Cologne - Wrestling back second place from VfL Wolfsburg remains top of the agenda for Bayer 04 Leverkusen as Roger Schmidt's men step up their mid-winter workout ahead of the Bundesliga restart later this month.

Accordingly, die Werkself will be spending ten days across the pond in the land of some of the finest grapplers in the business: Orlando, Florida.

Billy Goats nearby


Roger Schmidt's side are scheduled to fly out to the Sunshine State on Friday, but not before their second double training session in as many days on Thursday. Stefan Reinartz, Gonzalo Castro and Kyriakos Papadopoulos will make the trip following injury, but South Korean megastar Heung-Min Son and Australian favourite Robbie Kruse are currently away on AFC Asian Cup duty.

Once there, the Rhineland club will be laying their heads approximately 11.6 miles south of 1. FC Köln at the Omni Orlando resort. The Floridian retreat is nestled slap-bang in the middle of a 36-hole golf course and boasts a range of water-based activities on site, as well as seven top-class eateries.

The Bundesliga outfit aren't, of course, there to practise their putting. Leverkusen will train at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, before facing Fluminense FC in Orlando on Thursday 15 January (kick-off 23.00 CET) and SC Corinthians in Jacksonville on Saturday 17 January (19.00 CET) as part of the inaugural Florida Cup alongside regional neighbours Köln.

Up to three points are on offer in each game, with one point awarded in the event of a draw and an additional point given to the winner of the ensuing penalty shoot-out, should the match remain all-square after 90 minutes.

At the end of the tournament, the team with the most points will be crowned the winner, while the total points from each country will also be aggregated to determine a national champion.

If and when time permits, the players will have plenty to keep them occupied away from the day-to-day grind of winter training. The USA's southernmost state is, after all, home to a whole host of world-renowned sporting brands such as the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins; the NBA's Orlando Magic and Miami Heat; the NHL's Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning; and the NBL's Miami Marlins und Tampa Bay Rays.

As well as Walt Disney World and the plethora of white sand beaches, there's also the Kennedy Space Center just over an hour to the east in Cape Canaveral.