New York City FC will play their first match after their 2015 inaugural season against the Puerto Rico National Team in a friendly on Dec. 11. The Club arrived on Dec. 6 and will train for the entire week leading up to the match. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST (8 p.m. AST) at the Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
The match will feature recently named 2015 New York City FC MVP David Villa. Villa scored a team-leading 18 goals for the Club in his first MLS campaign, which landed him fourth overall in Major League Soccer.
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Villa acknowledges that the friendly is bigger then just a soccer match, it’s also a chance for the Club to develop and engage fans in Puerto Rico.
“It’s a privilege for us to keep growing soccer outside of our boarders,” said Villa. “Not just to come here to play the friendly, but to come here at an important moment. For the enjoyment of the people here. And that we can have important alliance in the future”
The Match will also feature New York City FC’s 2015 defensive player of the Year, Josh Saunders. Saunders had 124 saves for the Club in the 2015 seasonwhich led Major League Soccer. The goalkeeper returns to Puerto Rico after playing for the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2007. Saunders made 22 appearances with the Islanders and helped lead them to the playoffs that season.
For Saunders this match is a bit of a homecoming.
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“It’s great to be back on the Island, “said Saunders. “Being back on the beautiful island and back in the stadium that I have so many memories in. It brings back a lot of good memories and a lot of good times. I met a lot of good people. Even on the drive in, I was smiling.”
The match will be broadcast on the YES Network and DirecTV.
Follow @NYCFC for live social media coverage of the match and throughout the week in Puerto Rico. Use #NYCFC to join the conversation.
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