico’s all-time greatest strikers, will act as the club’s ambassador. Of course, the team is also anticipating the chance to work hard before the season kicks off in Brazil.

Fotos: Bruno Cantini / Atlético

Soccer heavyweights

Atletico, Corinthians and Schalke 04 aren’t the only teams participating in the Florida Cup. Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), Fluminense, Internacional (both also from Brazil), Independiente Santa Fe (Colombia), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) will also be hoping to have good performances in the Sunshine State.

The cup kicks off Sunday, while its last match is set to take place Jan. 20. Each team will play twice, and the winner is to be decided among the team that has the best stats by the tournament’s ending.

Published on January 09 - 2016, at 17:26.