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J-League’s Vissel Kobe to play LAFC, Orange County SC on U.S. tour

Orange County Great Park to be their home base on tour.

Vissel Kobe v Kashiwa Reysol - J.League J1 Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Japanese club Vissel Kobe announced on Saturday they will embark on an American tour this winter, making a base at Orange County Great Park and playing Los Angeles Football Club and Orange County SC, among other teams.

Vissel Kobe features three global stars, in World Cup winners Andres Iniesta and David Villa of Spain, and Lukas Podolski of Germany. The team itself doesn’t have a sparkling history, having mostly been a mid- to low-table J-League outfit, although they have spent a couple years in the J2-League over the last couple decades. It seems with the three superstars in their midst, Vissel is trying to raise their international profile, and a tour of the United States probably won’t hurt in that regard.

The team will train at Orange County Great Park in Irvine from Jan. 24-Feb. 7 during their spell here. They’ll take on Columbus Crew SC at Championship Soccer Stadium on Jan. 28, then they will take on LAFC at Banc of California Stadium on Jan. 31. You can find ticket info for that game over on LAFC’s website.

On Feb. 2, Vissel Kobe will take on Toronto FC at Championship Soccer Stadium, followed by a game against Orange County SC at their home stadium on Feb. 5.

It’s unclear if the games against Columbus, Toronto and OCSC will be open to the public and will require tickets — stay tuned on that front. But LAFC are treating this game like a big occasion in their preseason, and they announced alongside this game that they will open preseason training camp on Jan. 21. So mark your calendars, and expect more info about further preseason happenings to come out in the coming days.

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