Puerto Rico F.C. announced their plan to represent Puerto Rico in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and Caribbean Football Union (CFU). The Bayamon-based team is the latest professional representation to bring high-level soccer to the ”Island of Enchantment.”
They will host their home games at the Estadio Nacional Juan Ramón Loubriel in Bayamón and will host Group One in the 2014 CFU Championship.
“We are very excited to begin this new project,” said Team President Alberto Santiago. “The opportunity we are giving to local players to grow and push themselves to the next level in the NPSL is a promising one and we are eager to kick it off.”
“We are all aware that soccer has had a tremendous growth in recent years, not only in talent on the field but off the field,” said Puerto Rico F.C.’s General Manager Ignacio Rodríguez. “There has been a surge in news outlets, sales, community outreach, and coaching professionals with great knowledge and preparation. Our vision is to utilize that talent to create an first-class organization that not only will bring a unique fan experience, but also engage the community.”
The NPSL was founded in 2003 and since then has expanded into a nationwide league, competing across four regions. The league’s unique status allows for college players to keep their collegiate status while playing high-level soccer with professional players in a professional environment.
“We are thrilled to further expand our presence as a nationwide league and reach one of the prime markets in the Caribbean,” expressed NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock. “The growth of the game in Puerto Rico has been substantial and we are happy to contribute.”
Puerto Rico F.C. will be under the orders of Spanish coach Aurelio Ruiz. Ruiz has experience as a fitness trainer in the lower divisions of Spanish Sevilla FC. Ruiz also has assistant coaching experience with Lucena FC of the Spanish Tercera Divisíon, Cultural Leonesa of Liga Adelante, Mallorca FC in the Liga BBVA and Neuchâtel Xamax of the Swiss First Division.
Puerto Rico F.C. has the full support of the city of Bayamón and its mayor Ramón Luis Rivera along with its founding sponsors Adidas, Hyatt Place Hotel, Pan Pepin and Puerto Rico Children’s Hospital.
The team is the official professional side of Bayamón F.C., which has over 500 male and female players divided into a range of youth and amateur squads. Bayamón FC celebrates fifteen years in 2014.