Ben Sweat Grand Mosque

New York City FC Take on Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways

Six New York City FC players took in the sights and sounds of Abu Dhabi as part of a whirlwind tour of the UAE capital last week.

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The NYCFC players visited many of Abu Dhabi’s notable landmarks while they filmed two video projects with Etihad that will be released this season.

The players, who were in the UAE for the first time, enjoyed driving around the home of the FORMULA ONE ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX - Yas Marina Circuit, visited the newly opened Louvre museum, the iconic Grand Mosque, Saadiyat Beach Club and Etihad Towers, as well as enjoying cultural activities on a traditional Desert Safari.

Players included 2018 World Cup Costa Rican Internationals Rodney Wallace & Ronald Matarrita, England U-21 international Jack Harrison, U.S. Men’s international Sean Johnson, U.S. U-20 Men’s international Jonathan Lewis and Floridian defender Ben Sweat.

Etihad Airways Vice President Marketing Partnerships, Patrick Pierce, said: “It’s great to host New York City FC in Abu Dhabi for the first time. They were able to experience our wonderful, safe, capital city here in the sunshine - and witness why it’s such a popular destination for business and leisure travelers, especially during the winter.

“Etihad and NYCFC collectively developed this project to represent our global partnership. Sport, and football in particular, is a unifying language that bonds diverse communities around the world in much the same way travel does.”

During the visit, organized by Etihad Airways, Harrison, Wallace and Johnson also took time out to visited Zayed Sports City and helped coach boys and girls from City Football Schools.  They also shared their knowledge and experience with the next generation of players and were able to give them an insight on what life is like as a professional player.

New York City FC’s left winger Wallace, who successfully helped Costa Rica earn a bid to the 2018 FIFA World Cup added: “It’s my first time in Abu Dhabi, it's a spectacular place.  We have managed to see a lot of sights while we have been her, however, it’s been fantastic to come and coach the young children here today. Being at New York City FC has taught me so much and I’m really happy I get the chance to pass what I have learned on to the next generation!”

Off the soccer pitch, UAE fans also got to meet their heroes at an exclusive question and answer session at one of the hotels in the capital.

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