Vissel Kobe to play three matches at O.C. Great Park

Vissel Kobe's Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta attends a training session with children in Kobe on Nov. 25, 2018.
(JIJI PRESS / AFP/Getty Images)

Japanese soccer club Vissel Kobe is set to make a historic visit to the United States when it holds its preseason camp in Southern California.

Vissel Kobe will become the first team from the J-League to face Major League Soccer teams during the preseason.

During its trip to the United States, Vissel Kobe will play three matches at Orange County Great Park’s Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, the home of the United Soccer League’s Orange County Soccer Club.

Vissel Kobe’s three scheduled opponents are the Columbus Crew on Jan. 28, Toronto FC on Feb. 2, and the Orange County Soccer Club on Feb. 5.

In addition, Vissel Kobe will also take on Los Angeles FC on Jan. 31 at Banc of California Stadium.

Vissel Kobe brings the excitement of several World Cup champions to the pitch. Andres Iniesta and David Villa, members of Spain’s 2010 World Cup championship team, and Lukas Podolski, who won a World Cup title with Germany in 2014, are on the roster.

“We are very excited to represent Japanese football in the United States and face MLS teams, a league that, like the J-League, is in the growth phase and that every day arouses the interest of more fans,” Iniesta said in a press release. “It will be very nice to play with David Villa again, I am already looking forward to the day of the debut. With [El] Guaje and Lukas Podolski, we can form a great forward [group], which I hope it will please Vissel Kobe fans.”

Tickets for the Vissel Kobe matches to be played at Championship Soccer Stadium went on sale Wednesday via Ticketmaster.

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