With Puerto Rico recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico FC will play the remainder of its fall slate on the United States mainland.
NASL officials have been coordinating with Puerto Rico FC, along with other clubs from around the league, to identify alternate facilities for the Caribbean club’s remaining home games, as well as hotel accommodations for the team on the U.S. mainland.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico as the island continues its recovery from Hurricane Maria,” NASL Interim Commissioner Rishi Sehgal said. “We felt that it was necessary to move Puerto Rico FC’s remaining home games off the island to allow the recovery efforts to focus solely on the needs of the Puerto Rican people. We look forward to bringing the joy and community created by the club back to Puerto Rico in the near future.”
With stadium availability as the primary factor, two of the club’s remaining home games will be played at opponent facilities, while another two have been moved to neutral sites in Florida.
Puerto Rico’s remaining schedule can be found below:
|10/14||8 p.m. ET||at San Francisco||Kezar Stadium||San Francisco, Calif.|
|10/18||TBD||vs New York||Central Broward Stadium||Lauderhill, Fla.|
|10/21||3 p.m. ET||vs Indy||Carroll Stadium||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|10/25||TBD||vs Edmonton||TBD||TBD (Central Florida)|
|10/28||7 p.m. ET||vs New York||MCU Park||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
The club has already played a pair of games that were changed due to complications caused by hurricanes, including this past Saturday when its home game against North Carolina FC ended up being moved to Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary, N.C.
The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, as well as the subsequent changes made to the NASL schedule, has galvanized support across the league for the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico FC owner Carmelo Anthony has launched a hurricane relief fund and NASL clubs, including the New York Cosmos, Indy Eleven, and North Carolina FC, have supported those efforts by donating ticket sales proceeds and coordinating fundraisers.
“We obviously feel strongly about pushing forward and representing our flag and the people of Puerto Rico,” Puerto Rico FC President Tom Payne said. “With the help of our fellow NASL clubs, each game that we have played since the hurricane has been a fundraiser for the island’s relief efforts, and any games that we control moving forward will be the same. We hope that we can bring some joy to our fans and to the people of Puerto Rico, while at the same time raise some awareness and funds to aid in the recovery efforts.”
Puerto Rico FC will train in Florida and will not return to the island until the season is over.
Image courtesy NASL.