New York City Football Club is delighted to announce that the team will participate in the in the 12th annual Carolina Challenge Cup in February 2015.
Just a few weeks before NYCFC play their first-ever MLS fixture, Jason Kreis’s side will be joined by Orlando City S.C, Houston Dynamo and Charleston Battery in the round robin tournament hosted at the Blackbaud Stadium in South Carolina.
Six matches will take place between Saturday 21 February and Saturday 28 February and NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna believes that the competition will provide the perfect test at an ideal time.
“The opportunity to play in the Carolina Challenge Cup was one that we didn’t want to pass up. It’s a fantastic tournament and Charleston is a great city for us to spend time in during pre-season.” Reyna declared.
“Playing against an established MLS side in Houston Dynamo will get us a real sense of where we’re at in our preparations to join the league in March and the same can be said of the game against our fellow new expansion team, Orlando City.
“Charleston Battery are also a talented outfit and I’m sure that they will do an excellent job in hosting next year’s Carolina Challenge Cup. This competition will form a very important part of our pre-season.”
Head Coach Jason Kreis, who won the competition with Real Salt Lake in 2009, echoed Claudio’s sentiments, revealing his excitement at this first announcement of pre-season matches.
“It will be an exciting challenge for us to take part in the Cup which is MLS-sanctioned for the first time this year,” Kreis told nycfc.com.
“It’s a competition I have experience of competing in, so I know how well organised and how competitive it is.
“We’ve been working really hard behind the scenes to ensure that our pre-season program gets us in the best shape to be competitive from the first minute of our opening regular season match.
“I believe that it will prove to be an important week in our preparations for our first season.”
The Carolina Challenge Cup was started in 2004 by USL Pro side, Charleston Battery.
DC United have won the tournament on the most occasions, lifting the Cup four times, including the last one in 2014.
Kreis’s Real Salt Lake fended off competition from Toronto FC, DC United and Charleston Battery to lift the trophy in 2009 – a feat which preceded their MLS Cup win at the end of the year.
Ticket news and date of fixtures to be released soon. More pre-season exhibition announcements will be announced in due course.