IRVINE, Calif. (June 22, 2018) – Soccer fans in Orange County looking for the perfect place to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final need only look as far as the only professional soccer team in Orange County. Orange County SC announced today it will be hosting a 2018 FIFA World Cup Final watch party at its home in the Championship Soccer Stadium at the Orange County Great Park on Sunday, July 15, 2018. Fans are invited to enjoy the final match from the pitch; the match will be televised live on the stadium’s video board, and admission and parking are free for all who attend.
Gates open at 7:00 AM with pre-game festivities taking place until the live broadcast begins at 8:00 AM. Fans are encouraged to bring blankets or towels for lawn seating as chairs, tents or umbrellas will not be permitted. For those wishing to enjoy stadium seating, Section 1 – 3 and 11 – 13 will be open to fans. Breakfast concessions and food trucks will be on-site for purchase as well as Orange County SC merchandise. Fans will be treated to interactive entertainment in the Orange County SC Fan Zone including lawn games, face painting, inflatable games, sponsor booths, exhibits and more. A live raffle will take place at halftime to win OCSC season seats, tickets and merchandise.
For Orange County SC, the connection to the world’s most prestigious association football tournament runs deeper. The club’s Technical Director and Senior Advisor, Frans Hoek, has coached the Polish, Dutch and Saudi Arabian National teams in the World Cup. His first experience was coaching Poland during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, he coached the Netherlands National Team to a third-place finish against Brazil. Hoek, is currently coaching the Saudi Arabian National Team in this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Russia.
In addition to Hoek, Orange County SC forward Thomas Enevoldsen is also no stranger to the World Cup. Enevoldsen made his full international debut for Denmark against Hungary in the World Cup qualifying game in 2009 and started in their first match against Holland during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. During the 2010 World Cup, Denmark lost 3-1 to Japan and another familiar face to Orange County SC fans. Keisuke Honda, whose company Honda Estilo (and their youth club Soltillo) joined the ownership group of Orange County SC in December 2017, is currently making his third World Cup appearance. Honda scored the only goal in Japan’s 2010 FIFA World Cup match against Cameroon. He appeared and scored again in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first Japanese player to score in two World Cups and was the top Japanese scorer in FIFA World Cup history with three total goals. On June 19th, Honda substituted in for Shinji Kagawa in the 70thminute during Japan’s match against Columbia of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“We could not be more excited to host our fans and the Irvine community at our home stadium for the biggest soccer game on the planet,” said General Manager and Executive Vice President, Oliver Wyss. “The Championship Stadium is the home of professional soccer in Orange County, and every young soccer player should dream of representing their country in the World Cup; what better place to start than sitting on the field of their local professional club.”