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Orlando City SC Announces Schedule for In-Market Continuation of Play

August 8, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Orlando City SC News Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - Just days before Orlando City's appearance in the MLS is Back Tournament final, Major League Soccer has announced that following the conclusion of the tournament, the league's 25th season will continue in the home markets of its 26 clubs. In addition, the league has announced phase one of the Lions' continuation of play schedule, presented by Orlando Health. The schedule sees the Lions face three different teams, with matchups against intrastate foe Inter Miami CF, Atlanta United FC and expansion side Nashville SC.

The return to play in home markets will feature comprehensive health and safety protocols, including regular testing of players, coaches and essential staff for COVID-19.

The Lions road match at Atlanta will be aired nationally on Univision with the remaining five games available locally on Fox 35 Plus, the official TV home of Orlando City SC. Local matches will be called by play-by-play announcer Evan Weston, analyst Miguel Gallardo and newly-announced sideline reporter Ali Krieger - a standout for both the Orlando Pride and U.S. Women's National Team.

Beginning Saturday, Aug. 22, the Lions will play six games against the three different opponents over a span of three weeks. The schedule kicks off with a bang, opening with a rematch of the MLS is Back Tournament opener when the Lions travel to Ft. Lauderdale for the second iteration of the Florida derby against Inter Miami on Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. ET.

The following week, the Lions return to the friendly confines of Exploria Stadium to begin their home slate with a matchup against Nashville SC on Wednesday, Aug. 26. It will mark the Club's first match at Exploria Stadium since Feb. 29.

The next week Orlando will head on a two-game road trip, starting with the first meeting of the season between the boys in purple and Atlanta United on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, followed by the Club's first trip to Music City to face Nashville on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Orlando closes out the Phase 1 schedule with a two-game homestand, hosting both Atlanta United and Inter Miami on Sept. 6 and Sept. 12, respectively. All three of Orlando's home matches will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET from the grounds of the Club's distinctive, purple-clad stadium in downtown Orlando.

The Club is also exploring the possibility of opening matches to a limited number of fans, which could see the venue operate at a reduced capacity in order to adhere to social distancing and safety guidelines. More information will be available at a later date, pending authorities' approval.

Schedule Format:

Each club will play 18 additional regular season games in a phased approach, culminating with Decision Day on Sunday, Nov. 8. In an expansion of the postseason for 2020, 18 clubs will compete in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs -- up from 14 teams last year. MLS Cup will be played on Dec. 12.

Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, MLS announced the initial phase of the league's revised schedule with each U.S. club playing six matches by Sept. 14.

Major League Soccer continues to work with the league's three Canadian clubs regarding plans to continue the regular season. More details on schedules for the Canadian teams will be announced in the near future.

MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets.

Health and Safety Information:

As with the MLS is Back Tournament, COVID-19 testing protocols will again play an important role in MLS' competition framework. MLS continues to work closely with the league's infectious disease advisors as well as advisors for the MLSPA on the plan for testing. All clubs are forming testing partnerships with a local certified lab, and all players, technical staff, and essential club staff will be tested every other day, including the day before each match day. Also, guidelines will be provided to players, coaches and essential staff to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 during their time away from club facilities.

In addition to adhering to health, safety and medical protocols, another focus of the new schedule is efficient travel. Teams will take chartered flights, or buses, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on matchday and depart after the match later that evening.

Orlando City Phase One Schedule:

Date Opponent Venue Time (ET) Broadcast

Sat., Aug. 22 Inter Miami CF Lockhart Stadium 8 p.m. Fox 35 Plus

Wed., Aug. 26 Nashville SC Exploria Stadium 7:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus

Sat., Aug. 29 Atlanta United Mercedes-Benz Stadium 3:30 p.m. Univision

Wed., Sept. 2 Nashville SC Nissan Stadium 8:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus

Sun., Sept. 6 Atlanta United Exploria Stadium 7:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus

Sat., Sept. 12 Inter Miami CF Exploria Stadium 7:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus

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