The world is coming to St. Petersburg.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced Tuesday that Al Lang Stadium will be a host site during next year’s Florida Cup, a tournament that will host teams from Brazil, Argentina, Germany and the U.S. Other teams, including more Brazilian, American and Asian teams, are yet to be announced.
The tournament will be held Jan. 7-21 under two formats. One will be teams competing for points for their host countries. The second will feature an individual championship.
The number of teams has yet to be finalized, but it could be as many as 14. Several venues are possible, although the Rowdies and Central Florida are assured.
“I think it means so much,” said Rowdies’ owner Bill Edwards. “You’re talking about another level of soccer we haven’t seen in this city yet. This is a level all over the world. It’s finally coming to the U.S. and it’s going to grow. They’re way ahead of us.”
Can the Rowdies catch up by next year?
“I think I have worldwide players playing for me,” Edwards said. “I think I have a great team. I think they’ll hold their own.”
The Rowdies were announced Tuesday along with Wolfsburg of Germany and Club Atlético River Plate of Argentina.