|Fiorentina up for limited evaluation process vs. Arsenal|
|Italian club in Charlotte for ICC|
|Published Friday, July 19, 2019 3:25 pm|
|Italian side Fiorentina takes on Arsenal Saturday in the the International Champions Cup in Charlotte.|
Charlotte will host an Italian side for the third time.
In 2014, AC Milan played in Charlotte’s inaugural International Champions Cup match against English side Liverpool. Inter Milan faced Bayern Munich at Bank of America Stadium in 2016. While Charlotteans may be vaguely familiar with those names, Fiorentina brings a lesser-known component to the Queen City.
Roma had been scheduled to face English side Arsenal on July 20 at Bank of America Stadium, but announced on June 12 that they had to back out due to Europa commitments. Yet the Florence, Italy-based club has roots dating back to 1898. However, their most recent campaign was anything but historic, finishing 16th in Serie A at 8-17-13. Preseason provides a chance to reset, as they won their ICC opener, beating Chivas de Guadalajara 2-1. Riccardo Sottil, a 20-year-old striker, scored the winner.
“This is a good opportunity to evaluate players, not just from a technical level, their skills on the field, but also their mental level, because Serie A is a very mental and difficult league,” manager Vincenzo Montella said via translator. “However, you have to keep in mind that there is very little time to evaluate things.”
Said Sottil via translator: “Being in the first team, that was the goal. That’s the next step that I want to take, especially growing up in the Fiorentina youth system. I’m trying every day to improve—to make it a difficult decision for the coach to choose [me] or not [for the lineup].”
While the English Premier League opens on Aug. 9, Serie A does not commence until Aug. 25. However, Montella does not see the gap as a disadvantage for his side.
“It hasn’t really changed things to a great deal,” Montella said. “At the end of the day, we’re pretty used to changes, as long as they’re not too large. This isn’t the first time we’ve done a tournament such as this.”
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